Hammers ease past Leeds to make cup progress

West Ham United v Leeds United – Emirates FA Cup Third Round – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 2-0 Leeds United

West Ham United cantered into the fourth-round stage of the Emirates FA Cup after recording a routine 2-0 success over Premier League rivals, Leeds United at the London Stadium.

David Moyes made three changes to the side that had started the Hammers New Year victory at Selhurst Park. Alphonse Areola replaces Łukasz Fabiański in goal, while Ryan Fredericks and Nikola Vlašić came in for Vladimír Coufal and Saïd Benrahma – the latter away representing Algeria at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

“It shows how important it is to play well against Leeds United because they’re a good team,” Moyes explained.

“I think everybody’s seen throughout the last few seasons how well Leeds can play. We want to get through in the Cup, but we want to try and do well in the Premier League as well.”

With almost 9,000 Leeds fans making the trip to the capital, a raucous atmosphere welcomed the sides. Jarrod Bowen’s early effort was kicked off the line by Luke Ayling after Declan Rice and Michail Antonio had fashioned the games first clearcut opportunity. Moments later, Antonio’s deflected attempt landed on the roof of the rigging with Leeds stopper, Ilan Meslier frantically backpedalling as West Ham started the brighter.

But it took the home side more than half an hour to make the breakthrough. Manuel Lanzini was on hand to thump home from close range after Meslier and his backline had made a mess of clearing from both Bowen and Vlašić. VAR took an eternity to confirm – the home crowd, nonetheless, ecstatic.

Antonio blazed a decent opportunity wide after Ben Johnson had galloped down the left and picked him out the Hammers number nine with a pinpoint low centre. Meanwhile, Fredericks was also wayward as Leeds began to wilt Indeed, it was almost two-nil in first-half stoppage time. Fredericks was denied by Meslier after a neat exchange of passes with Bowen.

The second period largely flattered to deceive. Immediately after the restart, Meslier used his feet to thwart Bowen after Antonio had bludgeoned his way forward and fashioned an opening. Former Manchester United man, Dan James directed wide from close range after substitute, Stuart Dallas had delivered – It had taken the Yorkshiremen seventy-five minutes to muster an attempt in the region of the home sides’ goal.

Fredericks was agonisingly close to doubling the Hammers tally with an angled effort that fizzed across the target, while James was again off target – Dallas again the provider – Leeds left frustrated.

And that late miss proved costly. Antonio broke clear before feeding Bowen. the former Hull City man provided a neat left-footed finish to kill the contest.

Jarrod Bowen netted his sixth goal of the season, helping West Ham United overcome Leeds United at the London Stadium (Rob Newell CameraSport)

West Ham United return to Premier League action on Wednesday, January 12 when Norwich City visit the London Stadium (7:45pm).

West Ham United: Areola, Fredericks, Dawson, Diop, Johnson, Rice (Capt), Souček, Vlašić (Masuaku 88′), Lanzini (Fornals 76′), Bowen, Antonio (Yarmolenko 90+4′) Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Alese, Baptiste, Král, Noble, Okoflex

Booked: Manuel Lanzini (foul)

Goals: Manuel Lanzini 34′, Jarrod Bowen 90+4′

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling (Capt) (Forshaw 60′), Kock, Hjelde (Summerville 78′), Llorente, Firpo (Drameh 69′), Bate, Klich, James, Harrison, Greenwood (Raphinha 46′) Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Dallas, McCarron, Jenkins, Moore

Booked: Cody Drameh (foul)

Goals: None

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Assistants: Scott Ledger and Neil Davies

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

VAR: Peter Bankes

AVAR: Lee Betts

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]