Hammers have set standards that are tough to live up to

West Ham United 2-0 Leeds United – Reaction

I think it’s fair to say that this was a clear indication of the evolution of West Ham United under David Moyes.

Not the Hammers sweetest performance – far from it. Leeds enjoyed – of that is the right word – the lions share of the chance and perhaps provided the crisper football. But they came up against a side that has learned to win. 

In this case, first-half goals from Jesse Lingard – seemingly enjoying his football again, and Craig Dawson – his signature arguably the best bit of business in the Premier League this season?

Leeds, for their part, were bright and industrious. But lacking a ruthless streak, the game remained one step beyond them.

As for the hosts. Standards had already been set: “I think the biggest step is that the players are really disappointed with how they played tonight so that shows you the standards we have set most of the season. But that is a good sign that they are all on board with that and recognised it,” Moyes explained.

“It felt like we had three weeks off instead of ten days tonight we just didn’t seem to start the game quickly enough we didn’t seem to get around the ball.

“We were behind it for long periods, we grew into the first half and ended up with two goals and we were a bit unlucky not to make it three when we hit the most but we were also behind it in the first ten minutes when they had a couple of chances.”

Moyes had suggested his side were similar to a Cheltenham outsider in the race for a Champions League spot: “I think our odds are just about the same, I am not sure if they have gone out or in after tonight’s performance,” the Hammers chief added.

“You might think after the win it looks as if this horse is coming into a bit of form but maybe if you watch the performance during the game you might say you are not too sure.

“So I don’t know what that tells you but that is me analysing it. But look we are in a good position we are really pleased we are up challenging the top boys. If you had given me Sheffield United at home, Tottenham at home, Leeds United at home and said you’ll win the three games I would have said ‘well what a really good return that is.”

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Brian Jeeves

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