Report: Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United

Report: Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United

Whites fall to late Ogbonna goal.

Leeds United 1 (Klich p6’)

West Ham United 2 (Soucek 25’, Ogbonna 80’)

Leeds United Starting XI: Meslier, Alioski (Shackleton 45’), Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Harrison (Costa 45’), Raphinha, Rodrigo, Bamford (Roberts 74’).

Subs not used: Casilla, Struijk, Hernandez, Poveda. 

Despite scoring early on at Elland Road, Leeds were defeated against West Ham United. 

Mateusz Klich gave the Whites a sixth minute lead from the penalty spot, before Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna both scored headers to give the visitors all three points. 

There was no bluffing from Marcelo Bielsa after he revealed his Starting XI in Wednesday's press conference. 

The Leeds United head coach made one change for the Elland Road clash, with Rodrigo taking the place of the injured Robin Koch.

Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton were also named on the bench for the match, after they both made a return from injury.

Just two minutes into the match, Liam Cooper intercepted the ball in the middle of the pitch and played Patrick Bamford through on goal. The forward took a lovely touch and rounded Lukasz Fabianski only to be brought down. 

There was no hesitation from Michael Oliver in pointing to the spot and the West Ham keeper was shown a yellow card. Mateusz Klich took the resulting penalty and his effort was saved, but VAR stepped in and deemed Fabianski to be off his line and it was retaken. No mistake this time from Klich and the Whites had an early advantage in the match. 

West Ham looked to hit back quickly and two chances for Sebastien Haller were both good opportunities for the visitors to draw level, but neither troubled Illan Meslier too much and he comfortably gathered the ball each time. 

Leeds did manage to settle back into the game though and looked to regain some rhythm. The regular combination of Alioski and Harrison looked to work well together down the wing and when the full-back pulled the ball back in the box for Rodrigo, the Spaniard shot just wide.

Five minutes later the Hammers were level. An in-swinging corner was turned home by Soucek, powering a header beyond the fingertips of Meslier to make it 1-1. 

The game continued to be end-to-end. Raphinha played a pinpoint ball in behind the West Ham defence, which Rodrigo latched onto, turned back on his left foot and saw his shot well saved. 

Two further efforts from the Whites came before the whistle, with Bamford having a header saved well, before Fabianski was there again to deny Luke Ayling’s long range curler. 

HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-1 West Ham

Two changes during the interval were made by Marcelo Bielsa. Helder Costa and Jamie Shackleton entered the action in place of Harrison and Alioski. Shackleton was instantly involved, cutting the ball into the box for Bamford who shot narrowly wide. 

Back down the other end, the lively Jarrod Bowen chipped a cross into the box which Haller controlled and volleyed at goal. It was deflected wide for a corner, which saw Haller once again have a header on goal forcing Meslier into a save. 

Said Benrahma was proving a constant threat down the left of the pitch, with the ability the both go down the wing and cross or cut back inside and shoot, which he chose to do on plenty of occasions and had multiple efforts on goal.

With West Ham applying pressure and Benrahma again going just wide from range, Leeds came close on two occasions themselves. Firstly, Phillips hit a well struck effort from outside the box which was tipped wide of the post, then the resulting corner forced Fabianski into action as Dallas smashed one on target. 

With just over 15 minutes remaining, Bamford was replaced by Tyler Roberts which was Bielsa’s final change of the match. Seconds later Pablo Fornals had the best chance of the half. Declan Rice played a through ball into the box, which Hammers forward controlled but placed his finish wide. 

Meslier was called into action from the next attack, and produced a stunning pointblank save. Fabian Balbuena found space from a wide free-kick and powered a header on goal, but Leeds’ number one stood firm and denied his effort. 

With 10 minutes remaining, West Ham scored their second via another set-piece. Aaron Cresswell whipped a free-kick into the penalty area, which saw Angelo Ogbonna rise highest and power a header into the top corner of the net. 

Haller was continuing to look dangerous and came close twice more. First, an audacious overhead kick was saved superbly by Meslier, before the forward then glanced a header onto the post in the next attack. 

As we entered stoppage time, Rodrigo then came close with a header which he flicked towards goal. Again, the impressive Fabianski saved and cleared. 

That was to be Leeds’ last chance, the final whistle sounded shortly after and it was defeat for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. 

FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United

Booked: Alioski (Leeds)

Referee: Michael Oliver

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: Behind-closed-doors