Hammers keep on rolling with Leeds win
West Ham United 2-0 Leeds United
Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson scored the goals to send West Ham United back up to fifth in the Premier League table as they saw off Leeds United on Monday night.
The Hammers duo struck within seven minutes of each other to give their side a commanding position in the first half – and it was one they came within inches of adding to as both Dawson and Pablo Fornals both struck the woodwork.
Leeds kept going and emerged strongly in the second half, but despite chances for Patrick Bamford and Raphinha, they could not find a way past a resolute West Ham backline as David Moyes’ men continued their fine form.
Leeds came out of the blocks first and put the Hammers under pressure in the early stages.
Hélder Costa struck an early warning shot across the home side’s bows, curling over the top from the edge of the box, before Moyes’ side twice had to ride their luck.
With six minutes on the clock, Tyler Roberts tucked home and the Leeds man thought he had given his side the lead, but Costa was just offside when receiving Patrick Bamford’s flick to cut back, and a VAR check confirmed the linesman was correct to raise his flag.
Two minutes later the visitors had the ball in the net again, but this time the ball had crossed the by-line before Raphinha dragged it onto Bamford’s path to stroke past Łukasz Fabiański.
The Hammers breathed a sigh of relief and took full advantage by gradually wresting control from their visitors to move into a commanding position by the half’s end.
Lingard’s surging run into the box in the 21st minute was halted illegally by Luke Ayling, and that moment proved to be a turning point.
Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot, and although goalkeeper Illan Meslier dived to his right to keep out Lingard’s initial effort, the ball broke kindly for the No11 to stroke the rebound home.
Eight minutes later it got even better for the hosts as Dawson was allowed to run to the far post unchecked to nod Aaron Cresswell’s inswinging corner and score with the simplest of headers.
West Ham were not content there, and twice went close to adding further to their advantage by half-time. First, Saïd Benrahma drew a low stop from Meslier with a shot from the edge of the box, before another corner caused more problems for Leeds, with Dawson heading Cresswell’s left-wing delivery against the post.
The action continued at a furious pace at the start of the second period, as Bamford wasted a glorious chance to eat into West Ham’s lead, running free to collect Diego Llorente’s through ball, but only whipping his shot wide of the far post with only Fabiański in his way.
The Hammers No1 then had to tip Raphinha’s well-executed overhead kick over the top, after it deflected off Issa Diop’s lead and looped towards the top corner.
Leeds might have been pushing, but their willingness to attack left West Ham with gaps to move into themselves, and they advanced to win another corner on 52 minutes.
Cresswell’s ball was cleared to 25 yards out, where Fornals controlled on his chest and volleyed goalwards. Meslier was beaten, but the ball slammed against the crossbar. It would have been some goal.
Leeds kept the Hammers honest as they pushed to find a route back into the contest, and after Fabiański saved from Raphinha’s fierce drive, Bamford saw another presentable opportunity go begging as he leaned back from Raphinha’s pull-back and skied his effort over the bar.
Dawson cleared off the line as Leeds almost forced one through Rodrigo five minutes from time, as the Hammers’ resilience once again came to the fore to see them to the points.
West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell, Rice, Souček, Benrahma (Bowen 73), Fornals, Lingard (Johnson 87), Antonio
Subs: Martin (GK), Trott (GK), Balbuena, Noble, Lanzini, Odubeko
Goals: Lingard 21, Dawson 28
Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Hélder Costa (Harrison 46), Roberts (Rodrigo 60), Klich (Aliokski 46), Raphinha, Bamford
Subs: Caprile (GK), Poveda, Davis, Beradi, Jenkins, Huggins
Referee: Mike Dean