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Leeds United vs West Ham United (1-2): Match Summary and Analysis

Leeds United started with their usual system of 4-1-4-1, but a few personals were different. The impressive and versatile Stuart Dallas started at right-back with Luke Ayling at center half alongside Liam Cooper. Rodrigo came into midfield with in-form Patrick Bamford up top.

West Ham United surprised everyone with their changed system for this game, with David Moyes starting with a back four. Aaron Cresswell was at left-back, and the front four looked dangerous, with Fornals, Benrahma, Bowen starting behind Haller. The double-pivot in the midfield of Rice and Souchek stayed the same. The approach from the away side looked resolute, and an open game was expected.


Leeds started the game, as usual, pressing man-to-man and West Ham struggling to hold the ball. Klich and Rodrigo were making constant runs in behind West Ham’s defense and beyond Bamford. Those runs were stretching and were opening up spaces for the inverted movements of Raphina and Harrison.

Leeds were playing dangerous vertical passes into Bamford, and the same pattern brought Leeds’s first goal. Liam Copper played a straight pass between West Ham’s defenders, and Bamford was through on goal. Bamford then chipped aside the ball, and Fabianski brought him down, which resulted in an early penalty. Mateusz Klich missed it, but it was retaken as Fabianski had no foot on the line. The Polish international scored from the second attempt and provided Leeds with an early lead.

However, with the half grew West Ham are were growing in the game and were looking threatening on the break. It was an open and end to end game which was inviting the Hammers to break quickly. It was the 25th minute when West Ham had a corner taken by Jarrod Bowen, and at the far post, it was the big man Souchek who equalized for West Ham United. Once again, Leeds showing their vulnerability from set-pieces.

The first half ended all square, and the game looked on the balance. In terms of possession, Leeds dominated the half, but in every other offensive department, there wasn’t much to split both sides. Leeds had 7 shots with 5 on target while West Ham had 3 out 7 on target. It was an open game with a lot of energy all around, as the stats rightly designate.


Marcelo Bielsa made two half-time substitutions by sending on Shackleton and Costa in the process. Leeds started the second half with more intensity in their press but struggled to open up Moyes’s side. There were more counter-attacks from West Ham, and Benrahma’s free role behind Haller was causing problems to Leeds. Sebastian Haller missed a couple of glorious chances and had one spectacular overhead kick saved by Illan Meslier.

Sooner, Leeds United conceded a wide free-kick just outside the box with Cresswell ready to curl something in the box. Leeds are one of the worst sides in dealing with set pieces, and once again, they were broken. Liam Cooper failed to clear the ball, and Angelo Ogbonna scored West Ham’s second.

Leeds kept throwing bodies forward and had a few moments where they could and should have done better. One of them was Rodrigo’s header, which he hit straight into Fabianski’s hands. A chance which was the last Leeds had and was one where he should have done better.

The second half was again a Leeds domination in possession, but West Ham’s were dominant in terms of offensive numbers. The home side had 2 shots on target, whereas the Hammers had 5 with 1 in goal. West Ham also created 3 big chances to Leeds’s 1.

On the whole, a lot of work to do for Bielsa as in this league, only being good to watch is not enough. An entertaining football brand now needs to get backed by the results as we enter into a congested December. As for West Ham, what a remarkable turnaround this has been with the Hammers sitting 5th and still have a few key players to return from injuries.

Fixture Details: [fixture 16924709]

See also: Expert football predictions

Eye Catching Performers

Illan Meslier (Leeds United)

The young Frenchman has been tremendous since his time in the English top flight. The 20-year-old has had some extraordinary performances throughout this season, and despite losing against West Ham, he was on fire.

Meslier made 6 saves, and extraordinarily 5 of those were from inside the box. A goalkeeper well known for his contribution completed 29 passes, including 4 long balls. A bright young talent and a massive part of Bielsa’s plans, Meslier could be some player for the future.

Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United)

The new signing from Brentford was constantly on the bench, and fans were desperate to watch him regularly. The Algerian was finally given a start, and it was a performance with waiting as he was crucial in a big win at Ellan Road. The 25-year-old was given a free role just behind Haller and made some excellent movement between the lines.

He completed 3 dribbles, had 1 shot on target, and completed 16 passes. A player who could be huge for West Ham this season as they look to keep climbing the table.

A Match-up between two sides looking to get back to winning ways with the away side coming out on top

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