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Premier League: Leeds 1-2 West Ham – Ogbonna scores winner

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Angelo Ogbonna
Angelo Ogbonna scored his second goal in three games for West Ham

Angelo Ogbonna headed in an 80th-minute winner to give West Ham their first victory at Elland Road in 20 years and send David Moyes’ side fifth in the Premier League.

Leeds had gone in front when Mateusz Klich converted a twice-taken sixth-minute penalty.

However, the visitors – who had won just once on the previous 26 occasions when they had conceded first in a Premier League game – levelled when Illan Meslier failed to stop Tomas Soucek’s soft header.

In an entertaining game where both sides created numerous chances, the Leeds keeper atoned for his error when he superbly kept out a second-half header from Fabian Balbuena.

Ogbanna rose at the far post to power home Aaron Creswell’s inviting free-kick for what proved the winner.

After Meslier had denied Sebastien Haller’s overhead kick, Leeds wasted their best chance to level when Rodrigo headed straight at Lukasz Fabianski from six yards.

The Hammers could have had a third late on but Balbuena’s header struck the foot of the post.

While West Ham have now won four games out of five and seem destined for a good season under manager David Moyes, Leeds continue to flatter to deceive.

Although their adventurous approach is admirable, they keep getting caught out by wise opposition.

They have now collected eight points from the past nine games and just one from their past four on home soil.

VAR makes its mark again

It seems a long time ago now when debate raged over the introduction of video technology into football and one of the arguments against it was that there would be nothing left to talk about.

Fabianski and Hammers skipper Declan Rice had plenty to talk about with referee Michael Oliver as they railed against the decision to let Klich have a second go at beating his Poland team-mate.

In fairness, goalkeepers on their line at penalties is one of those matter-of-fact calls at which the video assistant referee should excel. Fabianski was – marginally – off his line when Klich stepped up the first time and never went back.

In that sense, VAR Jarred Gillett got it right.

The issue here was how long it took. From the initial spot-kick being awarded to the second one being despatched, four minutes elapsed. Yet the total stoppage-time at the end of that opening period was only two minutes.

Little did they know it at the time but it was to mark the high point of Leeds’ night.

While the table still shows a fairly sizeable gap to the group of four teams in the thick of the relegation fight, Christmas games against Burnley and West Brom need to be won if Leeds are not to end up in trouble.

Rice edges England battle

Even though Elland Road is his local Premier League ground, England boss Gareth Southgate gave this game a miss.

It was a shame really because he would have seen two of his less heralded potential Euro 2020 candidates facing each other.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips were rarely in the same area so it could not be termed a head-to-head battle but it was interesting to see how both went about the defensive screening role they were asked to fulfil.

As the West Ham formation was less fluid and Phillips’ role in the Leeds side was clear, it was easier to watch the Yorkshireman go about his work as he tried to shut down Said Benrahma on his first start for the Hammers.

Given the amount of time he had the ball and the fact Phillips got tighter to him after half-time, the assumption would be that Marcelo Bielsa wasn’t entirely happy with the opening period.

He did rob Haller in the centre of the pitch to launch one attack and embarked on a 30-yard dash to pressurise Ogbonna close to the Hammers box. But it wasn’t until the midway point of the second half, when he got forward far enough to send a shot at the Hammers goal which was probably going wide before Fabianski pushed it away for a corner, that Phillips was anything like an offensive threat.

At one West Ham throw-in, Phillips was the deepest defender, almost like a quarterback lining up a pass – but without having the ball.

In contrast, Rice had more opportunity to get forward as he had the insurance of Soucek alongside him. There was also more cover in defence, which meant Rice had greater opportunity to use his excellent passing range.

It is clear Rice’s unfussy approach is well suited to life at the top end of the Premier League but Moyes must hope his captain hangs around for a bit because the Scot has built a very effective team, very much in the mould of the one he created at Everton.

Jose Mourinho has already likened Soucek to Marouane Fellaini. If so, then Cresswell’s set-piece delivery is akin to that of another stalwart of Moyes’ Goodison Park era, Leighton Baines.

His free-kick to the far post screamed for someone to get on the end of it. Ogbonna obliged with his first Premier League goal away from London Stadium in three years.

What’s next?

Leeds’ next game is also at Elland Road, against Newcastle on Wednesday (18:00 GMT). West Ham entertain Crystal Palace in a London derby on the same night (20:00).

Player of the match

RiceDeclan Rice

Leeds United

  1. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

  2. Squad number2Player nameAyling

  3. Squad number23Player namePhillips

  4. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha

  5. Squad number15Player nameDallas

  6. Squad number9Player nameBamford

  7. Squad number20Player nameRodrigo

  8. Squad number43Player nameKlich

  9. Squad number46Player nameShackleton

  10. Squad number6Player nameCooper

  11. Squad number10Player nameAlioski

  12. Squad number11Player nameRoberts

  13. Squad number22Player nameHarrison

  14. Squad number17Player nameHélder Costa

West Ham United

  1. Squad number41Player nameRice

  2. Squad number21Player nameOgbonna

  3. Squad number9Player nameBenrahma

  4. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

  5. Squad number20Player nameBowen

  6. Squad number3Player nameCresswell

  7. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

  8. Squad number4Player nameBalbuena

  9. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

  10. Squad number18Player nameFornals

  11. Squad number16Player nameNoble

  12. Squad number31Player nameJohnson

  13. Squad number11Player nameSnodgrass

  14. Squad number22Player nameHaller

Line-ups

Leeds

  • 1Meslier
  • 15Dallas
  • 2Ayling
  • 6Cooper
  • 10AlioskiBooked at 33minsSubstituted forShackletonat 45′minutes
  • 23Phillips
  • 18Dias Belloli
  • 20Rodrigo
  • 43Klich
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 45′minutes
  • 9BamfordSubstituted forRobertsat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Poveda-Ocampo
  • 11Roberts
  • 13Casilla
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 19Hernández
  • 21Struijk
  • 46Shackleton

West Ham

  • 1FabianskiBooked at 3mins
  • 5Coufal
  • 4Balbuena
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 41Rice
  • 28Soucek
  • 20BowenSubstituted forJohnsonat 85′minutes
  • 9BenrahmaSubstituted forNobleat 84′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18FornalsSubstituted forSnodgrassat 90+5′minutes
  • 22Haller

Substitutes

  • 10Lanzini
  • 11Snodgrass
  • 15Dawson
  • 16Noble
  • 24Fredericks
  • 31Johnson
  • 35Randolph

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