Jesse Lingard has won as many Premier League penalties for West Ham as he did for Manchester United (two)
West Ham continued its unlikely urge for next season’s Champions League spot with a deserved Premier League win against Leeds United at the London Stadium.
David Moyes’ team climbed to fifth place – two points behind Chelsea, the beat Everton 2-0 earlier on Monday – and have a game against their London rivals in hand.
Jesse Lingard brought West Ham to life when his threatening run into the box caused a foul by Luke Ayling. Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, converted the rebound after Illan Meslier saved his free kick.
Leeds had found the net twice in a blistering opening spell but Tyler Roberts’ finish was disqualified for a minor offside position against Helder Costa and Raphinha left the ball out of play before crossing to Patrick Bamford.
But before the break, there were two fewer goals when the unmarked Craig Dawson headed in Aaron Cresswell’s corner.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds almost had a reaction five minutes into the restart when Raphatha’s sensational overhead attempt was flipped by Lukasz Fabianski while Bamford skimmed Raphinha’s cut and cleared Dawson off the line as Leeds chased a late lifeline.
Pablo Fornals hit the crossbar with a shot in the second half, but the Hammers ultimately held on to find the three points.
Rice and soucek are at the heart of West Ham’s efforts
Moyes said on Sunday that he wouldn’t sell English midfielder Declan Rice for £ 100m which was given as the club’s valuation.
That game was the latest reminder of why Moyes wanted to fend off potential applicants, as Rice, alongside the equally reliable Tomas Soucek, was the antidote to Leeds’ relentless pushing, especially in a second half that dominated the visitors for long periods of time.
Former Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes has a holding midfield combination that he can trust to help West Ham’s attacking players thrive in Rice and Soucek, who signed £ 19million in the summer.
Such solid foundations make Lingard shine. This was his fourth goal in six league games since joining in January – as many as he’d scored in his previous 38 when competing for United.
Dawson, on loan from Watford, continues to prove as smart as anyone. This was his eleventh straight league start in the heart of West Ham’s defense and his fourth goal in all competitions this season.
Involved at both ends on Monday, he hit a post with another header before the break, somehow preventing Rodrigo’s shot from creeping over the line in the closing stages.
A European place in some form would be a significant step forward for a West Ham side that ended up just five points from the relegation zone last season. With 11 games, a place in the Champions League remains a real possibility.
A first season in the Premier League after a 16-year absence has been primarily safety for Leeds and that goal seems almost guaranteed with a nine-point cushion separating Bielsa’s side from the bottom three.
There’s no denying that Bielsa’s all-or-nothing approach has paid off. Leeds are in eleventh place and are fighting for a top-half finish. They have only drawn two league games this season and none of their last 18.
Supported perhaps by a nine-day break since hers 0-1 loss to Aston VillaLeeds played in a typically relentless style and on another occasion the outcome might have been different.
They welcomed injured midfielder Kalvin Phillips from injury, dominated possession and made 15 attempts in the second half, but suffered a fourth defeat in five league games due to poor placement.
Striker Bamford was as guilty as any waste with five shots and was visibly frustrated when he didn’t even find the target of Raphinha’s cut.
That Rodrigo’s close-range shot failed to get over the line before Dawson realized it suggested it simply wasn’t Leeds’ night.
A first top double since 1930 – the statistics
- West Ham completed his first league double against Leeds since 1953/54 and his first in the top division since 1929/30.
- Leeds have lost 13 of their last 14 games in London in all competitions and have lost all five in the league capital this season.
- West Ham manager David Moyes recorded three straight Premier League wins for the first time since his last win at Everton in 2013.
- No Premier League defender has scored more goals in all competitions this season than West Ham’s Craig Dawson, four.
- West Ham full-back Aaron Cresswell has seven assists this season (in 27 games), his best return in a Premier League season (seven in 36 games in 2017-18).
- No team has seen more Premier League penalties this season than Leeds (eight, level with Liverpool).
Leeds will host Chelsea on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. GMT, while West Ham will head to Old Trafford on Sunday at 7:15 p.m. to face Manchester United.
Player of the game
West Ham United
- 11LingardBooked at 79 minutesReplaced byJohnsonat the 87 ‘protocol
- 9BenrahmaReplaced byBowenat the 73 ‘protocol
- 23PhillipsBooked at 49 minutes
- 17thHélder CostaReplaced byHarrisonat the 45 ‘protocol
- 11RobertsReplaced byRodrigoat the 60 ‘protocol
- 43KlichReplaced byAlioskiat the 45 ‘protocol
End of the game, West Ham United 2, Leeds United 0.
The second half ends, West Ham United 2, Leeds United 0.
Attempt blocked. Pablo Fornals (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by Mikhail Antonio.
Missed attempt. Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt saved. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the lower left corner.
Foul by Luke Ayling (Leeds United).
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ben Johnson replaces Jesse Lingard.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Declan Rice (West Ham United).
Missed attempt. Rodrigo (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Prepared by Patrick Bamford.
Jesse Lingard (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card.
Raphinha (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United).
Missed attempt. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) right footed shot from the center of the box is too high. Prepared by Raphinha.
Missed attempt. Patrick Bamford (Leeds United) left footed shot from the center of the box misses to the right. Prepared by Jack Harrison.
Missed attempt. Declan Rice (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Prepared by Jesse Lingard after a set piece.
Foul by Diego Llorente (Leeds United).
Tomas Soucek (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Missed attempt. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.