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Harrison's first hat-trick saw Leeds over the line in an end-to-end match
Forshaw and Firpo both limped off after 20 minutes, adding to Leeds' injury woes
Once again the issue of Premier League postponements came to the fore but while David Moyes complained of fatigue, after a midweek fixture was shoehorned into West Ham’s schedule, Leeds United just got on with their chronic lack of players and reaped the reward.
Yes, they had been spared an extra match themselves but arrived here with just 12 senior fit players, lost a couple more to injury in the first-half, and came out on top in an extraordinarily entertaining encounter.
On the bench were a bunch of kids, and Rodrigo, including 15-year-old Archie Gray and while Leeds did not have any Covid cases – and head coach Marcelo Bielsa said there were no grounds to appeal to the Premier League for a call-off – they still barely had enough to get a team out with 18-year-old Leo Hjelde making his debut.
That they performed so remarkably was testament to their belief, Bielsa’s coaching and the desire to gain the points to pull themselves clear of relegation. The win was achieved through a hat-trick by Jack Harrison, the first of the 25-year-old winger’s career, but almost as great a talking point was a horrendous injury-time miss from Jarrod Bowen who had the chance to salvage a precious point but somehow contrived to chest the ball over the cross-bar from just a couple of yards out.
Quite why Bowen did not head it left Moyes with his head in his hands and it was a moment that will have also taken the ‘Bowen for England’ bandwagon a little off track. “It was probably easier to score than miss,” Moyes lamented.
Last season Harrison had his own backers for an international call-up and while that has quietened this was a remarkable, crucial contribution from him and especially after Leeds lost Adam Forshaw and Junior Firpo after muscle problems.
"Typical Premier League game,” Bielsa said. “It was good that it went in our favour but the margin was very close. It is a triumph for the players because of the effort they put in. The desire to win was very, very big.”
It was massive.
For Leeds this was a win that took them nine points clear of 18th placed Norwich City, who have played a game more and while West Ham remain in the Champions League places defeat in a wonderfully entertaining, end-to-end endeavour means that Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United all have games in hand in which they can go ahead of them.
"Don't expect me to feel good about it, do you?” Moyes said of the result before asking why West Ham had to play Norwich last Wednesday while Leeds had a full week to prepare following the FA Cup tie between these two sides last Sunday.
“I can't understand the Premier League squeezing a game in. Leeds had two (postponed) games to fit in. Why did they squeeze ours in but not their's?” he added.
Asked about the postponement of the north London derby, after Arsenal’s request, Moyes added: “I don’t really care about other clubs but maybe we don’t fight hard enough and I will have to be tougher.”
Injuries have also hit West Ham and, specifically, in central defence where they were vulnerable throughout. Issa Diop was substituted late on to a huge cheer from the home fans, summing up a wretched performance from him as he was tormented by the outstanding Raphinha.
Leeds tore into West Ham from the start. They went after them; they harried and harassed and deservedly went in front when Raphinha cut the ball back to Mateusz Klich whose first-time shot was parried by Lukasz Fabianski. Forshaw retrieved it and teed up Harrison who swept his shot beyond Fabianski’s grasp.
It set the full-throttle tone as the teams went toe-to-toe. After Craig Dawson should have drawn West Ham level, only to head wide from close-range, they struck from another corner. This time it was by Bowen who was left unmarked to steer his header past Illan Meslier for his fourth goal in three games.
Remarkably, though, Leeds quickly regained the lead just as it appeared they might fold. They earned a corner of their own and Luke Ayling flicked on Raphinha’s delivery to head across goal. West Ham were slow to react, Vladimir Coufal played Harrison onside and the winger chested the ball home from almost on the goal-line.
Could West Ham respond? There were more chances, for both sides, but they drew level again in the second-half and it was superbly taken by Fornals who collected Michail Antonio’s lay-off, following yet another driving run from the relentless Declan Rice, cut inside and beyond Pascal Struijk before shooting low back across Meslier.
Surely it would be West Ham who now went on to win it? Instead, once more, Leeds responded with Nikola Vlasic, who had been anonymous, carelessly losing possession and allowing Stuart Dallas to stride forward and find Raphinha who smartly cut through the home defence with a precise pass that picked out Harrison. Fabianski had to rush out but Harrison coolly lifted the ball over him to complete his hat-trick. Vlasic was immediately substituted.
Soon after Leeds went close with Raphinha’s free-kick cannoning back off the cross-bar. It continued to be incredibly open with both sides having ‘goals’ ruled out or offside and West Ham’s desperation grew.
In injury time there was that one last opportunity but somehow Bowen spurned it. It added to Moyes burning sense of injustice.
West Ham vs Leeds, as it happened:
That's all from me...
But read Jason Burt's match report for a full recap of a crucial win for Leeds United.
Here is how the Premier League table looks after today's result
That was a big three points for Leeds United
What a match!
That is one of the best matches you will see this season. It had goals, goals ruled out, Var interventions and plenty of desire from both sides.
FULL TIME: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Rice drives into the Leeds box but loses the ball as is swarmed but white shirts. West Ham take a free kick quickly, Antonio is in acres of space down the left. He puts in a perfect cross and Bowen chests it over from five yards out! What a miss! Why did he not head it?!
Leeds win! Just!
90+2 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Dawson loses the ball and Leeds try to counter. There is not enough on the ball over the top, however. West Ham lump the ball into the Leeds box and it is just about cleared.
The ball is rolled to Yarmolenko on the edge of the box, he takes a good first touch and forces a solid save from Meslier. The Leeds fans are in full voice at this stage.
90 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Dawson heads the corner and it is blocked by Hjelde. West Ham appeal for handball but no decision comes from Mike Dean. Leeds scramble it clear.
Masuaku crosses and it is deflected into the arms of Meslier. There will be four minutes of added time.
88 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Dawson plays the ball back to Fabianski. It takes a while to reach him and James clatters him as he almost charges down the clearance. He is booked. West Ham win a corner at the other end.
87 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Antonio picks out Coufal at the back post but his header is directed straight at Meslier.
West Ham make their final change; Diop off, Sonny Perkins on. The 17-year-old making his debut.
85 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
West Ham are on the front foot but Leeds are managing to cling on while looking dangerous on the break.
82 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Antonio launches a long throw-in into the box. It falls to Bowen and somehow Meslier keeps it out. Yarmolenko then bundles the ball into the net but he is offside! No goal!
81 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Leeds pass neatly around the West Ham box, keeping possession smartly. The ball is eventually lost.
79 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Bowen and Koch both go for the ball and a Leeds boot glances the West Ham man. No free-kick comes as Bowen was stooping low to head the ball.
77 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Leeds come again. Yarmolenko is booked for tripping James in a dangerous position. Raphinha cannot beat the ball this time, however.
LEEDS GOAL DISALLOWED!
West Ham lose the ball and Leeds break. Raphinha beats Diop as if he was not there, laying it off to Klich who rifles it home. The ball glanced off Rodrigo who was on the line, was he offside? The ball was going in anyway...
He was just offside! The goal is ruled out! Rodrigo could just not get out of the way of the shot that was goal-bound.
73 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Rodrigo looks to release James with a ball over the top. Diop puts it out for a Leeds throw-in.
Rodrigo breaks into the box, he fakes a shot, then eventually shooting but Dawson gets in the way.
70 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Rice releases Masuaku but the resulting cross is cut out.
68 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Leeds mount a promising attack but Rodrigo loses the ball on the edge of the box. West Ham counter but Leeds get back in numbers to stop it coming to anything.
Change for West Ham; Yarmolenko on for Fornals.
65 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Change for Leeds; Bate off, replaced by the returning Rodrigo - he only came on in the 25th minute!
63 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Raphinha stands over the ball, in a good position for a shot on goal. He hits with venom, beating the wall but striking the post! That was so close!
61 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 3
Change for West Ham; Vlasic off, Masuaku on. Raphinha dribbles towards the West Ham box and is hacked down by Lanzini who is booked for the tackle.
GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL! (Harrison) West Ham 2 Leeds 3
West Ham lose the ball in their own half. Raphinha puts a perfectly weighted pass throw to Harrison who dinks the ball over the keeper for his hat-trick! What a day for him!
58 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 2
Lanzini lofts a cross to the back post but Dallas rises highest to head it clear. West Ham come again, Diop dribbling up the pitch from the back.
56 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 2
Harrison puts a dangerous cross into the box but Dallas can only half get on the end of it.
54 mins: West Ham 2 Leeds 2
Bowen looks for Vlasic at the back post but the cross is intercepted just in time. The momentum is with West Ham and Leeds just need to ride out this period of pressure.
GOOOOOOAAAAAAL! (Fornals) West Ham 2 Leeds 2
Antonio rolls the ball to Fornals who bursts into the box. He executes a lovely near post finish, sending Meslier the wrong way.
50 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Hjelde, on Premier League debut, hits a lovely first-time cross into the box but West Ham do well to snuff it out.
Ayling gives the ball away in his own half, Leeds survive after Antonio miscontrols the ball. That was fortunate for the visitors.
47 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Fornals drives into the Leeds box but his shot is blocked soon after the ball left his boot.
The second half is under way
Leeds are now left with nine fit first-team players after those injuries to Forshaw and Firpo. West Ham get us restarted.
BREAKING: Rafa Benitez sacked by Everton
Chris Bascombe has all the latest here
Jarrod Bowen's fine form has continued today
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 16, 2022
That was end-to-end...
Leeds dominated, then West Ham did the same before Leeds pinched their second.
Those two injuries to Leeds could be costly, however.
HALF TIME: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Cresswell lofts a cross to the back post. Coufal volleys it but Struijk gets his body in the way.
James breaks into the West Ham box, he looks for the far corner and Fabianski makes a superb save. That's the end of an action-packed half.
45+2 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Leeds should have three! Raphinha plays James on goal, he takes a poor touch before hitting it straight at Fabianski.
45 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Antonio breaks forward and is hacked down by Koch, who is rightly booked. Bowen overcooks the free-kick.
There will be four minutes of added time.
44 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Bowen rises highest to win the header but his effort goes well over the bar.
43 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Rice wins a corner off James, who is furious about that decision - probably because he knows Leeds cannot defend them.
41 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 2
West Ham look to strike back. Lanzini plays Rice into the box, he goes around Meslier but cannot slide it home from a very, very tight angle.
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL! (Harrison) West Ham 1 Leeds 2
Harrison's cross is blocked behind for a corner. Ayling wins the header, glancing it towards goal and Harrison helps it over the line from a yard out! That lead did not last long!
36 mins: West Ham 1 Leeds 1
It has been an odd game. Leeds were utterly dominant for 20 minutes, West Ham then did the same. One goal apiece is right, can Leeds get back their foothold in the game? It will be tricky without injured Forshaw and Firpo.
GOOOOOOAAAAAL! (Bowen) West Ham 1 Leeds 1
Leeds cannot defend corners, and West Ham don't waste the chance this time. Cresswell puts in another delicious delivery and Bowen does the rest from close range. His hot form continues!
32 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
It has been all West Ham in the last 10 minutes or so. They attack again, Dawson crossing into the box but failing to beat the first man.
Rice wins a corner for his side.
30 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
Vlasic finds room down the left. He fires a low cross into the box but Klich stops the ball reaching Antonio. Corner kick.
Dawson should score! Cresswell puts the ball perfectly on his head and, unmarked, he heads the ball wide from close range. Let off for Leeds.
27 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
West Ham have gained momentum from the two injury replacements. They are finding joy down the right but a cross into the box does not reach Antonio.
24 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
Now Firpo is off too! Teenager Leo Hjelde is on for his Premier League debut. Another two injuries for Leeds...
Antonio is booked for a badly timed tackle on Koch.
22 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
The match stops as Forshaw goes down with an injury. Leeds cannot afford more injuries! Firpo is also limping.
Forshaw is coming off! He is replaced by Bate.
18 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
Rice drives into the box, brushing his way past defenders. He crosses towards Antonio but the striker slips at the crucial moment. A second ball comes into the box, Antonio nods it to Bowen but Firpo dispossesses the in-form midfielder just in time.
16 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
David Moyes was unhappy before the game about having to play a third match this week, while other teams have matches called off.
His side have been more lively since conceding. Rice drives forward, rolling the ball to Coufal but his cross is blocked.
13 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 1
West Ham are struggling. They look very sluggish indeed. Forshaw picks out James with a lovely ball over the top. The Welsh forward hits his effort from outside the box just over the bar.
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL! (Harrison) West Ham 0 Leeds 1
It had been coming. Raphinha breaks into the box, laying it off to Klich. Fabianski makes a good save but Harrison bends the rebound past the keeper and neatly into the corner.
9 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 0
Leeds win another corner. The set-piece reaches Firpo but he can only direct his header well wide.
7 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 0
Harrison finds a pocket of space in the box. He tries to jink his way around the defence, winning his side a corner. The ball into the box is headed clear.
Bright start for the visitors so far.
4 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 0
The away fans are making plenty of noise as Klich whips a ball in from the left wing. It is easily dealt with, however.
Raphinha curls a free kick into the box but there is no one in a white shirt to latch onto it.
2 mins: West Ham 0 Leeds 0
Leeds dominate possession from the off, passing the ball around neatly. Ayling then gives the ball away in his own half and is fortunate that West Ham cannot capitalise.
Here we go!
Leeds get us under way.
The players are out onto the pitch
It is a crisp, dry day in London.
Leeds have struggled defensively in recent matches
Leeds have conceded 10 goals in their last two away league games (2-3 vs Chelsea, 0-7 vs Man City), just one fewer than they had in their first seven on the road this term.
Both sides need three points today... albeit for very different reasons
West Ham have had the upper hand against Leeds in recent times
West Ham have won their last three league games against Leeds, more than they had in their previous 28 against them (W2 D8 L18). They last won four in a row against the Whites between April 1948 and August 1949 in the second tier.
Team news recap
West Ham are unchanged from the side which beat Norwich in midweek for the visit of Leeds. Midfielder Tomas Soucek is absent from the squad again.
Leeds make four changes from the side beaten by West Ham in the cup last week with Pascal Struijk, Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw and Raphinha starting. Rodrigo is named on the bench while Patrick Bamford remains unavailable.
And here is the Leeds line-up... Struijk and Rodrigo return to the squad
📋 Four changes from last week's FA Cup Starting XI, as Struijk, Dallas, Forshaw and Raphinha all start pic.twitter.com/f6I4OLHNwz
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 16, 2022
Here is today's West Ham side
— West Ham United (@WestHam) January 16, 2022
Team news to be announced shortly
Will some of Leeds' injured squad return?
Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of West Ham-Leeds
Leeds' injury crisis appears to be easing as Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo and Pascal Struijk are all hoping to return from injury in today's Premier League game at West Ham.
Bamford has been restricted to six league appearances this season due to ankle and hip problems, while Rodrigo and Struijk have been sidelined with respective heel and foot injuries.
Leeds' injury list has reached double figures in recent weeks and when asked who might be back on Sunday, boss Marcelo Bielsa said: "It's probable that Pascal, Rodrigo and Bamford are options to return."
Bielsa will still be without eight injured or suspended players at the London Stadium, but Bamford's return in particular will be a major boost to their top-flight survival chances.
Bamford sustained an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle in September and Bielsa revealed his decision not to withdraw the striker possibly aggravated the problem.
"The injury was towards the end of the game and I asked Bamford to finish what was left of the game because we needed him," Bielsa said. "Perhaps me asking him to do that aggravated his injury."
Bielsa made his admission to highlight how pleased he had been with his players' attitude after a succession of injuries left him with a threadbare squad.
"Rodrigo played for a long time with a knock which eventually forced him to stop," Bielsa said.
"(Stuart) Dallas is a player who plays every week with something that with another player would probably rule him out. (Luke) Ayling is the same.
"All the players have shown great character. All the players have shortened their time of recovery."
Kalvin Phillips and skipper Liam Cooper (both hamstring) have been out since early December, while Joe Gelhardt, Jamie Shackleton (both ankle), Charlie Cresswell (shoulder) and Sam Greenwood all remain sidelined.
Diego Llorente and Tyler Roberts will both miss out at West Ham through suspension, but the latter is also nursing a calf strain.
Given the number of injuries, Leeds fans were surprised by young defender Cody Drameh's loan switch this week to Cardiff for the rest of the season.
Drameh made his full Premier League debut last month and Bielsa revealed he did not want the 20-year-old to leave Elland Road.
The Argentinian said: "I didn't think he needed to play games elsewhere. He was a player who was very necessary with all of the absences that we have.
"But he preferred to go and play outside of Leeds. In a situation when opportunities for youngsters has increased, clearly in this case, Drameh would prefer to experiment outside our team."
Bielsa said other young players had opted to leave the club and insisted he was not disappointed by Drameh's decision.
He added: "Evidently, what I have proposed to them is not what they desire. So I do not criticise it, I don't condemn it. It doesn't disappoint me."