West Ham 2-3 Leeds: Premier League – as it happened

The Guardian
The Guardian

4.21pm GMT

Here’s Jacob Steinberg’s report from the London Stadium. Arsenal’s ears may well be burning.

This wildly entertaining contest was a good advert for playing on. Although Leeds United resembled the walking wounded at times, they have set the standard for the rest of the Premier League to follow. Cry off because of a draining injury list? Not a chance with Marcelo Bielsa in charge.

Related: Jack Harrison hat-trick stuns West Ham to fire Leeds to thrilling victory

4.15pm GMT

All smiles here.

4.08pm GMT

Hat-trick hero Jack Harrison has been speaking to Sky Sports.

Just delighted to get a goal, when you score three it’s even better and in a tough match like today, it’s even better. The last week we have been working super hard, we really wanted to show a better side of ourselves after last week. We have been unfortunate with injuries and against adversity we work really hard, and the young lads came in and gave their all. We always work hard and push ourselves to the limit.”

Updated at 4.09pm GMT

4.05pm GMT

Going off-piste, we go to talk of Everton, from Eric Peterson.

“I can tell from the online chatter that I was one of the last folks on the Benitez bandwagon - unlike the morons who complained incessantly about that “small club” remark and yet think their infantile years-old grudge about that is a legitimate basis for hiring a Premier League manager. They’re part of the problem, and they need to grow up. Everton need and deserve a more mature level of support than theirs.

“What’s wrong with the Everton organization is not about this one hire, or all the managerial hires that have gone sideways in the last several years: it’s about the man making these hires. Farhad Moshiri has gutted this club. He either needs to set his ego aside and hire people trained to properly rebuild this emaciated club, or he needs to sell it. If all he has in mind is pulling a Mike Ashley and simply keeping Everton in the Premier League for when they move into their new stadium, he needs to be forced out by the board. Everton need and deserve a more mature level of ownership than his.
My hopes for the next manager, in no particular order:Graham Potter. Proven Premier League track record who has shown he can add quality to not only the team on the pitch but throughout every level of the club.Wayne Rooney. Last summer, I would’ve dismissed this as a silly sentimental hire, but what he is accomplishing at Derby is miraculous, and unfortunately, uncomfortably appropriate for what he’d encounter back at Everton.N uno Espirito Santo. How quickly we forget how he built Wolves up from a Championship side to a perennial mid-table Premier League force. Even falling into the bottom half in his last year at Wolves doesn’t bother me: losing a striker like Raul Jimenez for six months can have that effect.”

And Mary Waltz: “What fresh hell is this. All my friends who root for Liverpool are texting me and informing me that Big Sam will be hired for my beloved Everton. And I can’t tell them to f off because it could happen.”

3.59pm GMT

Bad news for West Ham , whose rivals have games in hand - Tottenham have four - while Leeds are well clear of that twilight zone at the bottom.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Man City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool 21 37 45
3 Chelsea 22 28 43
4 West Ham 22 11 37
5 Arsenal 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Man Utd 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton 20 2 31
9 Brighton 20 0 28
10 Leicester 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford 21 -9 23
15 Leeds 20 -15 22
16 Everton 19 -10 19
17 Watford 19 -14 14
18 Norwich 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle 20 -23 12
20 Burnley 17 -11 11

3.57pm GMT

Full-time: West Ham 2-3 Leeds

Heroic from Leeds, who at the barest of bones. Fortune favours the brave - and those who choose to play football - and Jack Harrison’s hat-trick caps a famous win. They were forced to introduce two teenagers from the bench and they have damaged the hopes of West Ham of staying in the top four. What a game, and why Marcelo Bielsa is a *good* thing.
Stuart Dallas embraces Luke Ayling after a Leeds victory. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Updated at 4.02pm GMT

3.55pm GMT

90+4 min: Bowen....oh no. What a miss! Antonio finds Leeds asleep down the wing, his cross is deflected and Bowen can only head home. And yet he decides to...chest it home - and miss. And that is that, Leeds have taken the points.

3.53pm GMT

90+3 min: Declan Rice carries the ball into the heart of the Leeds defence, and the ball is cleared by a morass of Leeds defenders.

3.52pm GMT

90+2 min: Yarmolenko scuffs a shot that Meslier gets behind. Raphinha takes a whack and also his time about getting back up.

3.51pm GMT

90 min: Just four minutes to play. Can Leeds hang on and put distance between themselves and the bottom three? Dallas, heroic this afternoon, is back and clearing the danger. That’s followed up by more defending from Rodrigo and Harrison.

3.49pm GMT

89 min: West Ham corner comes in, Dawson heads it, and it comes off Hjelde’s hand. No penalty as it was inadvertent.

3.48pm GMT

88 min: Dan James is booked for hunting down and kicking Fabianski. That’s what they call a high press.

3.48pm GMT

87 min: Hammers sub, off goes Diop and on comes Sonny Perkins, another teenage Premier League debutant, and one that sounds like a 1950s avant-garde jazzer.

3.46pm GMT

86 min: Into the dying embers of what has been a minor Premier League classic. Both teams will surely have a chance. There’s no way this one is played out quietly.

3.44pm GMT

84 min: West Ham now on the attack. And pushing on and on. Struijk almost does himself a mischief in launching himself at a loose ball.

3.43pm GMT

West Ham goal ruled out!

Oh wow. Antonio launches a throw-in, as everyone piles into the Leeds box. Chaos ensues. Bowen heads home after Meslier makes two great saves from Yarmolenko then initially from Bowen, but the header of the purported equaliser is offside.
Yarmolenko scores a goal which is disallowed for offside. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Updated at 3.47pm GMT

3.40pm GMT

80 min: And still Leeds attack, and still West Ham can’t get the ball clear. When it works for Bielsa, it is so good to watch, and so hard to play against. And it’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that.

3.38pm GMT

78 min: Koch and Bowen collide as the Leeds player’s high boot hits the head of the West Ham forward.

3.37pm GMT

76 min: Yarmolenko is booked for crop of James at full pelt. Cynical as hell. But here comes Raphina for another free-kick. Blocked this time. But still, it’s all Leeds Leeds Leeds.

3.35pm GMT

Leeds goal ruled out!

74 min: Raphina again! Down the right wing he goes, blazing past Diop, and the pass across goal to Klich, who wallops home....oh, here’s VAR. As the ball came off Rodrigo on the line, it’s offside. It was inadvertent but it was offside. That could be a turning point.
A VAR decision to disallow a Leeds goal shows on the big screen. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Updated at 3.41pm GMT

3.32pm GMT

72 min: It’s still Leeds on the attack, and Raphina is at the forefront again. What a player he is, and how much would he cost. Well over £50m appears the expected price tag.

3.30pm GMT

70 min: It’s 2-0 to Liverpool, by the way, against Brentford. They will go second, though a long way behind Manchester City. In the meantime, West Ham are going some way to blowing their charge at fourth.

3.28pm GMT

69 min: Hammers sub: Yarmolenko replaces Fornals the goalscorer.

3.28pm GMT

68 min: Leeds continue to attack. Rodrigo was an attacking sub. And it’s working, as West Ham’s momentum of the opening moments of this half are a memory.

3.26pm GMT

66 min: Michael Gibson emails in: “With the breaking news that Rafa’s gone through the door marked ‘do one’, do you think Everton will try to pilfer David Moyes from his Happy Hammers?”

Answer: no, he’d be mad to go there. Just about anyone would be.

Related: Rafael Benítez sacked by Everton six months into job after defeat at Norwich

3.25pm GMT

65 min: Leeds make their final change, and on comes their last remaining senior player, Rodrigo, and off goes Lewis Bate. The sub subbed, and that’s a tough one for the teenager. He looks a tad unhappy on the bench. Nobody is engaging him in conversation.

3.23pm GMT

62 min: Close again! Lanzini booked, for a foul that gives Raphina chance to whip a free-kick beyond the wall and off the post. Leeds continue to be highly dangerous. They want more goals, god love Bielsa.

3.21pm GMT

61 min: West Ham sub: Vlasic departs the scene and Masuaku comes on for West Ham. That’s a defender coming on for an attacker but it’s also Masuaku, a man who always brings chaos.

3.20pm GMT

Goal! West Ham 2-3 Leeds (Harrison, 60 hat-trick)

Well! Leeds Leeds Leeds. The ball spills in midfield and Raphina sets up Harrison, whose finish for his third, is an absolute beauty. What a game!
Harrison scores past Fabianski. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Harrison celebrates. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 3.25pm GMT

3.18pm GMT

58 min: Vlasic, who has become more prominent, cuts back to ping n a cross. It’s cleared but West Ham pile on and on. Harrison eventually relieves the danger but there’s nobody up front to hold it.

3.16pm GMT

56 min: Still chances at the other end where Dallas just fails to get to a cross.

3.14pm GMT

53 min: Antonio really is an expert at leading the line, and it doesn’t feel like long ago that he was playing as an attacking wing-back. Leeds really on the ropes now, and that’s down to the pressure West Ham are ratcheting up.

3.12pm GMT

Goal! West Ham 2-2 Leeds (Fornals, 52)

Neat forward play from Antonio, who corrects his own poor control and plays in Fornals. Nice, neat and angled finish. The pressure has already paid off.
Fornals scores for West Ham. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Updated at 3.15pm GMT

3.11pm GMT

50 min: More groans as Fornals’ pass goes astray. The Leeds contingent in full voice, even as Ayling makes a mess as Antonio almost sets up Rice.

3.10pm GMT

48 min: The half-time beers seem to have added a sense of disquiet among home fans. They aren’t happy at the way their team is playing.

3.06pm GMT

46 min: We are back on, and West Ham begin like a train, Scottish invective frothing around their ears. Can Leeds’ brave band of nine senior players - eight are on the pitch now - and kids hang on?

2.51pm GMT

Half-time: West Ham 1-2 Leeds

It finishes with James whipping one at goal that Fabianski’s fingertips direct away, but only just. A thrilling end to a breathless half in which patched-up Leeds have been excellent and West Ham caught cold, while still showing flashes of danger. Football, fun isn’t it?

2.48pm GMT

45+3 min: Bielsa assumes his usual crouching position on the sideline. His team, battered and decimated, have come through for him, and almost have a third when Bate’s pass to Raphina is directed to James, and the shot is straight at Fabianski. He really should have done much better.

2.46pm GMT

45+1 min: Bowen’s free-kick is a waste, and Struijk guides it out. There’s been four minutes added on of a breathless half of football.

2.45pm GMT

45 min: Koch is booked for a clatter on Antonio, a touch of revenge there, perhaps.

2.44pm GMT

43 min: There’s been very little time for thinking here. Rice, with a squawk, calls for a corner and gets one. Cresswell will attempt to whip in another. Bowen gets to it again but this time he is crowded out and can only head over.

2.41pm GMT

41 min: Declan Rice makes another of his runs beyond the defence, surging on to a pass from Lanzini but can’t get a shot on goal. The angle was just a little too acute.

2.39pm GMT

39 min: Dan James goes close now. We have quite a game on our hands here, and all credit to Leeds for continuing to show such spirit and adventure.

2.39pm GMT

Goal! West Ham 1-2 Leeds (Harrison, 38)

Well well! Another Leeds corner, another from the left, and Ayling heads down, and Harrison taps in at the post. No offside or infringement, says VAR and Leeds lead.
Ayling assists Harrison. Photograph: Malcolm Bryce/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

Updated at 2.47pm GMT

2.37pm GMT

36 min: Have to feel sympathy for Leeds. The injury to Forshaw derailed them completely. The defending was not good for the equaliser but this is a team running on empty.

2.35pm GMT

Goal! West Ham 1-1 Leeds (Bowen, 34)

It’s that man again. Cresswell’s corner is whipped in. Koch and co can’t get to it and Cresswell, with some neat movement, nods home, leaving Stuart Dallas for dead.
Bowen scores for West Ham. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/Reuters

Updated at 2.43pm GMT

2.33pm GMT

32 min: Hjelde, the new man, and Dawson, square off, youngster versus veteran and the kid wins the day in forcing Dawson to concede a goal kick.

2.30pm GMT

30 min: Close, so close for the Hammers! Dawson and Rice climb highest, and Dawson somehow heads a corner from the left down and wide. That’s a bad miss. On the sidelines, David Moyes calls for calm.

2.29pm GMT

28 min: Mike Dean is the ref here, and the home fans are getting antsy with him. He waves away what looks like a Leeds handball. So, Leeds have two teenagers playing, and making debuts. For some reason, such a state of affairs is beyond Arsenal, who presumably have a number of teenagers who would like to make debuts, too.

2.26pm GMT

26 min: Ayling fails to play to the whistle and West Ham almost force a chance after Fornals escapes the dallying defender and Antonio has a shot blocked. West Ham now have the momentum.

2.25pm GMT

25 min: Booking for Antonio, after his control lets him down and he slides into Koch and clatters the defender. Leeds’ casualty list piles up.
Antonio fouls Koch and receives a yellow card. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Updated at 2.32pm GMT

2.24pm GMT

24 min: Firpo eventually lopes off, and on comes Leo Hjelde, another Premier League debutant.

2.23pm GMT

22 min: Disaster strikes for Leeds, as two players pull up with hamstring problems. Firpo is going off and so, sadly, is Forshaw, whose run of seven full matches after that absence, is going off too with a similar problem. He looks gutted. Lewis Bate makes his Premier League debut in place of Forshaw while Firpo just mooches around with Harrison playing on the left flank. Firpo is a passenger in the style you see from matches in the 1950s and 1960s.
Forshaw goes down with an injury and is later substituted. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Updated at 2.31pm GMT

2.20pm GMT

20 min: Dan James, always a willing runner, is the source of problems for the Hammers. He looks a good buy for Leeds, and someone who would still be of use to that indolent Manchester United attack.

2.19pm GMT

18 min: Junior Firpo looks to have a muscular problem, and that youthful Leeds bench may soon be called into commission.

2.17pm GMT

16 min: Declan Rice goes on the lam, and he causes havoc in the Leeds defence. Only desperate tackles on Bowen and Antonio clear the danger.

2.16pm GMT

14 min: Reports of Leeds’ demise seem exaggerated. They’ve been excellent while West Ham have been unusually circumspect. The Leeds Leeds Leeds fans are making themselves heard in the London Stadium. Whisper it, but the London seems to have a good atmosphere these days. Funny how a good team can change such things. The Hammers fans - up there with the Goodison Groan for moaning - may soon be getting on their team’s back if this continues.

2.13pm GMT

12 min: The Hammers wake from their slumber and go on the attack. Antonio is in the thick of it. Leeds looking like the Leeds of last season as they pile back on the counter. The excellent Forshaw plays a beauty of a pass to Dan James, and the shot is just over.

2.11pm GMT

Goal! West Ham 0-1 Leeds (Harrison, 10)

That’s been coming, Leeds have been on it. Cresswell is beaten by a long ball, Raphina passes across the initial shot is blocked and Forshaw sets up Harrison to whip home. Klich had the first shot and cool play meant the second was going in.
Harrison scores the opening goal. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Harrison celebrates scoring. Photograph: Jed Leicester/REX/Shutterstock

Updated at 2.20pm GMT

2.09pm GMT

8 min: The corner came to nothing from that Leeds attack. West Ham’s defence is depleted but retains significant power. Another corner gives them more work to do, with Dallas taking, and Firpo directs the ball behind.

2.07pm GMT

6 min: Leeds pass it around the back and it’s West Ham doing most of the pressing. But Harrison gets into a dangerous position, cutting into the box, and having a shot blocked.

2.04pm GMT

4 min: Bowen, busy as ever, collides with Koch and Leeds have a free-kick. Raphina drifts the ball to Luke Ayling but it’s nowhere near the intended target.

2.03pm GMT

3 min: Leeds, patched up and frankly knackered, set off at quite a rate. But the first half-chance comes when Vlasic whips in the ball and Antonio doesn’t quite get to it.

2.01pm GMT

1 min: The players take the knee, to the tune of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, and away we go.

Ezra, a pessimistic Leeds fan, gets in touch: “As a Leeds fan who adores Marcelo Bielsa and tries to learn from the great man, I hate to use excuses, but a glance at the bench today is more than a little worrying.Aside from maybe Rodrigo, there is no one there who is a seasoned professional, and with no Phillips, Bamford and Cooper, it will be a miracle to escape with a point.”

1.59pm GMT

So, here we go at the London Stadium , where both teams are ready and raring to play football. Which is no longer a given, it seems.
West Ham captain Declan Rice prepares for kick off. Photograph: David Loveday/TGS Photo/REX/Shutterstock

Updated at 2.13pm GMT

1.55pm GMT

Perhaps Romelu Lukaku could watch Michail Antonio today to see how it’s done in the Premier League.

Related: Romelu Lukaku’s complaints ring hollow as finishing touch deserts him | Jonathan Wilson

1.49pm GMT

David Moyes, the West Ham manager, speaks to Sky Sports.

We have been playing quite well, and we haven’t had one player who has stood out and got us 15 goals. [On Bowen] I think he can continue to improve, when we bought him from Hull we hoped we could build him to be a Premier League player and he did that from the start. I think he’s gone to another level. Let’s hope that keeps happening. Leeds are a real tough opponent. I don’t think it’s easy when you play them one week and then the next. Today we are going to have to play well. We’ve had injuries, we’ve had Covid as well, but seemingly not enough to get games called off.

1.44pm GMT

Two teams at either end of the table here.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Man City 22 41 56
2 Chelsea 22 28 43
3 Liverpool 20 34 42
4 West Ham 21 12 37
5 Arsenal 20 8 35
Pos Team P GD Pts
16 Leeds 19 -16 19
17 Watford 19 -14 14
18 Norwich 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle 20 -23 12
20 Burnley 17 -11 11

1.41pm GMT

Marcelo Bielsa, ahead of his 150th league game at Leeds, has been speaking to Sky Sports.

We have tried to correct some things that happened in the last game, try to get behind more in attack and make too more difficult to play at the back. Even if [West Ham last week]’s victory was fair, we were always able to be in the game and we avoided a mark difference between us. No, because we didn’t have any reason to ask for [a postponement]. The first round of fixtures we haven’t picked up as many points as we imagined.

Updated at 1.54pm GMT

1.16pm GMT

Leeds’ comeback kid, Adam Forshaw , signed a new contract, having been out for two years before returning earlier this season. He’s just been speaking to Sky Sport.

To repay a lot of faith they showed in me, my family love it here. it was a no-brainer in me. A couple of the teams below us got some good results and are beginning to pick up points, we are aware of that.

1.10pm GMT

Some transfer news, from Jacob Steinberg.

Related: Southampton in talks with Chelsea over permanent move for Armando Broja

1.07pm GMT

West Ham are unchanged from the team that beat Norwich in midweek, while Marcelo Bielsa makes two changes from the team that beating Burnley 3-1 on 2 January. Dan James replaces Tyler Roberts with Diego Llorente suspended so Pascal Struijk comes in. And what that means for Leeds is still no Patrick Bamford, with Rodrigo making the bench.

Updated at 1.08pm GMT

1.01pm GMT

The teams

West Ham: Fabianski, Cresswell, Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Rice, Lanzini, Fornals, Vlasic, Bowen, Antonio. Subs: Areola, Yarmolenko, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson, Kral, Alese, Perkins, Oko-Flex.

Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Firpo, Koch, Struijk, Klich, Forshaw, Harrison, Dallas, Raphinha, James. Subs: Klaesson, Rodrigo, Bate, Hjelde, McKinstry, Jenkins, Moore, Kenneh, Gray.

Updated at 1.06pm GMT

1.00pm GMT


With Arsenal not wanting to play Tottenham and Manchester United flopping to that draw with Aston Villa, this is a chance for West Ham to steal a march in the race for the top four. This is a reheat of last week’s FA Cup match, won rather easily by the Hammers, and Leeds continue to be short of players, with Patrick Bamford still unlikely to start. Here’s a mini-preview from this week’s 10 things to look out for .

As Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United falter in their chase for a top-four place, West Ham have been taking care of business. The expectation is a thin squad will eventually run out of energy, as happened last season, but David Moyes’s team are currently in fourth place on merit. The improvement in the last 18 months of the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Manuel Lanzini and Declan Rice is a tribute to their manager, a rediscovery of the team-building expertise that first made his reputation at Preston and Everton. Rice is a reminder that stars can be made rather than bought in, while Bowen, who scored twice in Wednesday’s win over Norwich , is a reminder that stars can also be bought and made from the lower tiers. Such old-fashioned values are prevailing over the elite clubs chasing West Ham’s tail, and a repeat of last week’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat of Leeds would keep the Hammers ahead.

As Jacob Steinberg wrote on Saturday , Jarrod Bowen, is the man to watch these days for West Ham.

Bowen, who has helped West Ham reach the last 16 of the Europa League, has become invaluable. His versatility enables him to play through the middle when Michail Antonio is missing, but he is at his best on the right. Bowen’s left foot allows him to cause havoc with inswinging crosses, he can be relied on to track back to protect his full-back and he is always willing to get into goalscoring positions, even though his finishing could be more refined at times.

Kick-off is at 2pm, UK time.

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