West Ham 2-0 Leeds United
by Paul Donovan at the London Stadium
WEST HAM defeated a Leeds struggling with a hotly contested FA Cup third round match at London Stadium this afternoon.
West Ham manager David Moyes has declared his intention to make the FA Cup this year by fielding an almost full squad for Leeds’ visit.
The crackling atmosphere on the terraces, however, was not always up to what was happening on the pitch, with the two teams canceling each other out for much of the first half.
A first outing from West Ham saw a Declan Rice cross head to Jarrod Bowen, who saw his effort wiped off the line.
Michail Antonio then grazed the roof of the net, after recovering a skillful layoff from the impressive Nikola Vlasic.
West Ham took the lead at the half hour mark, when the same combination saw Vlasic regain the ball into the penalty area. His effort was stifled, but in the melee of the players the ball went free for the new Manuel Lanzini to strike home.
A VAR investigation found the offside allegations were unproven.
A pass exchange between Ryan Fredericks and Bowen saw the defender with the goal at his mercy but his effort was easily repelled by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Messlier.
After the break West Ham continued to press with an impressive cross ball from Antonio, picked up by Bowen, whose shot was stopped by Messlier’s legs.
Leeds’ two best chances fell on Daniel James, deflecting a cross shot first and then repeating the dose with two minutes remaining.
The home side finished the game in added time, with Leeds pushing hard for the equalizer, they were hit at the break.
Antonio ran flawlessly, then pulled defenders towards him, selflessly disposed for Bowen to rush home.
West Ham manager David Moyes was pleased with his side’s efforts that day, confirming they wanted to go as far as possible in the Cup.
He was, however, wronged by the way he feels his side have been unfairly hampered by the reorganization of the Premier League game against Norwich next Wednesday. Moyes had hoped to have a clear week to work with the players, after a busy December that saw his team play eight games in all competitions.
Moyes pointed out that Leeds have had two games postponed due to Covid, and have yet to rearrange one. West Ham saw a postponed game (against Norwich on December 18) and they are now due to play on Wednesday.
Leeds return to London Stadium for a Premier League match next Sunday, fully rested.
The West Ham manager praised Vlasic, who he says grew up in the game. “He’s a really conscientious and hard-working boy,” said Moyes, who hopes he takes the opportunity now, having joined CSKA Moscow this summer. “I think he will come well.”