JACK Harrison scored a stunning hat-trick as Leeds shed light on a long list of absentees in a thrilling 3-2 win at West Ham.
Winger Harrison outperformed Hammers in-form winger Jarrod Bowen as Los Blancos recorded back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.
West Ham hit back twice through Bowen and Pablo Fornals but Harrison’s well-scored third goal ended their four-game winning streak.
Leeds traveled to east London without nine first-team players – and lost two more before half-time – as well as a bench containing seven teenagers, including 15-year-old Archie Grey.
But unlike a few miles further in north London no postponement was considered, with boss Marcelo Bielsa insisting ahead of the game “we have no reason to ask for it”.
The Hammers are also low in numbers, again missing Tomas Soucek via Covid-19, and three matches in a week appeared to have caught up with them.
The Whites had limped out of the FA Cup on the same ground last weekend, but started this game with much more determination and took the lead after 10 minutes.
Luke Ayling’s ball over the top sent Raphinha clear down the right and his cut found Mateusz Klich in the box.
Kilch’s shot was saved by Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, but Adam Forshaw was the first to grab the loose ball and sent it back for Harrison to hit home.
Leeds’ injury problems worsened midway through the first half when Forshaw and Junior Firpo limped off.
West Ham equalized in the 34th minute, Bowen headbutting Stuart Dallas for Aaron Cresswell’s corner.
Leeds regained the lead almost immediately when Ayling kicked in a corner from Raphinha and Harrison surged at the far post.
West Ham were level again six minutes into the second half when Fornals passed Ayling and Pascal Struijk in the box before catching Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier on the wrong foot with a clever finish.
However, the game swung in Leeds’ direction again on the hour mark after Nikola Vlasic lost the ball.
Raphinha galloped forward and sprayed a superb through ball to Harrison, who deftly lifted his shot over Fabianski to complete a sparkling triple.
Raphinha nearly got in on the act himself with a free kick that crashed into the post with Fabianski beaten.
Klich thought he had added a fourth when he fired in another Raphinha backhand, but his shot deflected Rodrigo’s offside slightly on the goal line.
Hammers substitute Andriy Yarmolenko also saw an effort ruled out for offside and Bowen somehow grabbed a last chance over the crossbar as the hosts were unable to fight back for the third time.