Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa felt his players’ ‘desire’ was a huge factor in their thrilling victory over West Ham United at the London Stadium.
The Whites pulled off a 3-2 triumph thanks to a superb hat-trick from Jack Harrison. The former England Under-21 star bagged twice before half-time, either side of Jarrod Bowen’s equaliser. And, after Pablo Fornals has made it 2-2 early in the second period, he claimed the match ball with a third on the hour mark.
Both sides had a further goal ruled out for offside in what became an end-to-end contest. Leeds have now won back-to-back top-flight games to sit 15th in the table.
They are nine points above the relegation zone. But that is now all that is left after crashing out of the FA Cup 2-0 last weekend to the same opposition.
Bielsa felt it was a close game in the capital. And the Argentinian tactician picked out exactly what his charges altered to get the better of David Moyes side this time around.
“Typical Premier League game. It was good that it went in our favour but the margin was very close,” he told Sky Sports. “It is a triumph for the players because of the effort they put in. The desire to win was very, very big.
“We had the idea we were lacking this in the last game. The type of game it was offered us spaces to take advantage.”
Bielsa seeks answers to injury crisis
Leeds have suffered more than most with injuries this term. And they lost two more players during the first 45 minutes in the East End.
Adam Forshaw was forced off with a hamstring problem and he was soon followed by Junior Firpo. It is unclear how bad the duo’s problems are but highlights the need for January reinforcements.
Bielsa felt Raphinha made a huge contribution to netting the three points. But, with what unfolded on the pitch, the South American knows that he will need to shuffle his pack next time out.
“Very, very high performance [from Raphinha]. That improved James and Harrison. It offered them the chance to unbalance West Ham,” he added. “It gets complicated because players come back and then we lose others. We will see how we can solve it.
“Bamford could be an option [for the next game], but also after a long period of inactivity and slightly less chance Shackleton and Roberts.”