Bamford misses two sitters as West Ham sucker punch wasteful Leeds

Date published: Monday 8th March 2021 9:55 - Robert McCarthy

Jesse Lingard TEAMtalk

West Ham moved to within two points of the top four after recording a 2-0 win over a wasteful Leeds side at the London Stadium on Monday night.

The in-form Jesse Lingard gave the Hammers the lead, after tucking home a rebound when his penalty was kept out by Illan Meslier.

Centre-back Craig Dawson sealed the points midway through the first half when he powered home a header from close range.

Leeds had countless opportunities to make it a contest, with Patrick Bamford missing two glorious chances, but it just wasn’t their night.

It was Marcelo Bielsa’s men who came out of the traps the quicker, with Helder Costa blazing over the bar early on.

Leeds then had two goals disallowed in the space of just 90 seconds as West Ham struggled to cope with their early tempo.

Tyler Roberts swept home, only for Costa to be marginally ruled out for offside by VAR. Bamford then tapped in but Raphinha’s ball in had gone out of play before the England hopeful found the net.

Despite Leeds’ bright start, it was the Hammers who took the lead in the 21st minute thanks to loan star Lingard.

The midfielder was tripped in the area by Luke Ayling, but he got lucky as he swept in the rebound after his poor spot-kick was pushed out by Meslier.

The home side doubled their lead in the 28th minute, as Leeds’ troubles defending set pieces came to the fore again.

Aaron Cresswell’s inswinging corner found its way to the back post, where an unmarked Dawson powered home a header from four yards.

Craig Dawson TEAMtalk

It was almost three in first-half stoppage time when another Cresswell corner found Dawson again in the area, but his stooping header struck the foot of the post.

Leeds continue to squander chances

The second period began in a similar fashion to the first, with Leeds well on top, and they twice came close to pulling a goal back.

Leading scorer Bamford curled a foot wide after being played clean through on goal, before moments later Raphinha saw a deflected overhead kick brilliantly tipped over by Łukasz Fabianski.

West Ham were still a threat at the other end, however, and Pablo Fornals was unlucky to see a 25-yard volley thump back off the crossbar.

Raphinha twice forced Fabianski into action, as the visitors searched for a route back into the game after a dominant spell of play.

And Bamford should have made it a nervy finish for West Ham with 13 minutes to go. However, he inexplicably fired Raphinha’s cross over the bar from eight yards out.

It clearly wasn’t going to be Leeds’ night as Dawson cleared what looked a certain goal off the line in the closing minutes.

 

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