Leeds United were knocked out of the FA Cup once again in the third round, this time to West Ham away from home.
The Hammers almost struck first blood on 11 minutes when Declan Rice’s cross broke for Jarrod Bowen as Leeds struggled to clear, with Luke Ayling saving the day on the goal line.
The Whites had a couple half-openings but didn’t manage to create much before West Ham took the lead on 37 minutes. Antonio drifted into the left wing before firing a ball into Vlasic, who turned his man before Hjelde managed to recover with a sliding challenge, which ended up with Meslier and Vlasic diving in for the ball in a 50-50. Firpo tried to clear the ball away from danger, but it went straight into the path of Lanzini who stuck the ball in.
There was a long VAR check to deem if Jarrod Bowen, who was in an offside position, intervened with play when Meslier and Vlasic went for the ball. Despite clearly getting between the two, the goal was given.
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Meslier was called into action again as half-time approached, with Fredericks getting on the end of Bowen’s cross from the right, but the Leeds keeper was on-hand quickly to parry the ball away from goal.
Perhaps Leeds’ biggest chance came on 88 minutes when Harrison’s low cross from the left was missed by Dawson, falling into the path of Dan James. Unfortunately, the Welshman didn’t have enough time to react and the ball hit him and went wide.
West Ham doubled their lead in added-time, countering from a Leeds corner, with Antonio going clean through on goal and finding Bowen to finish the game off.
Overall, a solid performance all-round from Leeds, but they struggled to create clear-cut chances. Leo Hjelde performed well on his debut, as did Lewis Bate. The performance was at least promising ahead of the rematch in The Premier League next week.