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Player Ratings: West Ham United 2-0 Leeds United

A dodgy VAR decision was the headline as West Ham beat Leeds United 2-0 at the London Stadium. 

West Ham United v Leeds United: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Leo Hjelde challenges Nikola Vlasic.
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

It was an expected result given the strengths of the two teams on display, and in the end goals from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen were enough to send the Hammers through.

The first real chance fell to Jarrod Bowen, a Declan Rice cross was only half-cleared by Robin Koch, and Bowen’s follow up was cleared off the line by Luke Ayling. Michail Antonio then had a shot from the edge of the box deflected over a few minutes later.

Leeds had their first effort of note when Lewis Bate cut inside from the right-hand side, but his curling effort was straight at Alphonse Areola. Bate had a chance to strike a volley just after the half-hour, but he completely misjudged it and completely missed the ball.

West Ham took the lead you would expect given the teams on display with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Nikola Vlasic managed to roll Hjelde and get into a shooting position, Hjelde got back with a good tackle which lead to a goalmouth scramble which Manuel Lanzini fired home. However, on the original Vlasic shot, both Antonio and Bowen were offside in the build-up with all pundits/commentators convinced of it, however, VAR decided it was onside.

Michail Antonio fired a chance wide late in the first half. Then, in stoppage time, West Ham were able to break through Leeds and Ryan Fredericks missed a golden chance from a Bowen pass, giving Illan Meslier an easy save.

The second half started quietly until Bowen had a good chance following good set-up play by Antonio, Bowen’s shot was saved well by Meslier.

There weren’t many chances until Leeds had a decent one with 20 minutes to go. Leeds played some good stuff through midfield which lead to Mateusz Klich volleying across goal to Jack Harrison, but he couldn’t sort his feet out and it looped off target.

Ryan Fredericks had his second chance with about 10 minutes to go but he dragged it wide of the far post. Leeds then had a penalty shout for handball against Ben Johnson, it did hit his arm and he leaned into it, one that you would file under “seen them given”.

Leeds did manage to get a bit of late pressure but late on Michail Antonio was able to break and play in Jarrod Bowen to make it 2-0 and seal the tie.

Time now to look at each player and how they performed. As always you can tell me how wrong I am @mightywhitespod or @ThruItAllLUFC on Twitter.

STARTING LINEUP

Illan Meslier - A couple of good early claims from crosses. Not at fault for the goal. Made one decent save from Ryan Fredericks in the first half. Made a good save to deny Bowen early in the second half. 6.5/10

Luke Ayling - Good clearance off the line to deny Bowen after 10 minutes. Did ok throughout with nothing standout. 6/10

Diego Llorente - Beat Antonio on a few occasions and looked solid in the first half barring one terrible pass into midfield. He repeated that pass early in the second half, and Antonio did get the better of their duels from then on. 6/10

Leo Hjelde - Immediately got stuck into the task of man-marking Michail Antonio. Got rolled too easily by Nikola Vlasic for the opening goal, but his recovery tackle was excellent and would have prevented a goal had VAR been paying attention. Did his chances going forward no harm. 7/10.

Junior Firpo - Able to get some space down the left but didn’t do enough with it when he got there. Nothing major to report before going off with a knock to the head picked up in the first half, as a concussion substitution. 6/10

Robin Koch - Did ok in the DM role but there wasn’t much to say about the performance. Dropped into CB late on and was better, including one very good tackle in the area to deny Antonio. 6/10

Jack Harrison - Tried to run at people and make things happen but couldn’t find the end product. Moved to the left after the half-time changes. Unlucky with a good late cross that Dan James couldn’t react to. 6/10

Lewis Bate - Played some tidy stuff in the first half and had one decent shot. Had a chance on the volley that wasn’t easy, but he should have done better with. Unlucky to go off at half-time. 6.5/10

Mateusz Klich - Popped up in some good area to get Leeds up the pitch through the first half, but Declan Rice was able to run away from him too much. Quieter in the second half. 5.5/10

Daniel James - Quiet off the left in the first half, moved up front for the second half and it was as a similar story. 5.5/10

Sam Greenwood - Had a few shots and his movement up top was good in the first half. Didn’t do much wrong before going off at half-time. 6/10

SUBSTITUTES

Raphinha (for Greenwood, HT) - Very quiet on the right-hand side. Moved into the middle once Summerville came on. Don’t often say this, but he was poor today. 5/10

Stuart Dallas (for Bate, HT) - Made a couple of good early tackles in midfield after coming on. Moved to right-back on the hour mark. Moved to left-back eight minutes later. Did fine in all roles as he often does. 6.5/10

Adam Forshaw (for Ayling, 60mins) - Tidy enough barring one poor loss of possession in a bad area. 6/10

Cody Drameh (for Firpo, 68mins) - Booked for a foul on Ben Johnson, although he never touched him. Tried to get forward but his work in the final third wasn’t good. 5.5/10

Crysencio Summerville (for Hjelde, 78mins) - Tried to get on the ball but didn’t have the desired effect. 6/10