West Ham 2-0 Leeds United - recap: Marcelo Bielsa reaction as VAR controversy aids FA Cup exit

Leeds United travel to face West Ham United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.Leeds United travel to face West Ham United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Leeds United travel to face West Ham United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Leeds United travel to face West Ham United in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon at the London Stadium - follow live below.

The Whites take on the Hammers in England' s oldest and most famous cup competition...

West Ham vs Leeds United - LIVE BLOG

Key Events

  • Leeds United travel to West Ham in FA Cup action
  • Third round game kicks off at 2pm
  • Bielsa expected to make changes
  • Updates below throughout the afternoon
  • ------------------------------------------------
  • RESULT: West Ham 2-0 Leeds United

Welcome to this afternoon’s live blog from the London Stadium... we’re in place to bring you all the latest throughout the third round FA Cup clash.

Stay tuned...

Early West Ham team news

West Ham are battling a small number of Covid cases ahead of an FA Cup meeting with Leeds United.

Home boss David Moyes will be without the influential Saïd Benrahma for a number of weeks after he headed away on international duty with Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Defenders Kurt Zouma (thigh) and Angelo Ogbonna (knee) are long-term absentees.

Pablo Fornals, meanwhile, may return after a positive coronavirus test while left-back Aaron Cresswell picked up a lower back injury in late December.

Amid the known issues, Moyes also says there has been a ‘few’ Covid cases within the Hammers squad and coaching staff this week.

Early Leeds United team news

Leeds have been hit by a fresh injury blow in the form of Joe Gelhardt.

The youngster picked up an issue in training this week and will be out for a month alongside Tyler Roberts - who limped off against Burnley last week.

The pair have joined a number of players on the sidelines at Thorp Arch as the club’s injury crisis continues.

Patrick Bamford could return against the Hammers though with Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips and Jamie Shackleton still out.

Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo are also sidelined along with Charlie Cresswell.

Leeds United predicted line-up

YEP XI: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Koch, Firpo; Forshaw; Dallas; Klich; Harrison, Raphinha; James.

What Marcelo Bielsa has said

“Always an official competition is a possibility, desire and hope,” Bielsa said.

“The opportunities you have to mark them in a general context.

“From there you evaluate the achievements you make and you make fixed priorities and we observe what is more convenient in each moment, so there are many aspects that we have to analyse.

“I don’t go deeper into it but I know they exist, and it’s very important to make the correct decisions to create the maximum expectations, because the expectations have to do with our fans.

“The hope the fans have are the same that we have, to do what’s possible to get what we desire.”

Asked whether winning the FA Cup was a realistic target for his side, Bielsa insisted: “Every competition is a possibility and we take it in that way.

“Every game we focus on it with the intention to win.

“The evolution within the competition is very difficult to anticipate.

“I think what corresponds is that we try with humility to win.

“We always try to win in every official game we have. There is never a need for added motivation.

“Every time the group plays, the desire is always the maximum and to win.”

What David Moyes has said

“Marcelo Bielsa is a manager I have huge respect for,” said Hammers boss Moyes at his pre-match press conference.

“I’ve admired him for so long.

“I used to watch his teams when he was at Bilbao and I remember going to Old Trafford to watch them beat Manchester United in a Europa League game and I actually based one of my team’s performances on what I saw watching them there.

“I just think that he’s unique, there are a lot of things he does which are different and I think the Premier League needs different styles, different managers, different systems and I think he brings that.

“He brings an excitement to the Premier League in the way they play and I think Leeds have been a really good watch over the past two or three years.”

Reflecting on the challenge that would present itself in facing Leeds in the third round, and the draw his side were handed at this stage, Moyes pondered: “You know you’re in for a hard game when you face Leeds.

“You need to play really well to beat them.

“There are so many good things about them and the manager has done a good job over time.

“As everyone is aware, every game against Leeds is played at full-tilt, is one end to the other, and we need to make sure that when we get to the end we score more goals than they do.

“It’s always a hard game against Leeds.”

Klich out first. Klaesson and Meslier follow. Bate, Greenwood, McGurk, Jenkins all here. Moore and Gray too. Koch, McKinstry, James, Summerville, Forshaw and Drameh here as well.

Team news at the London Stadium will be in at 1pm... we’ll have it right here as soon as it lands.

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