West Ham United 3 Leeds United 1: Flat Whites blow chance as awful defeat leaves club on brink

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Leeds United’s place in the Premier League is now dangling by a thread following a hugely disappointing performance in Sunday’s clash at West Ham which ended in a 3-1 defeat.

Leeds squandered a fine chance in just the fourth minute through Rodrigo who failed to control a pinpoint cross from Patrick Bamford who had been played in down the left by Robin Koch. Bamford's cross found Rodrigo in the middle of the box but a heavy touch saw the ball bobble back to Lukasz Fabianski who then safely held a first time volley from Jack Harrison three minutes later after a Luke Ayling cross.

Leeds, though, had looked far more likely to strike first and went ahead in the 18th minute through a terrific finish from top scorer Rodrigo who connected first time to a Weston McKennie long throw with a volley that was rifled past Fabianski from the middle of the box.

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West Ham looked off colour following Thursday night's exertions in Europe but Irons captain Declan Rice looked to drive his side forward and fired a long range effort over the bar. Leeds then survived a huge scare in the 28th when the third of three corners in succession eventually landed at the feet of Tomas Soucek whose shot from very close range was smothered by Joel Robles.

HAMMER BLOW: As Jarrod Bowen fires past Joel Robles to put West Ham 2-1 up. Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.HAMMER BLOW: As Jarrod Bowen fires past Joel Robles to put West Ham 2-1 up. Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.
HAMMER BLOW: As Jarrod Bowen fires past Joel Robles to put West Ham 2-1 up. Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.

But the Irons drew level just three minutes later as Rice applied a neat finish arriving at the far post to a cross from Jarrod Bowen who had been played in down the right of United's defence. Leeds were then dealt another blow soon after as Patrick Bamford had to be taken off injured and replaced by Willy Gnonto with still 11 minutes left of the first half.

The Irons threatened to go ahead in the very next minute from a rapid counter which ended with Pablo Fornals slicing a shot wide from just inside the box. Another fine save from Robles then saved the day to keep out a low strike from Emersion who had been slipped in by Pablo Fornals.

Leeds survived and the Whites then squandered two chances at the end of the first half as firstly Robin Koch's header from a corner was saved by Fabianski. Moments later, a Hammers mistake let in Rodrigo on the counter and the forward eventually pulled the ball back to Gnonto who swiped at fresh air before Harrison also sent a shot wide. The half then ended with one last Irons chance as Lucas Paqueta blazed an effort over the bar.

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The Hammers were the first to threaten after the break with a 25-yard curler from Paqueta that Robles beat away. At the other end, Rodrigo raced away one on one but was clearly offside and the flag went up after Fabianski smothered his attempts to finish.

There would have been no flag a few minutes later as a fine Jack Harrison cross was set to pick out Gnonto only for McKennie to get there first and bundle the ball wide. At the other end, a Danny Ings shot from the middle of the box was blocked before Bowen got in only to see his shot blocked but he too was offside.

But another save from Robles then denied the Irons as the Spaniard tipped a downward header from Tomas Soucek over the bar from a corner. Whites boss Sam Allardyce then made a double change as Crysencio Summerville and Brenden Aaronson were introduced as Jack Harrison and Adam Forshaw made way.

But Leeds had gone completely flat and it was no surprise when the Whites fell behind in the 72nd minute through Bowen who was played in behind Wober and smashed the ball past Robles before surviving an offside check from VAR.

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The Irons looked set to add a third three minutes later from a rapid break which ended with Ayling's block sending a Fornals shot over the bar but Bowen was offside in the build-up. At the other end, Robin Koch blazed over after Summerville's attempt was blocked but Leeds were offering next to nothing and Allardyce made another double change with five minutes left as Sam Greenwood and Marc Roca replaced.

Seconds later, Summerville found himself through on goal but the Irons defence recovered to block his shot before Aaronson blazed wide. A Rodrigo shot was then deflected behind for a corner.

Back came West Ham and Ings was thwarted by Robles after getting into the box.

Leeds were given seven minutes of added time to respond but instead West Ham added a third in the 94th minute through Lanzini who netted from a Paqueta pullback to condemn Leeds to another defeat.

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The Whites have now been left two points adrift of safety with only next weekend’s hosting of Tottenham Hotspur left.

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma (Kehrer 46), Ogbonna, Emerson, Souček, Rice, Bowen (Lanzini 84), Paquetá, Fornals, Ings. Subs not used: Areola, Johnson, Cresswell, Benrahma, Cornet, Mubama, Antonio.

Leeds United: Robles, Ayling, Kristensen, Wober, Struijk (Roca 85); Koch, Forshaw (Aaronson 63), McKennie (Greenwood 85); Harrison (Summerville 63), Rodrigo, Bamford (Gnonto 34). Sub not used: Meslier, Cooper, Mullen, Rutter.

Referee: Peter Bankes.