West Ham advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 home win against fellow Premier League side Leeds on Sunday afternoon.

The Hammers got off to a strong start against a Leeds side that were without eight first-team players due to injuries. Jarrod Bowen’s strike was cleared off the line by Luke Ayling before Michail Antonio also came close to breaking the deadlock. Aside from that, the first half-hour was a dreary affair with minimal chances at both ends.

Meanwhile, Leeds were woefully short of ideas during the opening period, with Lewis Bate’s fluffed volley the only notable moment. Leeds lacked zeal, with Bate appearing light-weight up against Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice in midfield while 19-year-old forward Sam Greenwood struggled to assert himself against Craig Dawson and Issa Diop.

West Ham eventually created some excitement by scoring from a scrappy situation in the 34th minute. Michail Antonio drove into the attacking third before passing to Nikola Vlasic on the edge of the box. Although the Croatian’s initial effort was saved, the ball broke to Manuel Lanzini, who blasted home from close range.

Leeds were flat and toothless in attack despite a raft of changes after half-time. Daniel James, who was moved up top, missed a promising chance and the contest was over when Antonio, combining with Pablo Fornals, released Bowen to slide a composed finish past Meslier in the stoppage time. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over both sets of players.

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West Ham

Alphonse Areola: 7/10

A relatively comfortable afternoon for the Frenchman as Leeds rarely called him into action. He made several simple saves to keep his sixth clean sheet in nine appearances. He also showed some particularly good distribution.

Ben Johnson: 6.5/10

He looked shaky at times but did well enough, given he was not deployed in his natural position. He was a good outlet surging forward, completed five long balls, and sent a fair few crosses into the box for Antonio. He did, however, lose possession near the box several times, but recovered fast enough.

Issa Diop: 6/10

Diop looked wobbly at times at the back but preserved a clean sheet which is all that counts. He has partnered with Dawson admirably since the injuries to first-choice defensive duo Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma. However, he lost possession in dangerous areas a fair few times, causing unrest among his teammates. Aside from that, he displayed good anticipation with his interceptions and blocks. Diop also lobbed in some nice long balls for Bowen to chase.

Craig Dawson: 7/10

Not as certain on the ball as the other West Ham defenders, but it was another solid outing. He easily dealt with the inexperienced Sam Greenwood. The veteran was composed after the break as well, even though Leeds were pressing with vigour.

Ryan Fredericks: 6/10

Fredericks was fairly solid at the back to shut out the speedy Daniel James. Offensively, he showed tremendous pace to get into decent positions but lacked the technical ability to capitalise on his forays forward.

Declan Rice: 8/10

Rice controlled the midfield effectively and was usually the playmaker at times. He won the majority of his aerial and ground duels against his Leeds counterparts. The English midfielder had a golden chance to score from the edge of the box when Lanzini and Bowen combined to generate the opening, but his effort was wayward.

Tomas Soucek: 7/10

Another imposing display from Soucek alongside Rice to help the Hammers dominate the midfield battle. He also played a key role in West Ham’s stoppage-time goal as he passed the ball to Antonio, who set up Bowen for the goal. The Czech international was, as usual, full of running and pressing.

Nikola Vlasic: 7/10

Vlasic became more and more involved as the game progressed. He showed good strength on the clever spin that created West Ham’s opener. He combined nicely with Bowen and had a wonderful passage of play around the box, resulting in a good goal-scoring opportunity.

Manuel Lanzini: 7.5/10

He was in the right place at the right time to take his goal nicely, even though it was a rather simple opportunity. He displayed some nice touches in midfield and was the most creative player for the Hammers.

Jarrod Bowen: 8/10

Showed plenty of energy down the right side, had an effort cleared off the line in the first half and tested Meslier before scoring the late goal. He was lively throughout the game, and was instrumental in generating chances from the wings.

Michail Antonio: 7/10

Antonio was a complete menace as he tore apart the Leeds defence with his physicality and powerful running. Defenders were bouncing off him, and he was difficult to handle when given room to drive at the opposition backline. He could not get a goal for himself but assisted Bowen’s injury-time goal with a neat pass.

Substitutes

Pablo Fornals: 5/10

He could not make much of an impact on the game but worked hard and brought fresh legs.

Arthur Masuaku: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Andriy Yarmolenko: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Leeds United

Illan Meslier: 6/10

Meslier was the busier of the two French goalkeepers in the whole game. He made a good save in the second half to deny Bowen while he commanded his box well and claimed the crosses confidently to release the pressure on Whites’ backline. Unfortunate for both goals, he was left stranded for the opener, and perhaps an offside Bowen obstructed his path, which the officials ignored.

Luke Ayling: 6/10

Ayling was a steady presence in his preferred right-back position. He kept plugging away for an hour before being hooked off as Leeds tried to change shape in order to bring more urgency.

Diego Llorente: 6/10

Llorente committed some unnecessary fouls at times, giving West Ham decent set-piece possibilities. However, he won most of his aerial duels against a physical West Ham attack. He read the game well, was effective with distribution and was probably Leeds’ best defender on the day.

Leo Hjelde: 6/10

 

Hjelde made an impressive senior debut, quickly establishing himself in the heart of Leeds’ defence. Michail Antonio was always going to be a tricky customer and the youngster found it difficult to deal with the Hammers target man but coped well with the likes of Lanzini, Vlasic and Bowen. He grew into the game but had some real difficulties handling the turnovers.

Junior Firpo: 5/10

Firpo became the latest addition to enter Whites’ medical room as he was forced off injured in the 67th minute. He battled hard and even got some joy surging forward in the attacking third but his end product was lacking.

Robin Koch: 6/10

Koch was one of the few Leeds players who were composed on the ball and did not give lose possession cheaply. Deployed in the defensive midfield role, he did decently, but Manuel Lanzini still had plenty of joy running off him from deep, especially on counter-attacks.

Jack Harrison: 4/10

Harrison did not really do anything notable in the FA Cup third-round tie other than waste a fantastic chance to score in the second half when he missed the target from roughly six yards away. It was certainly Leeds’ best chance on the day. Not good enough.

Mateusz Klich: 5/10

Leeds’ most advanced midfielder on the pitch, the progressive passes did not come off for him despite his best efforts. He showed some decent touches, passes, and had a good low shot from the edge of the box, which was saved but largely ineffective throughout.

Lewis Bate: 6/10

The young Whites’ starlet was handed a great opportunity against a quality West Ham side. He did a good job with the fundamentals. Bate had a decent 45 minutes under his belt as he tried to bring some stability against a pretty powerful West Ham midfield. He had a decent chance for his side just before West Ham broke the deadlock.

Daniel James: 5/10

James showed a lot of energy and pace throughout the game, but his end product let him down time and time again. Bielsa must avoid using him as a centre-forward since the Welsh international has very different attributes than Patrick Bamford. Overall, a relatively ineffective outing for James, who could not muster a single shot or key pass.

Sam Greenwood: 5/10

Greenwood was unlucky to be sacrificed at half-time so Bielsa could bolster his side, as he had a fairly decent first half, although Diop and Dawson did a good job of keeping him at bay. Greenwood fought hard and, at times, dropped deep to collect the ball. He took more shots than any other Leeds player but none of them threatened Alphonse Areola.

Substitutes

Raphinha: 5.5/10

Raphinha could not really influence the game as Leeds spent much of the second half in their own third, soaking up the pressure.

Stuart Dallas: 6/10

Dallas moved around the pitch in different roles and was steady after being shifted to right-back following Luke Ayling’s departure.

Adam Forshaw: 5.5/10

Forshaw added a bit of stability to the midfield after coming on for Ayling at the hour mark.

Cody Drameh: 5.5/10

Drameh came on for Firpo and did well enough. He was booked for a foul on Johnson even though he never touched him. He attempted to push forward, but his work in the attacking third was poor.

Crysencio Summerville: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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