West Ham v Leeds

It’s been a tough period in terms of results recently, but you could maybe argue that we haven’t had what we deserved either.

The 3-0 win against Southampton is our only win in five now, and Monday’s game at West Ham was another where you left wondering what might have been.

I thought we were a little unfortunate not to go 1-0 up in the game when Tyler Roberts’ goal was ruled out by VAR for offside. Granted, the linesman flagged straight away, but I think that was more by luck than judgement after VAR reviewed it and the technology showed that it was the right call, but only the marginal basis that Helder Costa’s knee may have been a millimetre beyond the defensive line during the build-up. Patrick’s disallowed goal was far more clear cut with Raphinha cutting it back from well over the line. Those two ‘goals’ came inside the opening 10 minutes, but from then on the rest of the first half was one-way traffic, and West Ham will feel they should have been out of sight.

Meslier was a little unfortunate with the penalty in that he did well to save it in the first place and maybe he could have expected a bit more support from his own team-mates because only Jesse Lingard followed it up and when it fell nicely for him there was no one around to stop him. After that they looked like scoring from every corner they had. Diego Llorente lost Craig Dawson for the second goal – and somehow lost him at pretty much every corner that followed – but thankfully he wasn’t able to profit. Meslier did well to deal with a couple of them when Dawson was free and ready to pounce, and the other chance he did have, he couldn’t hit the target.

The second half was completely different though. Pat had a couple of great chances which would have changed the game, particularly the first one on his left-foot at the start of the second half. We had a lot more ball in the second half, but just didn’t have the quality in the final third. It was probably easier for West Ham than it should have been, but the damage was done in the first half. It was a worry how fragile we looked at set-pieces – Llorente particularly – and given that it hasn’t been our strongest point this season, it’s an area we do need to sharpen up on because it’s cost us a lot.

It’s Chelsea this weekend and that’s always a big one when you’re a Leeds player. There’s a long-standing rivalry dating back over 50 years – even before the legendary FA Cup final in 1970, according to some of my pals who are well versed in the history of this one – and I’m sure the current crop will be aware what it means. It’s also an interesting battle between Marcelo and Premier League newcomer Thomas Tuchel. I know I’m looking forward to it.

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