West Ham comfortably beat Leeds despite a very close score line and late winner, here are the player ratings from the big three-point performance.
A diabolical start saw a new-look West Ham formation shredded within three minutes leading to the opening converted penalty for Leeds. What would follow would be a resounding team effort from the Hammers to push back, level, and eventually dominate a tough but seemingly in-hand match. Here are the player ratings.
Lukasz Fabianski – 7/10: The Polish keeper stopped the initial penalty but was off his line, more the issue was his late coming off the line that led to his trip of Patrick Bamford and the subsequent penalty and yellow card. Fabianski had some solid positioning saves in this match after the opening gaff and rebounded well.
Vladimir Coufal – 9/10: Talk about a bounce-back performance! After struggling to cope with the Manchester United attack, Coufal stepped up with a dominant lockdown defensive display. Marcelo Bielsa had to avoid his side in the end, subbing his left midfielder at half time, then swapping wide players in the second half. Great display from the Czech.
Fabian Balbuena – 8/10: After he and Ogbonna struggled to stop the through ball on the opening play of the match leading to the goal, Balbuena was extremely strong for the remainder of the match. He nearly scored on an unbelievable save and later almost converted on a header that found the post.
Angelo Ogbonna -9/10: His performance picked up defensively after the opening goal, and he capped off his strong showing with the match-winning header that he sent with a righteous fury into the top right corner of the Leeds goal. He’s been the Hammers’ MVP this season and proved that again in this match.
Aaron Cresswell – 8/10: Another match, another offensive contribution for Cresswell, the renaissance defender. Back in his left-back position in this match, Cresswell was caught out a few times but was where he needed to be in the end. His perfect freekick found Ogbonna and gave the defender his fourth assist this season.
Declan Rice – 8/10: Short of a goal or assist, Rice rose to the challenge in this match protecting the backline and instigating the Hammers’ offensive outbursts through the midfield. Whenever he’s compared to the next best English defensive midfielder he always produces a stellar performance. This match was no different with Kalvin Phillips well in Rice’s pocket.
Tomas Soucek – 9/10: It feels like a foregone conclusion that Soucek will pop up on the scoresheet whenever the Hammers have a corner and sure enough he converted a back post corner delivery from Jarrod Bowen. A force in the midfield, dominant in the air, this is just what we’re used to now with the Czech robot!
Jarrod Bowen – 7/10: Overall, Bowen performed better than his rating would suggest. The reason it is as low as it is is due to his failure to convert on multiple chances from the right-wing again. He failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities in his last two games now and is seemingly drifting further from the goal with his chances. Once the finishing returns he’ll be back to the top of his game.
Pablo Fornals – 6/10: Something has to be said for players who are always in dangerous areas and getting themselves in a position to spark to the offence, and Fornals does just that quite frequently. His finishing, however, was extremely poor and it’s becoming a bad habit.
Said Benrahma – 7/10: Maybe I’m missing something from him, but despite the beautiful stepovers and spinning dribbles, Benrhama wasn’t as potent as anticipated. He didn’t lose confidence and looked threatening from range, but more creating and more shots on target are needed.
Sebastien Haller – 6/10: You have to judge a striker on his goals and Haller had none in this match despite terrific service early on and a full 90-minute run out. A few insanely lucky blocks and perfect saves from the Leeds keeper nullified the striker, but his presence and defensive pull helped create both goals. He needs to calm that first touch down, too.
Mark Noble, Ben Johnson, and Robert Snodgrass were all subbed on in an effort to lockout Leeds from pursuing an equalizer. The tactical subs were perfect and executed their goal, with each of them factoring into the quiet ending of the match, including the time-wasting of Snodgrass’ sub in stoppage time. Moyes masterclass, indeed.