David Moyes: West Ham against Leeds a great football game for the neutral

Posted Sunday, September 26, 2021 by PA

David Moyes: West Ham against Leeds a great football game for the neutral

West Ham boss David Moyes said his side’s last-gasp 2-1 Premier League win at Leeds was thrilling viewing for the fans, but not for either manager.

Michail Antonio’s last-minute winner snatched all three points for the Hammers, who hit back after trailing at half-time to maintain their impressive start to the season.

Brazilian winger Raphinha had fired Leeds into a first-half lead and later hit a post before left-back Junior Firpo’s own goal, deflected in off Jarrod Bowen’s cross, hauled Moyes’ side level.

Moyes said: “It’s a game that happened like no others. You can see why people want to come and watch Leeds, you end up getting sucked into a similar game because of the way they play.

“It was a great football game for the neutral, but not so much for the managers because there’s that much counter-attacking from both sides.”

Match-winner Antonio and Said Benrahma both missed first-half chances for West Ham as the action ebbed and flowed.

“We missed quite a few I felt today, two or three at the start before they went 1-0 up, missed one right on half-time and I thought the second half we were better,” Moyes said.

“Thankfully we got there. Great character from the players. We had a difficult week, at Old Trafford on Wednesday and we’ve come and won at Elland Road today in a game that is very difficult to explain, but it was a great win for us.”

Antonio proved a real handful for Leeds and kept his composure at the death with his fifth league goal of the season to seal his side’s third league win and go joint-top of the scoring charts alongside Jamie Vardy.

“I have seen him (Antonio) play better, ” Moyes added. “He missed chances at the start, but as a centre-forward you are always looking for that goal and he did it. It was not his best game, but his finish was magic.”

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was hard-pressed to explain how his injury-hit side slipped to their third league defeat of the season after producing some of their best football this term and also creating a hatful of chances.

Their chronic inability to convert them is undermining their second season back in the top flight as they slipped into the bottom three.

Leeds have failed to win any of their first six games at the start of a league campaign for the first time in 69 years.

“Two teams with different realities,” Bielsa said. “In this case, they found the triumph. I don’t think we deserved to lose.

“I imagine that the opponent’s manager thinks they deserved to win. When a team finds themselves in a good moment they obtain these recompenses.

“When a team accumulates negative results, they don’t find a lot of things they deserve.”

Bielsa said his players understandably tried to defend their lead in the second half as they chase that elusive first victory.

He added: “We spent too much time defending and not enough time in the opponent’s half. When you defend too close to your goalkeeper, it’s likely their chances increase.”


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