Xenia Sports – London
David Moyes was left with plenty to be pleased about as West Ham came from behind to win 2-1 at Leeds.
The Hammers looked shell-shocked at the start of proceedings at Elland Road, going behind to a retaken fifth-minute penalty from Mateusz Klich.
But they soon found their feet – and Leeds’ weakness – as two towering heads from Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna won the day.
It could have been more but for a superb performance from Leeds rookie goalkeeper Illan Meslier, though his one error of the night was costly as he really should have got a stronger hand to Soucek’s equalizer.
“I thought we played well at times, Leeds did too, and we almost expect it from Leeds to get forward but I thought their keeper was outstanding tonight,” Moyes said.
“We created chances we should have taken too. We didn’t do any more practice than we might (on set-pieces). We have good delivery and players good in the air and it’s a big part of football, scoring from set-pieces and not conceding.”
Moyes said he was “angry” that Klich’s penalty was retaken after referee Michael Oliver was told Lukasz Fabianski came off his line before saving the initial spot-kick.
“I’m angry, I’m still angry,” he said. “If they thought there was a doubt, why did they let the game go and then pull it back? I thought his heel was on the line and on that occasion, surely the benefit goes to the goalkeeper?”
For Leeds, it is another defeat which will cause concern.
Losing games was inevitable on their return to the top flight, but the ease with which they are losing aerial duels will continue to cost them points unless they remedy the issue.
“There are no mysteries to what we have to do,” said head coach Marcelo Bielsa. “The set-pieces can be perfected by continuously training. We have to reproduce what happens in the game in training.
“We will continue insisting on this until we can resolve the problem. What’s happening is not exclusively about work not being done – we have had this problem in the past, we solved it, we have to again.”
Asked if he was encouraged by close margins of defeat, he added: “That’s not the case. We have lost 4-1, 3-1 and today we could have lost by a bigger margin.”