Laboured Leeds display dents Bamford’s service as set-piece problems persist |

Leeds 1-2 West Ham

  • Goals: Mateusz Klich (£5.5m) | Tomas Soucek (£4.9m), Angelo Ogbonna (£4.9m)
  • Assists: Patrick Bamford (£6.2m) | Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), Aaron Cresswell (£5.2m)
  • Bonus points: Ogbonna x3, Soucek x2, Klich x1


Patrick Bamford‘s (£6.2m) home form continues to pale in significance compared with his away-day capabilities.

The Leeds striker suffered a laboured evening on Friday as West Ham left Elland Road with all three points in Gameweek 12’s opening match.

Put through on goal in the second minute, he did pick up a Fantasy assist for winning a penalty, converted at the second attempt by Mateusz Klich (£5.5m). But after that, it was a quiet evening for Bamford, who went goalless for a fifth-straight Premier League home match.

His five-point showing takes his Elland Road score for the campaign to 26, just 34.7% of his total for the campaign, although it is worth noting that three of Leeds’ next five fixtures are on the road.

For all Leeds’ exciting play this season (helping their main striker net eight goals) they were subdued going forward on Friday, Bamford’s supply lines cut off by smart performances from West Ham’s central midfielders and full-backs.

“Soucek and Declan have been so good, every game we have a high standard of performance.” – David Moyes

“It was a fair defeat. The type of game doesn’t surprise us. We prepared ourselves to face a game like this. And they were superior.” – Marcelo Bielsa

The mid-priced forward was alert and in the right places for most of the evening but was offered nothing more than scraps following his breakaway run early on.

It was Bamford’s team-mates and tactical changes, rather than the player himself, that let his owners down on Friday night. Some sub-par first-half performances forced Marcelo Bielsa to change both personnel on the left-hand side at the interval and his solutions did not produce the desired results either.

As promised earlier in the week, Jack Harrison (£5.4m) and Ezgjan Alioski (£4.4m) staffed that flank, replaced at half-time by Hélder Costa (£5.4m) and Jamie Shackleton (£4.8m) respectively.

As a result, Stuart Dallas (£4.6m) returned to left-back so Shackleton could fill in at right-back with Luke Ayling (£4.5m) fulfilling a centre-back role, superbly so, it must be said.

While Dallas found himself in plenty of possession in advanced areas, Costa was very poor indeed, giving away the free-kick that led to West Ham’s winning goal.

It is somewhat discouraging that this Leeds performance came in their first match of a favourable run.

However, the fact that they face Newcastle (home), Burnley (home) and West Bromwich Albion (away) is cause enough to have some patience with Bamford.


Owners of Leeds defenders will be frustrated at how they lost this Friday-night encounter.

Despite West Ham asking plenty of questions of Illan Meslier (£4.5m), his six saves and heroic centre-back work from Ayling and Liam Cooper (£4.4m) ensured they could not find a way through from open play.

That is the comfort for Dallas, Ayling and Meslier owners moving forward but only if Bielsa can solve his side’s serious issues defending set-pieces.

After Kurt Zouma (£5.7m) powered home an unmarked header in Gameweek 11, Angelo Ogbonna (£4.9m) and Tomas Soucek (£4.9m) popped up to do damage from dead-ball situations this time around.

The centre-back was left free at the back post for the winning goal after Soucek won a poorly-organised match-up (from a Leeds perspective) with Dallas in the first half.

But it’s not just defending these situations when they come along that Bielsa needs to fix before a Gameweek 13 meeting with Newcastle – the Whites clearly need to practice avoiding them in the first place.

One of the reasons why Harrison deserved to come off at half-time was his poor decision-making in the defensive third when tracking back, including giving away the corner that led to the opening goal rather cheaply. And, as already mentioned, Costa’s sloppy tackling earned West Ham the free-kick they got the winner from.

“We didn’t even do any more practice (set pieces) than what we would do normally. We have got good delivery with Cresswell, players who are good in the air. It is a big part of football. His form has really picked up this year, his delivery has been very good. I think he was excellent again tonight.” – David Moyes

“We know about this problem (set pieces) and we’re doing what’s necessary to try and correct it. It’s not sufficient. We have to persist so that this problem has less influence on our games.” – Marcelo Bielsa


West Ham’s performance at Leeds (their first away win after conceding the first goal in over two years) was made all the more impressive considering that David Moyes was forced into a new-look side following an injury to Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m).

“He’s had a knee problem. He’s had an operation on it.” – David Moyes

Rather than persist with a 3-4-2-1 formation, he reverted to 4-2-3-1, pushing Aaron Cresswell (£5.2m) back out to left full-back again.

Declan Rice (£4.8m) and Soucek sat deeper in a two-man holding midfield and Saïd Benrahma (£6.0m) was the man chosen to replace Masuaku, operating, of course, as a left attacking midfielder, joining Pablo Fornals (£6.4m) and Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m) in support of Sebastien Haller (£6.1m).

The Brentford loanee certainly caught the eye in his first-ever start for West Ham, especially considering he came into Gameweek 12 with two assists in just 79 minutes of Premier League football.

His free role stretched Leeds’ defence and asked questions of the spaces left by their full-backs, Kalvin Phillips (£4.9m) often forced to come wide to track his runs in the absence of Dallas.

Benrahma also went close to scoring with two powerful efforts and is already staking a claim to West Ham’s free-kicks and corners.

“We’ve been threatening to use [Benrahma] more recently. We think he’s a player who’s creative and he’ll win a lot of one-on-one duels.” – David Moyes

“I thought [Benrahma] done a lot of good things. He helped us. He added to what we’ve got. Maybe made a few wrong decisions, passed when he shot, shot when the should have passed but he played well.” – David Moyes

Friday night’s assisters Cresswell and Bowen owners need not fret about Benrahma’s threat to their set-piece involvement.

After the left-winger took a rather selfish shot from a free-kick that should have been put into the box, Cresswell pulled rank for the next one, leading to the winning goal.

The left-back now has four assists on the road this season, the joint-most of any FPL defender, which bodes well for a run of games where West Ham face three away matches in the next five Gameweeks.

Leeds United XI (4-1-4-1): Meslier; Alioski (Shackleton 46′), Cooper, Ayling, Dallas; K Phillips; Harrison (Costa 46′), Rodrigo, Klich, Raphinha; Bamford (Roberts 74′).

West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Coufal; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma (Noble 84′), Fornals (Snodgrass 90+5′), Bowen (Johnson 85′); Haller.

Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 12

  • Leeds United 1-2 West Ham United
  • Wolves v Aston Villa
  • Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion
  • Manchester United v Manchester City
  • Everton v Chelsea
  • Southampton v Sheffield United
  • Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
  • Fulham v Liverpool
  • Arsenal v Burnley
  • Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion

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