Two headed goals from set pieces by midfielder Tomas Soucek and defender Angelo Ogbonna helped West Ham United fight back from a goal down to beat Leeds United 2-1 in their Premier League clash at Elland Road on Friday.
West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski conceded a penalty in the second minute when he brought down Patrick Bamford and seemed to have redeemed himself by saving Mateusz Klich’s spot kick.
However, after a review by the video assistant referee (VAR) a retake was ordered due to Fabianski leaving his line, and Klich scored at the second attempt.
West Ham’s French striker Sebastien Haller had two early chances blocked before Soucek put West Ham level in the 25th minute, out-muscling defender Stuart Dallas to head the ball into the net.
Two substitutions at the break briefly gave Leeds a new lease of life but the visitors soon took over again, and they eventually went ahead thanks to Ogbonna’s far-post header from an Aaron Cresswell free kick ten minutes from time.
Ogbonna almost turned provider late on, crossing for centre-back partner Fabian Balbuena to head against the far post, and Leeds midfielder Rodrigo almost made them pay with a late header of his own, but he couldn’t steer the ball past Fabianski.
“You look at our set pieces and it’s a massive part of our game, it’s worked again tonight,” West Ham left back Cresswell told Sky Sports after his side joined Chelsea as the league’s most potent team from dead balls with eight goals each.
“We didn’t lose our heads and Angelo Ogbonna stepped up. We have got to keep looking forward but not get too far ahead of ourselves,” he added.
The win lifts the Hammers to fifth spot in the standings with 20 points after 12 games. Leeds remain in 14th place on 14 points.