The Warm Down: Leeds secure important victory in English capital
Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Leeds United continue to inch away from the bottom three following a 3-2 victory over West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Jack Harrison was the hero for the Whites, scoring a hat-trick, including a late winner to propel Leeds to a second consecutive win and put them on 22 points.

Raphinha played in Mateusz Klich and his shot was saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but the ball then found its way to Harrison and he smashed home to open the scoring.

Craig Dawson somehow headed a corner wide as the hosts built up some momentum. Jarrod Bowen then equalized before halftime, heading home a corner as he was left unmarked by Stuart Dallas.

Moments later, Leeds were in front as a corner was flicked on by Luke Ayling and Harrison tapped home his and Leeds’ second.

Pablo Fornals weaved through the Whites defense and slotted home to make it 2-2.

Just when it looked like West Ham would kick on, Leeds surged back and regained the lead. Raphinha played in Harrison perfectly and he sealed his hat trick with a fine finish to make it 3-2.

Raphinha the star again for Leeds

With Patrick Bamford struggling due to injuries, the Brazilian magician was at the peak of his powers. He set up Harrison for the winner, set up another that was disallowed and struck the woodwork with a free kick.

What has to be encouraging to Leeds fans is the improvement he shows every week, which is why he also is garnering interest from some of the bigger clubs in Europe.

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His ability to make everything look effortless while on the ball and his hunger to win it back combined with his versatility to play in multiple positions make him the most important player in the Whites fight for survival.

Hammers struggling at home

West Ham have picked up more points away from home than have at the London Stadium and while that speaks to their toughness and character, it's also worrying for a team that has Champions League aspirations.

They have dropped points to Southampton, Brentford and now Leeds at home with the common theme being their inability to counter aggressive teams when they are expected to be the ones dictating the action.

This was a missed opportunity to boost their top four chances against a side without many key players and their failure to do so exposes a larger problem: they need to be better against the bottom half if they want to qualify for Europe.

Whites show who they really are

Marcelo Bielsa's side are brilliant going forward. They have a ton of speed, creativity and can turn on the style mainly due to Raphinha. That's what makes them so fun to watch.

On the other hand, their back-line can be just the opposite. They nearly gave up the equalizer in the 94th minute, but their style of hunting for goals (they could have had seven here) makes up for it.

This win, without Bamford and Kalvin Phillips, to go along with the three points picked up against Burnley should ease any relegation fears as Leeds are now eight points clear and look to be headed for safety.

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