Harrison’s hat trick gives Leeds 3-2 win at West Ham in EPL
LONDON (AP) — Jack Harrison scored a hat trick as Leeds overcame a long list of absentees to beat West Ham 3-2 in the Premier League on Sunday.
West Ham hit back twice through Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals, but Harrison’s well-taken third goal ended the London club’s four-match winning streak.
Leeds traveled to West Ham without nine first-team players — and two others went off injured before halftime — and had seven teenagers, including 15-year-old Archie Gray, on the bench.
But unlike Arsenal, which got Sunday’s game at Tottenham postponed due to a player shortage, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa said “we don’t have any reasons to ask for it” to be called off.
The Hammers are also low on numbers, missing Tomas Soucek through COVID-19 again, and three matches in a week looked to have caught up with them.
Leeds took the lead in the 10th minute. Luke Ayling’s ball over the top sent Raphinha clear down the right and his cutback found Mateusz Klich in the area. Kilch’s shot was beaten away by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, but Adam Forshaw was first to the loose ball and laid it back for Harrison to net.
Leeds’ injury problems deepened midway through the first half when both Forshaw and Junior Firpo limped off.
West Ham equalized in the 34th, with Bowen giving Stuart Dallas the slip to head Aaron Cresswell’s corner into the net.
Leeds retook the lead almost immediately when Ayling flicked on a corner from Raphina and Harrison pounced at the far post.
Dan James twice had the chance to extend the advantage in first-half stoppage time, but he shot tamely straight at Fabianski and then curled another opportunity wide.
Instead, West Ham leveled again seven minutes into the second half when Fornals skipped past Ayling and Pascal Struijk in the area before wrongfooting Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier with a clever finish.
However, the match swung the way of Leeds again on the hour mark after Nikola Vlasic lost possession on the halfway line. Raphinha galloped forward and sprayed a superb throughball to Harrison, who expertly lifted his shot over Fabianski to complete a treble.
Leeds moved to nine points above the relegation zone. West Ham remained in fourth place, two points ahead of Arsenal having played two more games.
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