West Ham squander chance to extend top four advantage with defeat against depleted Leeds

As any grizzled manager worth his weight in cliches will tell you, no silverware is handed out in January.

However, West Ham passed up on the chance to take a step closer towards Arsene Wenger’s cherished fourth place crown with a chaotic 3-2 defeat at home to a decimated Leeds United on Sunday afternoon.

Exactly seven days prior, West Ham cruised to a 2-0 victory against the same opponents, on the same ground in the FA Cup. West Ham’s frontline – and Jarrod Bowen in particular, a scorer in both matches – can point to their consistency across the two fixtures. Yet, as David Moyes’ side struggles for balance, a porous rearguard proved West Ham’s downfall.

More than halfway through the campaign, West Ham have a decidedly middling defensive record, reflected in the team’s underlying numbers, that undermines their attempts to qualify for the Champions League.

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