Leeds United were pipped to the post last night in their latest Premier League clash against West Ham. Following a foul on Patrick Bamford in the box, Mateusz Klich coolly converted from the spot to give the Whites an early lead.
However, the Irons managed to overthrow their opener with a goal in each half to snatch the win. David Moyes and his men will be thrilled with the three points, but for the Whites, they face a big challenge going into their clash with Newcastle next.
Despite the loss, Marcelo Bielsa can take away some positives from the game, with one being the fact Luke Ayling seriously stepped up to the plate amid the team’s recent flurry of injuries.
The Argentinian manager is currently without Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, who have both suffered injuries respectively. In their absence, Ayling was deployed in the heart of defence and he was arguably his side’s best player against West Ham.
According to Sofascore, the natural right-back contributed three blocks, four interceptions and two tackles, along with completing 100% of his attempted ground duels. Ayling was also successful in all of his dribbles and had one shot on target.
He has now featured at centre-back on four occasions this season, showing Bielsa that he can adapt easily when called upon. Koch will be out of action for up to three months following knee surgery, which means Ayling could be required to feature alongside Liam Cooper for more fixtures to come.
Bielsa will take extreme comfort knowing that his defence hasn’t been completely torn apart and they will hope for a more positive result against Newcastle next time out.