Michail Antonio bagged a 90th-minute winner on his return to West Ham’s starting XI as they defeated Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
In a match that was, understandably, end-to-end at Elland Road, David Moyes’ side came out on top thanks to two second-half goals.
Raphinha opened the scoring for the home side inside 20 minutes when he fired home a low shot past Lukasz Fabianksi from outside the penalty box but the tide turned when Jarrod Bowen’s shot deflected in off Junior Firpo halfway through the second half.
The 31-year-old, who is the leading goalscorer in the English top-flight right now, then popped up with a cool, calm and collected winner in the first minute of injury time.
He caught the Whites on the counter-attack as he knocked the ball past Jamie Shackleton before slotting the ball around Illan Meslier, much to the delight of the travelling Irons faithful, who stormed the pitch.
A lot of the admiration and acclaim will certainly fall at Antonio’s feet, as it should and often does, but there was another name who arguably stole the show up in Yorkshire.
As predicted by Football FanCast pre-game, tricky winger Said Benrahma had the potential to have a field day against Marcelo Bielsa’s injury-ravaged backline and that’s exactly what he did.
On the left flank, the Algerian earned the second-highest rating (7.6) of any Hammers player, via SofaScore.
The £26m-rated dynamo recorded three key passes and made 90% of his 31 passing attempts as he proved to be a major creative outlet for West Ham at Elland Road.
He was also a constant thorn in Bielsa’s side as he fired off five of the team’s 20 attempts at goal, had three successful dribbles and registered the third-highest number of touches for the visitors (52), as per SofaScore.
Benrahma would’ve left the young Leeds duo of Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell with nightmares after that display.
The 26-year-old wizard even did the dirty work defensively, having recorded four tackles. A number that was only bettered by one player on either side – home defender Firpo – and he even won eight of 13 ground duels, only further showing his dominance on the aforementioned Whites duo.
‘A very lively start from the Algerian who came close with a long-range effort then moments later showed the work rate Moyes demands with a vital interception in his own box. He is now becoming a trusted player by the manager after being in and out of the team last season.’
All in all, it’s evident that Benrahma was a key cog in the Hammers’ last-gasp win over Leeds on Saturday afternoon. He may not have added to his three goals and two assists but he was certainly a persistent nuisance and one that ran the show for Moyes this weekend.