Premier League

Declan Rice Reveals West Ham Rally in Leeds Win

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Declan Rice has revealed what the players said to one another in the opening 10 minutes during the Hammers’ eventual 2-0 win over United.

A handful of goals and a clean sheet is superficially indicative of a comfortable game, but the game’s opening was anything but a breeze for a side let off the hook by Leeds.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side had the ball in the back of the net twice towards the start of the game, only for the to be bailed out on both occasions by the offside flag.

Equally, drew a penalty before he then somewhat begrudgingly enabled his teammate that secured the spot kick to convert it. Lingard technically failed to do so, with Leeds ‘keeper Illan Meslier saving the initial kick – but Lingard converted the rebound.

Hearts were racing across east London for the opening spells of the game, but a well-worked bullet header from Craig Dawson was enough to put the Hammers in the driving seat.

With a two-goal cushion, rode the waves of attacks that followed and saw out the result.

However, Declan Rice – captaining his side – spoke to Sky Sports as he revealed the message he issued to his teammates to lift spirits and regain focus:

“Speaking honestly, I’m disappointed with the performance.

“Tonight, caused us problems. The first ten they came out really really sharp, they had two disallowed goals and as players on the pitch you need to wake yourself up and get yourself into the game.

“After the first ten minutes on the pitch as players we said to each other ‘look, we need to wake up here, they could be one or two nil up’.”

Forever ’s View

Rice’s words ring true but are equally indicative of the leadership qualities that render him more than worthy of the captain’s armband.

His rallying cry could have made a difference, given ’s eventual control of the game buoyed by some crucial goals.

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