West Ham United's Nayef Aguerd and Flynn Downes in action with Leeds United's Joe Gelhardt REUTERS/Carl Recine
(Reuters) - West Ham United brought an end to a run of five consecutive Premier League defeats as they battled to a 2-2 draw at Leeds United on Wednesday.
The writing looked to be on the wall for the visitors after teenage forward Wilfried Gnonto gave Leeds the lead in the 27th minute, but David Moyes's side responded well and deservedly levelled just before halftime through a Lucas Paqueta penalty.
With supporters still taking their seats for the second half, Gianluca Scamacca stunned Elland Road with a second for West Ham 44 seconds after the restart to complete the turnaround.
Leeds toiled as the rain came down, but a thunderbolt out of the blue from Rodrigo restored parity once more with 20 minutes to go.
Both sides had chances to win it but had to settle for a point apiece, with West Ham remaining 17th in the table, level on 15 points with Everton in the relegation zone, while Leeds are two points clear of the bottom three in 14th.
"We fought hard, it was a good old-fashioned game," Moyes said. "I felt when we went 2-1 up we would win and we should have done and then we made mistakes and didn't do things as well as we should have done.
"I felt we had to control the game a bit better. We gave a couple of stupid passes and let them back in the game."
It was not only West Ham who needed the points coming into the encounter, with Leeds slipping closer to the relegation zone by the week.
The hosts started well in the West Yorkshire drizzle, creating several good openings before Italy international Gnonto hammered home his first goal in English football after a neat one-two with Crysencio Summerville.
Vladimir Coufal almost scored a spectacular equaliser from just inside the Leeds half after home goalkeeper Illan Meslier had darted from his line to make a tackle, but the audacious loft landed on the roof of the net.
It appeared Pablo Fornals had missed another opportunity to equalise as he side-footed wide on the cusp of the interval, but VAR ruled Jarrod Bowen had been fouled in the build-up and a penalty was given, which Paqueta stroked home.
The second half was equally as thrilling, with Leeds needing Scamacca's thunderbolt, just his third league goal since arriving in England in the close season, to jolt them into life.
After Rodrigo had arrowed his 10th league goal of the campaign into the bottom corner, Declan Rice fired over from a good position, while West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made several fine stops to preserve a much-needed point for his side.
"I am very frustrated it took our players to go down to play with their ability and fearlessness," Leeds coach Jesse Marsch said. "The first half wasn't good enough, we played backwards too much and invited them into the game too much.
"It leads ultimately to the penalty. That is not how we want us to play."
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