Saturday, 18 March 2017

West Ham made to pay by Leicester, after giving away early goals

West Ham 2-3 Leicester City

Leicester City continued their recent revival with this narrow win over West Ham in a highly entertaining game at the London Stadium.

Manager Craig Shakespeare emphasised his team’s work ethic. “We scored the goals at the right time and knew that hardwork was paramount to success,” said Shakespeare, who confirmed his side had started on the front foot, where they left off against Seville in midweek.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was taken aback that his side had come away with nothing, having played some of the the best football they have all season in the last half hour. “There were a lot of negatives in the first half, positives in the second,” said Bilic. “We deserved something from the game, we created enough chances.”

In reality, West Ham were always playing catch up having given away a couple of soft goals in the opening minutes before pulling one back, only to once again  let revived England poacher Jamie Vardy nip in for a third in the 37th minute.

The game was a mere four minutes old when a hopeful Riyad Mahrez shot came through a group of players to finish up in the net. The ball bounced and alluded the unsighted home keeper Darren Randolph.

Two minutes later the visitors went two up, after Marc Albrighton nodded on a Mahrez free kick that was then met by the onrushing Robert Huth who headed home.

West Ham struck back in the 19th minute, with the inspiring Manuel Lanzini driving home a free kick from 20 yards, after Michail Antonio was fouled.

Then came Vardy’s goal, meeting a corner in the goal area to ram home.

In the second half, West Ham took almost total control but were constantly thwarted by the outstanding Kasper Schmeichel. Another Lanzine free kick was pushed round the post by Schmeichel at full stretch.

West  Ham reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute when Andy Carroll nodded a corner onto Andre Ayew who headed home.

Schmeichel though stood firm against any further encroachment, denying a Carroll header on the line then a point blank stop as the big striker unleashed a shot in the dying minutes.

So West Ham were once again denied but the fans certainly had good entertainment value for their money out of this match.

* published Morning Star - 20/3/2017 - Foxes continue unbeaten run

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