West Ham managed as commanding a display this afternoon as Leicester City pulled off at the Etihad a week ago. David Moyes’ men played a perfect counter-attacking game, whilst keeping a clean sheet courtesy of a cohesive back line.
Leicester started the brighter of the two sides at the King Power, with the dynamic right-hand pairing of Timothy Castagne and Ayoze Perez searching for incisive crosses into the box. The Foxes, in truth, though, created little of note, and were soon punished.
Completely against the run of play, West Ham took the lead in the 13th minute. Michail Antonio was taken down by Caglar Soyuncu on the right flank, before the Hammers forward got up to switch a quick free-kick out to the left.
Left-back Aaron Cresswell picked up the ball, swinging a deep curling cross away from the hosts’ goal for Antonio, who had sprinted into the box, to head across Kasper Schmeichel and into the bottom-left corner:
— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 4, 2020
Leicester went in search of a quick leveller, but again, their final ball was lacking. Jamie Vardy continued to make runs through the away side’s defensive line, but was frustrated by the West Ham press blocking possible passing lanes.
And the Hammers’ stout defensive work would soon be rewarded by a surprising 2nd goal. A long, high ball from Cresswell found Pablo Fornals, who graciously brought it under control, before firing low to Schmeichel’s right.
Vladimir Coufal was enjoying a spritely West Ham debut, and set up an early chance in the second-half for Antonio, who headed straight into the welcoming arms of Schmeichel.
An injury to Daniel Amartey allowed Cengiz Under to come on for his Leicester City debut. Whilst enforced, the change also meant that Brendan Rodgers switched his side’s shape to a back-four, and a more offensive frontline.
But this had little effect. Leicester continued to appear devoid of ideas. Every time West Ham ventured forward, on the other hand, they looked dangerous.
Declan Rice was incredibly unlucky not to have a lung-busting run rewarded with a goal. The England international smashed his shot against the bar in the 72nd minute.
But, 10 minutes later, West Ham wrapped up the game. Fornals and Bowen combined, with the Spaniard playing the latter through, and the former Hull wide man slotting past the helpless Schmeichel.
Vardy summed up Leicester’s afternoon when through on goal late on, scooping his effort wide of the Hammers’ far post. There seemed to be a late consolation goal after brilliant combination play between Vardy and Harvey Barnes, but a VAR check cruelly ruled the effort out for offside.
Just 🔥🔥🔥#LEIWHU 0-3 (FT)
— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 4, 2020
The result means that the Foxes suffer their first Premier League defeat of the season, with the absence of Dennis Praet certainly noticeable. Brendan Rodgers will no doubt hope that the Belgian returns to action soon.
West Ham, meanwhile, record a magical away win which will make David Moyes, self isolating at home, extremely happy.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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