Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United
Leicester City missed a chance to go joint top of the Premier League today, after taking a sound walloping at the hands of the excellent West Ham.
The Hammers raced into a two goal lead before half time and thoroughly deserved their victory against a Leicester side unrecognisable from the team which hammered Manchester City last week. Equally, West Ham looks a different outfit to the one which misfired throughout last season and ended up in a nervy relegation battle.
The result lifted the Hammers up into the top half of the table while Leicester could only put this down to a very bad day at the office.
Highlights of the game
With head coach David Moyes watching the game on TV, having tested positive for coronavirus, the Hammers gave their boss a huge boost by going ahead on 14 minutes. In form striker Michail Antonio took a quick free-kick to Aaron Cresswell who swung a ball into the Leicester box, where Antonio had arrived to plant a low header past Kasper Schmeichel and into the bottom corner.
West Ham were doing a good job of frustrating their hosts and they struck another blow before half time to go into a shock 0-2 lead. The loss of England wing back Ben Chilwell to Chelsea hadn’t affected Leicester’s start to the season so far, and return of centre back Jonny Evans from a three-match suspension was a pre-match boost for the Foxes; but this was a case of poor defending. Cresswell was the provider again, launching a long ball over the Leicester backline and Pablo Fornals beat the Foxes to it, and after a sublime first touch he stroked it past Schmeichel to double the Hammers’ lead.
The Foxes tried to hit back early in the second half and when Jamie Vardy chased a long pass, West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna slid the ball back to Lukasz Fabianski, and when the keeper made a hash of his clearance Harvey Barnes reacted quickly to unleash a shot which sailed wide. But as Leicester started to chase the game Antonio was a constant threat at the other end and he outpaced the Foxes’ defence before cutting a ball back for Fornals, but the returned Evans made a goal-saving tackle. And the rampant Hammers almost made it 0-3, on 71 minutes, when Declan Rice ran from inside his own half before sidestepping Evans and smashing a shot onto the underside of the crossbar.
The Hammers deservedly bagged their third goal, on 83 minutes, and it was another brilliant counter-attack, started by the excellent Rice, who broke up a Leicester attack before releasing Fornals who ran at Evans and passed to Jarrod Bowen who finished with style into the bottom corner.
Finally, on 90 minutes Vardy received the service he’d been desperate for when Nampalys Mendy set him free with a superb through ball, but the 2019/20 league top scorer summed up the Foxes’ day when he sliced his shot wide with only Fabianski to beat.
Vardy took aim at a water-bottle and hit that much better!
Then, in injury time, Leicester thought they had a consolation goal which they barely deserved. It was a brilliant one touch passing move finished off by Harvey Barnes, but the goal was overturned by VAR as Vardy was an inch offside in the build-up.
I think Brendan Rodgers was as pleased as the celebrating Hammers when the final whistle blew.
The Foxes scored 12 goals in their opening three games, the highest total of any team at that stage since 2012, and the pre-match Premier League 2020 betting tips pretty much agreed that a home win was the most likely outcome.
But by half time West Ham had turned the odds on their head with five shots to Leicester’s one and the Foxes failed to test Lukasz Fabianski once. In fact, the out of sorts hosts only registered one shot on target while the Hammers managed six.
With more Premier League 2020 results to roll in during the rest of the weekend there’s plenty to go at for SBOTOP football fans.
Next week we have the international break and a chance to see some of Europe’s best players turning out for their nations and, of course, the Premier League transfer window closes tomorrow with some more high profile deals inching closer to the line.
After the break, Leicester are back in action with a mouth-watering Midlands derby to look forward to when Aston Villa head eastwards to visit the King Power Stadium.
Meanwhile, the happy Hammers have another top four candidate in their sights when they welcome Jose Mourinho’s Spurs to the London Stadium.
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