West Ham United 1:2 Leicester City
A hard fought 2-1 victory at Upton Park on Saturday saw City back on top of the Premier League…
Claudio Ranieri named an unchanged side for City’s last ever league game at Upton Park before next year’s move to the Olympic Park.
It was the Hammers who went close early on when Oxford got his head to a Payet free-kick and brushed the top of the crossbar.
City’s front two of Vardy and Okazaki were looking lively when City broke upofield, but Vardy earned himself an 11th minute booking, catching keeper Adrian as the pair contested a loose ball.
Sakho then fired narrowly over from close in, but his blushes were spared by an offside flag.
City then had a chance of their own when Mahrez drifted past two defenders in the penalty area, before Adrian blocked his stabbed effort at the near post.
As City enjoyed a great spell Huth went close with an overhead kick before the breakthrough arrived in the 27th miunute.
Vardy crossed for Okazaki, and though his original shot was well saved by Adrian the Japanese international followed up to nod the ball into an empty net to the delight of the Leicester fans in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
Ten minutes later they were celebrating again when great work from Albrighton down the left set up Mahrez for a well placed shot that gave Adrian no chance.
Schmeichel then got lucky when he looked to have impeded Sakho in the area, but the ref turned his back on West Ham’s appeals.
Kouyate’s header over the bar meant that City went in 2-0 up at the break, on a ground where they have won once since 1966 this seemed too good to be true.
City had more defending to do in the second half as West Ham tried to haul themselves back, and they breached City’s defence after ten minutes. Noble crossed for Payet whose shot cannoned into Sakho, but th eball was fed back to Payet who made no mistake with his second try, finding the top left hand corner.
With the home crowd now making plenty of noise City had to weather a storm, but they handled the pressure well.
Just after the hour Ranieri tightened things up bringing on Kanté for Okazaki and then Benalouane for De Laet.
City managed to quieten the crowd down again with a professional closing out of th egame and West Ham were reduced to crossfield passes that seldom penetrated the final third of the field.
City continued to create chances on the break but neither Mahrez from a free-kick, Albrighton or Drinkwater could hit the target.
West Ham’s big chance for a point came with 10 minutes to go, but Sakho sent his shot straight into the chest of Schmeichel.
As the game entered time added on the home side were then reduced to ten men. Keeper Adrian had come up for a corner, but in attempting to connect with the ball caught Vardy in the chest and was shown a straight red card.
City saw out the remaining couple of minutes to earn a fantastic victory that put them back on top of the Premier League, continuing Ranieri’s great start to the season.
West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Oxford (Obiang 46), Kouyate (Lanzini 76), Noble, Payet, Sakho, Zarate (Maiga 82). Subs Not Used: Randolph, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis, Obiang.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet (Benalouane 66), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Albrighton, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez (Fuchs 82), Okazaki (Kanté 62), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Hammond, Kanté, Kramarić, Ulloa, Maddison.
Referee: A Taylor. Attendance: 34,857.
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