West Ham United 2:2 Leicester City
Harvey Barnes first goal for City earned them an injury-time point in a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Saturday…
Brendan Rodgers made two changes to his his side, with Morgan and Barnes making way for Evans and Albrighton.
On a blazing hot day in East London, this game had an end of season feel about it and a fairly lethargic first half unfolded.
The first chance fell to City in the 4th minute. Albrighton played a ball forward, Vardy nodded it back to Maddison, who made room for a shot that went too close to Fabianski.
A period of West Ham pressure followed, though City weren’t too too stretched as they defended a series of corners and free-kicks.
The home side’s first real chance came in the 25th minute when Arnautovic fired a cross into the six yard box, but Ricardo managed to block what should have been a far post tap in for Antonio and the ball looped up into Schmeichel’s grasp.
A rare chance for City arrived in the 32nd minute when Maddison again made room for himself 20 yards out, but again failed to test Fabianski.
West Ham pressed again, Snodgrass robbing Tielemans and feeding Anderson, whose fierce shot hit Antonio and deflected wide.
The warning signs had been there for City, who looked very subdued, and the Hammers took a 37th minute lead. After a patient passing move Noble got in down the left and delivered a cross for Antonio that saw him rise above Chilwell to nod home past Schmeichel from 8 yards.
It was a lead that West Ham took down the tunnel at half time, and no one could argue that City deserved more.
City continued to struggle after the break, despite West Ham moving down a gear, but things began to improve on the hour. They started to press forward, and then Rodgers made his first change, bringing Barnes on for Albrighton.
Chilwell then burst into the penalty area, before going to ground, but his appeals for a penalty looked optimistic. But a minute later City were back in the game.
Chilwell delivered a cross from the left and Vardy nipped ahead of Balbuena for a superb near post finish.
This woke the game up, and City went close again two minutes later when the ball fell for Ndidi after some pinball in the area but his side-footed effort went a couple of yards wide of the right hand post.
It was end-to-end stuff now, and Maguire blocked an Anderson shot, before Maddison fired one wide.
It looked as though there were more goals in the game, and so it proved.
West Ham regained their lead in the 82nd minute with two substitutes combining – Obiang sent a low 20 yarder thumping against the post and Pérez, who had followed up, only had to stick a foot out to finish past a grounded Schmeichel.
Pérez then had the ball in the net again after rounding Schmeichel but was judged to be offside, though this appeared to be a harsh decision from the replays.
Rodgers brought Iheanacho on for Gray as City tried to find a way back.
A Vardy cross just eluded Barnes and Iheanacho and then Barnes crossed for Iheanacho who seemed to be in two minds whether to connect with head or foot.
As City laid siege to the Hammers’ area Maddison had a shot blocked and Chilwell sent a long range effort straight at Fabianski.
As play entered five minutes of time-added-on City had all the possession, and they managed to unlock West Ham’s defence in the 92nd minute. Tielemans spotted Barnes’s run into the area and threaded a superb ball through to him. Barnes sent a precise shot across Fabianski and in at the far post, his first goal in a City shirt.
It hadn’t been a great performance from City, before they roused themselves for the final half hour, but it was a well-earned point in the end.
Brendan Rodgers explained his decision to leave Barnes out: “Today I took him out of the team so he could come into the game and hopefully make an impact because there has been a lot around him about getting his first goal and everything. It can sometimes weigh on the minds of young players so I took him out of the starting line-up to see if he could come in and make an impact. He put a couple of great crosses into the box and made a wonderful run and finish. I am delighted for him because it is a wonderful moment for a young player, to celebrate with the supporters. I am very pleased for him.”
United: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Antonio, Noble (Wilshere 85), Snodgrass (Obiang 73), Felipe Anderson, Arnautovic (Pérez 78).
Substitutes: Adrián, Diop, Fredericks, Diangana.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Albrighton (Barnes 64), Ndidi, Tielemans (Mendy 90), Gray (Iheanacho 84), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Ward, Okazaki, Fuchs.
Referee: Lee Probert. Attendance: 59,960.
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