West Ham United 1:1 Leicester City
City failed to build on a good start at the London Stadium on Friday night, allowing West Ham back into the game for a 1-1 draw…
Claude Puel named an unchanged side for this Friday night trip to East London, and after a opening spell that was bogged down in midfield, they took an eighth minute lead against David Moyes’ side.
Ndidi emerged from the midfield morass to feed Vardy in down the left and his low cross was missed by Ogbonna allowing Albrighton to slide in with an improvised finish from 12 yards.
This did nothing to improve the mood of the home fans, nor did the fact that City had the lion’s share of the ball for much of the first half, though few chances were created by the new brand of possession football.
There was a good shout for a penalty in the 22nd minute when Albrighton was bounced out of a challenge by Masuaku as he bore down on goal, but Martin Atkinson waved his appeals away.
Vardy then had a decent chance smothered with a timely block from Arnautovic. The resulting corner was headed out as far as Fuchs who had time to line up a shot but sent it high and wide.
As half-time approached, West Ham got a foothold in the game and threatened with a series of set-pieces.
Schmeichel did well to beat away an Ogbonna header from a free-kick, and then punched a Lanzini free-kick clear of danger.
City threatened on the break a couple of times, but Mahrez delievered a tame shot straight into Hart’s grasp, and a shot from Vardy went a yard wide of the far post.
West Ham applied some pressure late in the half, and from a Lanzini corner Kouyate muscled his way through a crowd on the six yard line to head the ball home via Simpson’s shoulder.
Although City still had more possession early in the second half, their passing in the final third was poor and West Ham gradually grew in confidence.
Masuaka cut in from the left and fired in a shot which Schmeichel smothered.
It was a poor spectacle at this stage with the game settling into a stalemate and several lengthy stoppages for injuries.
Puel brought Chilwell on for Mahrez in the 70th minute, but City didn’t improve.
The closest either side came to scoring was an Ayew overhead kick following a scramble from a corner, but it cleared the crossbar.
Both sides had to settle for a point from a forgettable game.
Claude Puel summed up: “Our first half performance gives us confidence for the future because we showed good quality with the ball, we moved it well and found good space but we couldn’t score a second goal, but the way we played was promising for the future, but after that it was frustration.”
West Ham: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyaté, Obiang, Arnautovic (Ayew 69), Lanzini, Masuaku (Sakho 90), Carroll.
Substitutes: Adrián, Noble, Fernandes, Quina, Rice.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Albrighton, Ndidi, Iborra, Gray (Slimani 90), Mahrez (Chilwell 70), Vardy.
Substitutes: Iheanacho, King, Hamer, Dragovic, Okazaki.
Referee: M Atkinson. Attendance: 56,897.
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