Leicester City 4-1 West Ham United
Leicester City’s slump is over. The Foxes bounced back from back-to-back Premier League defeats in emphatic fashion as they thumped West Ham United at home, 4-1.
Goals from Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira, as well as a late Ayoze Perez brace saw Leicester go back to within three points of Manchester City in second.
The Premier League 2020 had the Foxes favoured by a significant margin despite their recent slump, and so it proved as they thoroughly dominated a listless West Ham side.
However, it was not all good news for Leicester as Jamie Vardy had to exit before half-time with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on the Premier League 2020 updates for further developments.
Highlights of the game
It took the home side just three minutes to fire their first shot on West Ham’s goal. Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy combined beautifully down the left-hand side. However, Vardy’s left-footed strike went straight at Hammers keeper Darren Randolph.
West Ham’s first real notable effort on goal came on 15 minutes from a corner. Kasper Schmeichel was unable to properly punch the ball clear, but Aaron Cresswell couldn’t capitalise with his header.
Leicester did eventually take the lead on 23 minutes. After another well-worked Leicester move, Ricardo Pereira got free and dinked the ball over Randolph, and Barnes was on hand to hammer the ball into the net.
However, Leicester fans’ celebrations were muted on 40 minutes as Jamie Vardy went down in pain after a clearance clutching the back of his left leg. The Premier League top scorer tried to continue but he eventually had to come off. Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored in their first meeting against West Ham this season, took his place.
But the Leicester faithful were in full voice right on the stroke of half-time as they doubled their lead. This time around, Barnes turned provider for Pereira as his pass found the completely unmarked Portuguese full-back, who smashed the ball home.
Just three minutes into the second half, though, West Ham were handed a lifeline as they were awarded a penalty. Wilfred Ndidi, who came on during the break, was adjudged to have fouled Sebastian Haller inside the box.
Mark Noble stepped up to take the spot-kick, and the ever-reliable Hammers skipper made no mistake as he calmly passed the ball right down the middle.
Leicester piled on the pressure as they looked to restore their two-goal advantage. Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes both had decent opportunities, as did James Maddison, whose spectacular long-range strike was denied by an equally brilliant save from Randolph.
But Leicester’s pressure eventually paid off on 79 minutes as they were awarded a penalty of their own. Iheanacho was bundled over by Angelo Ogbonna, who was also booked for his troubles. Perez stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake as he blasted it in.
And Perez wasn’t done. He capped off the scoring on 88 minutes as he produced a fine finish right into the bottom corner.
Despite the concerning injury of Vardy, it was still a great night all around for Brendan Rodgers and
Leicester have been among the best home sides in the league this season, and they improved that record to eight wins, two draws, and two defeats, with 24 goals scored and 12 conceded.
Their dominance was quite evident in the final statistics. They controlled 68 per cent of possession and outshot the Hammers, 19-6. Eight of the Foxes’ shots were on target, and half found the back of the net.
Perez and Pereira were the standout performers for Leicester. Both had a team-high four shots, which is very impressive in Pereira’s case seeing as he’s a right-back.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s struggles in attack continue. Their front two of Sebastian Haller and Manuel Lanzini didn’t produce a single shot between them for the entire 90 minutes, which is not good enough.
The Hammers are now down to 17th in the table, tied with both Bournemouth and Watford on 23 points. Although, they do still have a game in hand.
Both Leicester and West Ham will take a break from Premier League action to play in the FA Cup fourth round. Leicester are away to Brentford but are nevertheless big favourites to go through according to the SBOTOP.
Meanwhile, West Ham will be at home to West Bromwich Albion. Given the Hammers’ poor form of late, they could very easily get knocked out by the Baggies, who are currently top of the Championship.
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