West Ham 1 City 1
Report by Kate Thompson
This turned out to be a most disappointing match; after City had scored in the 8th minute, they should have gone all out to win comfortably. Instead they were hanging on and must have been relieved to come away with a single point. West Ham are a club under massive pressure but full marks to their fans who were perhaps the noisiest I have heard at an away match and must have put heart into their beleaguered team.
City were unchanged from the last match and West Ham made one change, bringing in Masuaku for Noble. The City goal was somewhat fortunate: Ndidi released Vardy in the left channel and he put across an innocuous looking pass which Ogbonna failed to cut out, leaving Albrighton the relatively easy task of sliding it in.
Unfortunately, this was as good as it got for Leicester as they seemed to retreat into their shells and apart from a decent shout for a penalty when Albrighton was clattered in the area halfway through the first half, they spent the rest of the half on the back foot.
Ayew, who had come on as a substitute in 69th minute, thought he should have had a penalty too but the television coverage showed that he dived and should have got a yellow card instead. He did get one soon after for a foul on Gray, who was also booked for reacting.
But for Schmeichel on two occasions and Simpson on another two, West Ham would have got the goal their overall play deserved much sooner. As it was, it was from one of Simpson’s timely clearances over the bar that led to the equaliser. City failed to deal with the corner and it was squeezed in off the unfortunate Simpson’s shoulder, just before half-time. Apparently we have had more goals scored against us from corners than any team in the league.
The second half was more backs to the wall stuff and it was a minor miracle that there were no more goals. In all truth, no one could have complained if West Ham had won, as they were the better team for most of the game and their vociferous fans were impressive.
What worried me more than anything was the inability of the Leicester players to pass to a team mate, however close he was, and I do get frustrated when the only pass appears to be back to Schmeichel. In the dim and distant past when I played, I remember being told that the only good pass was a forward one – not sideways and definitely not backwards!
Mahrez had a poor game, back to his performances at the beginning of the season, but was clearly annoyed at being replaced by Chilwell in the 70th minute. Gray was replaced by Slimani in added time. I really don’t understand what is achieved by these very late substitutions but all clubs seem to do it.
None of the players, Mahrez apart, had a particularly poor game but they did not sparkle or inspire confidence that they could win the game. To quote from the Times report on Saturday, City were ‘poor opponents who withdrew into themselves for the entire second half’. And to think I lost money on a ticket for the theatre in London when Sky in their usual autocratic fashion decided to cover this match!
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Ndidi, Mahrez (Chilwell, 70), Albrighton, Iborra, Gray (Slimani, 90), Vardy. Subs not used: Hamer, King, Dragovic, Okazaki, Iheanacho.
West Ham: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Obiang, Kouyaté, Arnautovic (Ayew, 69), Lanzini, Masuaku (Sakho, 90), Carroll. Subs not used: Adrian, Rice, Fernandes, Noble, Quina.
Referee: Martin Atkinson Attendance: 56,897
The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation