West Ham 3 City 2
Report by Kate Thompson
Any thoughts about yesterday’s game will be overshadowed by later events. When the team was announced, Praet and Ricardo came in but there was no place for Maddison, Perez or Choudhury in the squad. Rumours were flying around and the Club finally confirmed that these three players, possibly with Harvey Barnes, had broken Covid regulations.
After a two-minute silence to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, the game got under way and I thought Leicester were reasonably OK until the first goal; they appeared to have the bulk of possession and had more shots on target than West Ham. Gareth Southgate was in attendance but Maddison had blown any remote chance of making the Euros squad by his stupidity, and I for one have no sympathy for him.
It was a bit alarming to learn that West Ham had the best record for scoring from set pieces, but on the whole City coped well with corners and free kicks. The first goal was one of those that was difficult to anticipate; Coufal pulled the ball back to Lingard, who drove an unstoppable shot beyond Schmeichel, in the 28th minute. Is it just me, or is anyone else irritated by Lingard’s ridiculous goal celebrations? And I don’t remember him making much of an impact when he was on loan with us, yet another loan player who comes back to bite us.
The game went from one end to the other, with little end product until Lingard (that man again) scored his second goal in the 43rd minute, this time it was laid on a plate for him when Bowen raced clear from the halfway line and squared it – even I could have scored that one! It was checked for offside, but the goal stood. By half-time West Ham had had only two efforts on goal and had scored from both of them.
Luke Thomas replaced Amartey at half-time and Albrighton came on for Praet in the 59th minute. Before then, however, West Ham had scored a third goal in the 47th minute. Iheanacho lost the ball and the quick-thinking West Ham players took advantage, Bowen scoring from a skilful move. A fourth goal from Diop was disallowed for offside.
Soon Albrighton began to make a difference and, for the first time in the match, West Ham began to look somewhat nervous. Iheanacho scored a very good goal in the 70th minute, which was a bit surprising as he had hardly been in the game and his first touch was frequently poor, the ball bouncing off him.
To their credit, City kept pressing and Iheanacho scored another good goal in the first minute (of six) of added time. Moyes was going ballistic on the touchline, which was hardly surprising considering what had happened against Arsenal and Wolves. In the dying seconds of the game Fofana put the ball wide of the post. A draw would have been a good result in the end, but frankly Leicester got what they deserved – nothing. Apparently, it was the first time they had lost at the London Stadium.
So to the revelations at the end. I cannot adequately express my anger and dissatisfaction with the rogue players, and I do agree with one commentator who said that – unlike many fans – footballers have been able to carry on ‘working’ at what they love doing and the least we can expect is that they obey the rules. I am particularly disappointed at Choudhury, as he was disciplined last season (along with the now departed Chilwell); I would be surprised if he still has a future with the club and, as he is a local boy, this is especially upsetting. At least one pundit has revised his opinion that City will finish in the top four and unless they buck up their ideas on Sunday we will not be going to Wembley again this season.
It is a frequent complaint from me that the play is slow and pedantic and West Ham showed how playing a quick passing game is the way to go. We are still third, but we need to find a way of winning again, starting against Southampton on Sunday.
Leicester: Kasper Schmeichel, Daniel Amartey, Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana, Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, Dennis Praet, Ricardo Pereira, Timothy Castagne, Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho. Subs: Luke Thomas, Marc Albrighton
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