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Premier League
Friday, 24th November 2017

West Ham United 1
Leicester City 1

by David Fletcher


An exhausting night for the Hammers ends in a point apiece as Leicester fought them out for a draw.

As usual, most fans hadn't even found their seats before West Ham went behind to a rather harmless Leicester attack. Christian Fuchs' long throw found Demarai Gray. Under pressure in midfield, he easily turned Pablo Zabaleta and handed the ball to Onyinye Ndidi, who in turn found Jamie Vardy surging down the left wing, who was allowed to pull back a weak ball across the penalty area, and shocking West Ham defending laid it on a plate for Marc Albrighton to slot into the corner.

The rest of the half would be a long slog for the home side with the crowd cutting them no slack whatsoever. Constantly resorting to long balls into the penalty area. Their efforts finally paid off just shy of the half-time whistle when Manuel Lanzini's corner connected with Cheikhou Kouyate to put West Ham level with the Leicester defense's preoccupation with Carrol allowing Kouyate a free header.

Though the second half was played at a relatively high intensity, there was little action to comment on with the game being constantly interrupted by collsions and injuries.

The crowd stuck by their team and in a ten minute period created an atmosphere to rival a night at Upton Park. West Ham continued to push forward in search of that crucial goal that would lift them out of the relegation zone.

The closest they came to snatching a winner was in stoppage time as a dangerous corner from Lanzini ricocheted around the Leicester penalty area, falling awkwardly for Andre Ayew who took advantage of his acrobatic abilities to produce a rather spectacular overhead kick, but his effort skimmed the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick.

Though a share of the points means they remain in the relegation zone, fans will be hoping a hard fought draw under a new manager will be a platform for better things to come. Hopeful signs to take to Merseyside on Wednesday night's "must win" clash with Everton.



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Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Had little to do due to a non adventerous Leicester side, and on one of the few times he was called into action, it seems he could have done better preventing Albrighton's effort that put West Ham behind.


Pablo Zabaleta
Got dragged out of position on many occasions allowing Leicester to hurt the Hammers on the counter attack.


Aaron Cresswell
Was a threat to Leicester's defence down the left putting in some quality balls into the box.


Angelo Ogbonna
Partially at fault for the first goal. However he was part of the engine room at the back that kept West Ham going throughout the entirety of the ninety-plus minutes of the match.


Winston Reid
Beaten far too easily in the build up to Albrighton's goal, but fought on well as did the rest of the team.


Cheikhou Kouyate
A heavy presence in the box to take the attention away from Andy Carroll. His efforts paid off with a goal.


Pedro Obiang
At first was a bit careless in midfield but improved as the game progressed.Needs to do more.


Arthur Masuaku
Though his crossing wasn't good , he was a constant threat on the wing, prepared to run at defenders and put them in a spot of bother.


Manuel Lanzini
Wasn't at his best, but was the reason behind West Ham's success at set pieces.


Marco Arnautovic
Great source of dangerous balls. A decent all-round performance from the Austrian with a high defensive work rate. MOTM.


Andy Carroll
Ran himself into the ground trying to make himself available for crosses and tracking back really well. Proving to be just as important in defence as in attack.


Substitutes


Andre Ayew
(Replaced Fernandes) Very vocal encouraging his team mates to continue pushing forward. Was very close to putting the Hammers in front with a last gasp scissor kick.


Diafra Sakho
(Replaced Masuaku 90+3) Only for for a few minutes.


Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.


Edimilson Fernandes
Did not play.


Declan Rice
Did not play.


Domingos Quina
Did not play.


Mark Noble
Injured during warm-up.



Match Facts

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Marco Arnautovic.

West Ham United

Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Arthur Masuaku, Manuel Lanzini, Marco Arnautovic, Andy Carroll.

Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 45                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Leicester City

.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent Off: .

 

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David Fletcher's Man of the Match: Marco Arnautovic


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