Leicester late show floors Big Sam

Andy King's late winner and a succession of missed chances left the manager feeling decidedly down
Sam Allardyce was yet again left to rue missed chances as West Ham United suffered a 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Leicester City.

The Hammers started badly at the King Power Stadium, falling behind to Esteban Cambiasso’s 20-yard strike before Adrian spectacularly saved David Nugent’s penalty moments later.

That stop inspired the visitors, who equalised through Cheikhou Kouyate on the half-hour mark and should have gone onto win the game, only for a combination of wayward finishing, Kasper Schmeichel’s goalkeeping and the frame of the Leicester goal to deny them three points.

As it was, they left the division’s bottom side with none as Andy King converted Jamie Vardy’s miss-hit shot with just four minutes of the 90 remaining.

“Both teams went for it and they have got one more than us right at the end, and that’s the disappointing thing,” Big Sam told West Ham TV. “We came here to go and get the win and we opened up to try and go for that win, which left us a bit open at the back.

“It was end to end stuff and a hell of a game for entertainment value, but ours is a results business and not having got a result at the end of it was very disappointing, considering the number of chances we have missed.

“We have not played away from home and had this many chances all season and we’ve only scored one. Then, at the other end, we gave away a sloppy goal to Cambiasso on the edge of the box, although it was a great finish to be fair.

“Then we got away with Adrian saving the penalty, then got a grip on the game and should have been in the lead by half-time, there’s not doubt about that. But we kept missing the chances, apart from a good finish from Cheikhou from probably the hardest chance we created in the first half.

“I thought we’d have gone on from there and scored more. I know we’ve hit the post and had a few more good chances, but I thought if we weren’t going to win it, we weren’t going to lose it.

“Then they had a bit of good fortune near the end when their lad [Vardy] miss-hit a shot and it went straight to King and he popped it in the net. In the end, it was a disappointing result for us.”
Both teams went for it and they have got one more than us right at the end, and that’s the disappointing thing
Aside from Kouyate’s goal, taken well from Alex Song’s pinpoint pass, it proved a dreadful day in front of goal for West Ham.

After weathering another Leicester storm early in the second half, Kouyate hit the post, while Schmeichel denied Downing and Jenkinson either side of the Senegal midfielder’s effort.

At the other end, Big Sam said Cambiasso’s opener should have been dealt with before the Argentine let fly from 20 yards, while he was also left dejected by the nature of substitute King’s late winner.

“It was a good finish, but one of our midfield players should have been on the edge of our box with him. They should have been there.

“There was no doubt it was a penalty, but when your keeper makes a great save like that and you go on and take control of a game, you’ve really got to be ruthless enough, and we have fallen foul of not being ruthless enough in front of goal.

“Had we scored the second and got in front, I think Leicester’s heads would have gone down. With us not doing that before half-time and then after when Leicester couldn’t find the goal despite us continuing to miss chances, those were the key moments for us.

“With them fighting the way they are, I think it would really have knocked the stuffing out of them but we couldn’t find the quality we’ve found for most of the season and we’ve ended up losing 2-1.”

So, with West Ham now four points behind eighth-place Swansea City, what does the manager hope to achieve between now and the season’s end?

“We’ve got seven games and I hope it doesn’t knock the confidence too much because you’ve got to keep your belief and make sure we keep creating like we’re creating.

“People have to take more responsibility when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. You can look at the defenders at the other end, but if you keep putting them under that much pressure by not scoring, you’re going to slip up.

“That said, I didn’t see a mistake for their second goal, to be fair. I just thought it was a little bit of fortune that the ball dropped in the right area and even then Adrian nearly saved it.”