Despite a dominant second-half display, a mistake-ridden first half proved costly for the Hammers as they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Leicester City at London Stadium on Saturday.
Last year’s Premier League champions made the most of a slow start by Slaven Bilic’s side by scoring twice in the opening seven minutes. Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew then scored either side of a Jamie Vardy goal but despite a host of late chances for the Hammers, the visitors held out to secure their first away win of the season.
In a second half where West Ham United enjoyed 66 per cent possession and had three times as many shots on goal (12), Lanzini’s influence was telling. The Argentinian made three successful dribbles, maintained a pass completion rate of 95 per cent from 48 passes and had the most touches of any player on the pitch – just in the second half.
In total, he had 96 touches (1st), attempted 70 passes (1st) at a success rate of 95 per cent (1st), completed seven successful dribbles (3rd) and made three interceptions (2nd).
Slaven Bilic praised his side’s second half display and the stats certainly suggest the Hammers were unlucky to not take at least a point from the game. The 66 per cent possession was backed up by a pass success rate of 86 per cent, eight successful dribbles (twice as many as Leicester City) and 12 shots on goal.
Andre Ayew earned his first start since December and duly repaid Slaven Bilic’s faith by turning in his third goal in the last four games.
Of course, the second half display on Saturday, which included that Ayew goal, might give encouragement to Bilic but he will know that there are defensive issues to address. The Hammers have now conceded eight goals from their last three matches and the injury picked up by Winston Reid on Saturday could rule the New Zealander out for an extended period.
West Ham will not return to league action until the 1 April when the travel to Hull City and the upcoming international break might have come at a good time: They have now not won in the Premier League since beating Southampton at St Mary’s on 4 February.