West Ham United 0-2 Leicester City
Premier League, London Stadium, Saturday 12 November 2022, 3pm GMT
West Ham United slipped to a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City at London Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Irons fell behind when James Maddison netted his seventh goal of the league season inside ten minutes, but after Łukasz Fabiański saved a penalty from Youri Tielemans late in the first half, had plenty of chances to find their way back into the match.
In our final fixture ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lucas Paquetá had three attempts at the Foxes’ goal in the first half alone, while Tomáš Souček saw an equaliser ruled out for offside before the interval.
It was a similar pattern in the second half as Declan Rice, Saïd Benrahma and Gianluca Scamacca almost provided a leveller, although the Hammers were ultimately unable to stretch their unbeaten run against the Foxes to five matches after Harvey Barnes doubled the visitors' lead 12 minutes from time.
It was far from an ideal start as Maddison put the visitors ahead with eight minutes played in east London. The Foxes’ No10 ghosted to the back post and thrashed home the first goal of the game after a cross from Kieran Dewsbury-Hall found its way into the England attacker’s path.
The Hammers then saw Kurt Zouma leave the field a quarter of the way through the first half, with Nayef Aguerd on for his first Premier League appearance in Claret and Blue.
Searching for an immediate equaliser, David Moyes’ outfit controlled the rest of the first half and soon had chances to show for their dominance.
In front of a record crowd at the London Stadium of 62,459, Rice sent an ambitious half-volley over the bar, while Souček and Lucas Paquetá combined to free Benrahma, who saw his effort deterred by a sprawling Danny Ward.
Paquetá was next to have a go for the Irons but was then unable to convert on three attempts in quick succession – first from close range after the No11 was found by Bowen, before his half-volley arrowed over the crossbar. He later guided a header wide from an Aaron Cresswell cross as the Irons continued the attack the visitors’ goal.
Souček then thundered the ball into the bottom corner only for his effort to be ruled out with Bowen adjudged offside, before Lucas Paquetá’s looping header was somehow clawed out of the top corner by Ward.
Already, it looked to be one of those days for those in Claret and Blue, especially after Leicester City were awarded a penalty late in the first half when Craig Dawson fouled Patson Daka.
Fabiański though had other ideas. The former Poland shot-stopper sprung to his right to deny the Leicester City skipper Tielemans from 12 yards – and kept the visitors’ lead at a one-goal margin by the break.
That set up the Hammers to push for an equaliser in the second-half, with Benrahma quick to test Ward from the edge of the area shortly after the restart. Bowen was then unable to stab home Paquetá’s cross-volley after a wonderful, chipped pass from Rice found the Brazil midfielder. The skipper later headed a corner over the bar, while Scamacca was inches away from tapping in a Thilo Kehrer cross.
The Hammers continued to attack the Leicester City goal but were caught out by a counter-attack from the visitors. Substitute Ayoze Pérez found Barnes, who slotted home past Fabiański in the 78th minute.
And while the Hammers pushed in response, they were unable to find their way back into the fixture after the Foxes had found the net for the second time.
West Ham United: Fabiański, Kehrer, Dawson, Zouma (Aguerd 15), Cresswell, Rice, Souček (Fornals 75), Bowen, Paquetá, Benrahma, Scamacca
Subs not used: Areola (GK), Johnson, Coufal, Lanzini, Downes, Ogbonna, Emerson
Booked: Dawson Paquetá Scamacca
Leicester City: Ward, Castagne, Faes, Amartey, Thomas, Soumaré (Mendy 68), Maddison (Praet 25), Tielemans © (Ndidi 55), Dewsbury-Hall (Pérez 68), Barnes, Daka (Vardy 69)
Subs not used: Iversen (GK), Evans, Albrighton, Iheanacho
Goals: Maddison 8 Barnes 78
Referee: Jarred Gillett