Being present and back in Leicester for the first time since the Liverpool game, it was of course great to be in the stadium during the match, but what happened afterwards made everything hopeless, overshadowing everything.
Claude Puel had made a number of surprising changes to his team and that clearly gave a message and at the same time an opportunity for others to show what they are capable of. Caglar Soyuncu was given his first team debut and he had a promising start.
Other players back in the first 11, was as Tcf preferred and one we always would like to see in a first 11, Marc Albrighton, a change in the center of midfield giving Vicente Iborra a new chance and also in from start, Rachid Ghezzal.
The start of the game was positive from a Leicester City point of view, but slowly and gradually West Ham managed to balance it out and that was not optimal for Leicester City and after 30 minutes the best player on the pitch by far Fabian Balbuena scored after a number of humps and dumps in the Leicester City penalty area.
But after that goal Leicester City started to push forward again and especially Wilfred Ndidi and Marc Albrighton, together with Ben Chilwell made it difficult for West Ham- Then when, after 38 minutes, Karl Noble was sent off, hope got in our minds.
Leicester City players had almost an hour of football in a home game, playing 11 against 10, and hopefully that would settle a new three pointer, without really giving any evidence of that happening in the first half, with a good defensive approach from the opponent, but we all had hopes for second half.
Claude Puel decided to make a change after first half, playing three in the back, moving Amartey into the middle with Soyuncu and Maguire, and moving Chilwell up on the left side and Albrighton playing wide to the right.
2nd half was all about Leicester City, pushing for a goal with especially Ben Chilwell being positive on the left side and also a number of attempts from the other flank from Marc Albrighton. The plan, the play and everything was optimistic, so we just waited for the goal.
Chance after chance were missed as the West Ham defenders got more and more tired, but this Balbuena managed in a miraculous way to keep the Hammers defense tight and well organized.
As the time ran out, attempts from Chilwell, Vardy, and later on Gray and Okazaki were all saved until Wilfred Ndidi’s shot passed Fabianski in the West Ham goal, deflected from a West Ham defender. The game was almost over when Nididi scored in the 89th minute.
This was a good and positive approach from Leicester City, a surprise change in the line-up, and bold moves by Puel. West Ham, with especially Balbuena and Antonio, made it difficult, with both putting in fantastic performances in a hard battling Hammers side.
In the end, Amartey stopped a possible Antonio goal, getting injured as bad as he was stretched off. The news he woke up to after his successful operation was something we all now, as he wonderfully described it himself. Let that be the final words of a very emotional and strange match report from a game watched live at The King Power.
- Most players trying their best and fighting hard
- The stats shows a positive approach in ball possession
- A great goal and finish from Wilfred Ndidi
- Being able to create a great number of chances and keep the pressure
- Soyuncu playing making his full senior debut for Leicester City
- Not able to convert all those chances into more goals
- Passing a bit slow, getting the ball faster out to the flanks
- Maguire or Iborra should have been moved up front to battle in the air
- Attempt in front of goals easily cleared out by West Ham defenders
- Not being able to convert great chances into goals
- Player Ratings: Schmeichel 6. Amartey 6, Chilwell 7, Soyuncu 6, Maguire 6, Iborra 6, Ndidi 7, Iheanacho 5, Maddison 6, Albrighton 7, Ghezzal 5, Subs: Vardy 5, Gray, Okazaki
Match Stats: H/A
- Possession: 56 / 44
- Corners: 8 / 0
- Shots on target: 7 / 2
- Shots wide: 8 / 5
- Fouls: 17 / 5
- Offsides: 7 / 1