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Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United
I’d doubt there were too many experts who predicted West Ham United to turn over previously unbeaten Leicester City on their own patch, and indeed, I’d doubt too many of those connected with the East London outfit would really care.
Nevertheless, amidst arguably the toughest run of fixtures an Premier League club could have wished for to start a campaign, back-to-back resounding triumphs over Wolverhampton Wanderers, and now the Foxes have left the league table looking a little more appetising to those of a claret and blues persuasion.
Michail Antionio set the ball rolling, heading back across goal and beyond Kasper Schmeichel after Aaron Cresswell had picked him out. And the hosts were stunned further when Pablo Fornals raced onto Cresswell’s big boot forward before neatly dispatching with a confident left-footed finish.
Dictating the play, West Ham continued to dominate. Jarrod Bowen’s explosion onto the Premier League scene must surely have left one or two top-flight managers kicking themselves that they’d not taken a punt on the prolific Leominster-born winger. He added a third in the closing minutes to add gloss to an already impressive outing – Declan Rice and Fornals playing a part in the build-up.
The result carried West Ham into the top half of the table and with David Moyes still in self-isolation, his trusted right-hand man, Alan Irvine, faced the questions, explaining why the Hammers have managed to turn things around following a tough start to the season.
“Everybody doing their jobs and doing it extremely well,” the Scotsman enthused.
“Players have shown a fantastic work ethic, commitment, filling in for each other, the importance of clean sheets. That’s the platform you build on.”
The clean sheet particularly pleased Irvine: “It’s huge,” he added.
“You can see that on the reaction from Lukasz and Angelo when Jamie Vardy didn’t score, and the VAR as well. It is really important to them.
“I am not sure how important it was to them previously but you can see just how much that means to them.”
West Ham United return to Premier League action after the international break on Sunday, October 18 (4:30pm) when they head over to N17 to face old adversaries, Tottenham Hotspur
Leicester City: Schmeichel (Capt), Castagne, Amartey (Ünder 55’), Söyüncü, Evans, Justin, Mendy (Choudhury 89’), Tielemans, Perez (Iheanacho 64’), Barnes, Vardy Subs not used: Ward (GK), Fofana, Fuchs, Albrighton
West Ham United: Fabianski, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Cresswell, Coufal, Rice (Capt), Soucek, Masuaku, Bowen (Noble 87’), Fornals, Antonio (Haller 87’) Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Johnson, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson
Referee: Andy Madley
Assistants: Eddie Smart and Adrian Holmes
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry