The Red Penguin

Leicester City 0 West Ham United 3

Sunday 4 October 2020

Antonio heads home the first

West Ham continued to confound their loyal fans by ending Leicester's 100% winning start to the season with another comfortable win.

Once again David Moyes was absent from the touchline as he continues to recover from coronavirus, but as in last weekend's 4-0 victory, it did not hamper the Hammers, who offered an excellent balance of graft and guile.

Ruthless on the break, they did a similar job on Leicester to the one the Foxes did in their brilliant 5-2 win at Manchester City seven days prior.

Michail Antonio scored the first, heading in at the back post from Aaron Cresswell's pinpoint cross from deep after the striker had himself found his team-mate with a quickly taken free-kick.

Cresswell also assisted the second, but the credit was due more to a wonderful first touch and calm finish from Pablo Fornals, than the defender's long ball forward.

But for a solid block from Caglar Soyuncu to repel a Jarrod Bowen shot, and a sliding Jonny Evans intervention to stop the ball finding an unmarked and well-placed Antonio, the Foxes would have been further behind before half-time.

In the second half, the brilliant Declan Rice struck the crossbar with a shot from inside the box following a driving run from deep before Bowen sealed the win with a neat finish after collecting a through-ball from Fornals.

For all their possession and territory, Leicester failed to produce a single shot on target, with their misery compounded when Jamie Vardy was flagged offside to rule out a Harvey Barnes finish in added time.

City remain second in the table, but could lose that spot with Liverpool still to play this weekend, while West Ham are up to eighth.

Leicester's Jamie Vardy was given little space in which to operate by a compact and well-drilled West Ham defence, who were quick to spot and snuff out the threat of the busy Barnes and Ayoze Perez.

After years of persisting with expensive but ineffective attacking players, the Hammers appear to have hit upon a winning formula in Antonio, Fornals and Bowen - a potent combination of speed, skill, intelligence and willing pressing.

Their energy on the pitch was matched by Stuart Pearce, who cut a path from stand to touchline as the designated middle man between the home-bound Moyes and his assistant Alan Irvine.

West Ham have won against a side starting the day in the top two of the Premier League for the first time since May 2017, previously losing nine and drawing two since then.

West Ham have won successive Premier League games while keeping a clean sheet for the first time since May 2019.

After no assists in his past 36 Premier League appearances, Cresswell provided two against Leicester City; it was the first time he had assisted twice in a top-flight game (192nd appearance).

No player has scored more headed goals in the Premier League than Antonio since he made his debut in the competition in September 2015 (18).

Antonio is the first West Ham player to score in five successive Premier League away games, with the forward netting eight goals in this run.