Kelechi Iheanacho

Maiden 2020/21 Premier League Reverse For City

Leicester City’s first loss of the 2020/21 Premier League season arrived on Sunday, when they were beaten 3-0 by West Ham United at King Power Stadium.
More on this story...

While James Maddison missed out (calf), Ayoze Pérez replaced Dennis Praet (knee) as manager Brendan Rodgers stuck with the 5-2-3 formation that saw the Foxes beat Manchester City 5-2 at Etihad Stadium last weekend.

Denmark international goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, meanwhile, made his 500th league start and his 381st for Leicester as he skippered the side against the Hammers during Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.

Fine rain swept over King Power Stadium during the opening stages, and it took just two minutes for City to threaten as Jamie Vardy raced into the left-hand channel before seeing his low cross deflect into the arms of Łukasz Fabiański.

However, a deep ball from Aaron Cresswell on 14 minutes created the opener for West Ham, who took a 1-0 lead after Michail Antonio headed across goal and into the bottom corner at the far post.

Another dart into the box from Vardy saw him breeze past Angelo Ogbonna after a quick change in direction, only for Czech Republic defender Vladimír Coufal to put in a last-ditch challenge before City’s No.9 could advance any further.

Vardy continued to make his dangerous, trademark runs, with Timothy Castagne this time having a cross into the six-yard box, before the striker had the ball in the net not long after, but play had already been halted for a foul on Ogbonna in the build-up.

A crunching tackle from Vardy on Coufal followed on 28 minutes, while the Foxes had to withstand further Hammers pressure as James Justin threw himself in the way of a Jarrod Bowen strike and Çağlar Söyüncü blocked another Bowen effort shortly after.

A second goal for the visiting side came on 34 minutes, though, as Spanish attacker Pablo Fornals broke through and brought down a long ball before slotting in to double his side’s advantage.

Jonny Evans’ vital interception prevented Bowen’s cross from reaching Antonio six minutes before the break, while Harvey Barnescalled up to the England squad for the first time this week – had a penalty shout turned down after being sandwiched by two West Ham defenders in the box.

It was Barnes who, just 30 seconds in the second half, miscued a volley from inside the area before Schmeichel was on hand to hold onto a header from goalscorer Antonio five minutes later.

Rodgers introduced summer signing Cengiz Ünder for his Premier League debut in place of Daniel Amartey – forced off with a knock – on 55 minutes as City switched to a back four to combat West Ham’s threat.

Two important interventions from Evans followed, with the second denying Fornals from close range before Schmeichel saved from Antonio as West Ham looked to extend their advantage by hitting Leicester on the break.

The Foxes’ second change arrived on 64 minutes, when Pérez was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday, and the Nigerian nearly made an instant impact as he had a strike turned away following some neat footwork.

At the other end, Declan Rice’s lung-busting run eventually saw him hit the underneath of the crossbar, while a move from City with 10 minutes to play broke down as they attempted to get back into the game.

However, West Ham did score a third three minutes later as Bowen broke City’s offside trap before firing into the net to all but wrap up the three points - not before Vardy chipped wide while one-on-one with Fabiański and Barnes had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR.

Major moment

Expand photo
Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

The Academy graduate had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside in the build-up to the game.

While the Foxes fell a goal behind at Manchester City a week earlier, they were able to recover from that deficit, but on Sunday, they came up against a much sturdier defence in West Ham.

The Londoners, therefore, we able to protect their one-goal advantage – a crucial header from Michael Antonio – and repelled City’s advances before doubling their lead just before the break through Pablo Fornals, and then added a third via Jarrod Bowen late on.

Who impressed?

Expand photo
Papy Mendy
Papy Mendy

The Frenchman came up against a defiant Hammers midfield on Sunday afternoon.

Summariser Matt Elliott told LCFC Radio: “I thought Papy Mendy did okay there in midfield, but he's had a lot better games. It's not so much back to the drawing board, but there will be disappointment there."

Where do we stand?

Expand photo
Cengiz Ünder
Cengiz Ünder

The Blue Army were afforded a first look at Cengiz Ünder, who came off the bench to make his first City appearance.

With nine points from four Premier League games, Leicester City remain second in the division, while third-placed Liverpool have a game in hand, which they contest later in the day.

Coming up…

Expand photo
Çağlar Söyüncü
Çağlar Söyüncü

Çağlar Söyüncü started the fixture as one of three centre-backs before a change in formation in the second half.

The second international break of the season now follows, with City back in Premier League action on Saturday 17 October versus Aston Villa at King Power Stadium, before a maiden UEFA Europa League clash follows five days later against FC Zorya Luhansk (8pm kick-off).

All times BST.

Leicester City Crest

Latest News

More Videos

Latest Images