Harvey Barnes

Hammers Beat 10-Man City In London

Ten-man Leicester City tasted defeat for the first time this season after losing 4-1 to West Ham United at London Stadium in the Premier League on Monday.
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For City’s first away fixture of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, manager Brendan Rodgers named an identical XI to the one that dispatched Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at King Power Stadium last weekend.

There was also a spot on the bench for the returning Timothy Castagne, who picked up an eye injury while away with Belgium over the summer and subsequently missed City's opener. 

For the first time in 542 days, the Blue Army watched on at an away venue, and had reason to be optimistic from the off after Harvey Barnes - fresh from signing a new four-year deal with the Football Club on Thursday - darted down the left, only for his cross to be cut out in the middle of the six-yard box.

After captain Kasper Schmeichel collected a Michail Antonio through-ball, the Denmark 'keeper had to be alert to Saïd Benrahma's curling strike on five minutes, as both sides showcased exactly why they were able to secure a top-six berth in the Premier League last term. 

With Wilfred Ndidi sprinting towards him, West Ham midfielder and skipper Declan Rice was urged to shoot by the home crowd, and he obliged, although he sent his effort into the stands just before the quarter-hour mark, causing Schmeichel no problems on that occasion. 

Just two minutes later, Antonio - the scorer of his side's fourth goal against Newcastle last time out - threatened again, bursting through midfield before setting himself and firing wide of the mark. A neat piece of defending from Ricardo Pereira prevented the forward from creating another opportunity not long after.

The Hammers were on the front foot, and were able to capitalise on their persistence on 26 minutes, when Pablo Fornals swept Benrahma's low cross into the bottom corner to hand his side a 1-0 lead in the capital. 

Jarrod Bowen, while under pressure from Daniel Amartey, flicked wide at the near post three minutes later. A timely piece of defending from City's Ghana international surely prevented goal no.2 for the hosts in a short space of time.

It was the Foxes' turn to come forward 60 seconds later. Good feet from Ayoze Pérez led to the Spaniard slipping in Ricardo, who clipped the side-netting with a powerful effort from a tight angle right in front of the travelling Leicester fans. Then, Pérez diverted an attempt off target as City enjoyed a spell in the Hammers' half. 

Bowen nearly turned provider with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, with Craig Dawson flicking a header wide from the winger's corner. However, City were dealt a blow before the half-time whistle arrived, as Pérez was shown a red card for a late challenge on Fornals after a VAR review. 

A man and a goal down heading into the second half, Rodgers' outfit were presented with a huge challenge to get back into the game. In the absence of Pérez, James Maddison switched to the right wing, while Ndidi and Youri Tielemans sat in holding midfield roles. 

A flick from Bowen located Tomáš Souček at the beginning of the second period, however the Czech Republic midfielder was unable to convert, while Schmeichel made an excellent point-blank save from Antonio to prevent the Hammers No.9 from making it 2-0.

However, the hosts soon doubled their advantage on 56 minutes. Çağlar Söyüncü's misplaced pass back to Schmeichel fell to the feet of Antonio and he located Benrahma, who slotted into an open goal.

Maddison looked to halve the deficit immediately, although his curled attempt from 20 yards out was blocked by Angelo Ogbonna, and then Schmeichel tipped Antonio's drive wide at the other end of the pitch 63 minutes in.

David Moyes' side maintained their forward push, with Aaron Cresswell slamming a well-struck volley over the bar. That prompted Rodgers into making his first change of the evening as Patson Daka replaced Barnes to make his Premier League debut.

It was Tielemans who would give City hope, though. After good play between Maddison and Vardy, the former located the Leicester No.8 in the area, and after seeing his first strike blocked by Cresswell, he tucked home the rebound with 21 minutes of normal time to play.

Dawson was then able to meet Rice's cross from the left, but could not hit the target with his header. Antonio did convert with 10 minutes to play, though, as he shrugged off his marker before firing into the far corner to become West Ham's all-time top goalscorer in the Premier League.

Two further changes for the visitors followed, with Boubakary Soumaré and Kelechi Iheanacho coming on for Maddison and Vardy in the closing stages.

But a neat first touch from Antonio saw him control Vladimír Coufal'ss pass and then poke the ball beyond Schmeichel for his second and West Ham's fourth goal of the night. 

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans halved the deficit, but West Ham added two more goals through Michail Antonio.

Although City were already 1-0 down after Pablo Fornals' opener, it was made much more difficult when Ayoze Pérez was dismissed before the break after a VAR review ended the Spaniard's evening. 

Despite Saïd Benrahma capitalising on a defensive error to add a second for the hosts, Kasper Schmeichel ensured their lead wouldn't increase after making a number of key saves after the interval.

Tielemans then found the net for Leicester, but Michail Antonio added two more to complete the scoring in a 4-1 success for the Hammers.

Where do we stand?

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

The Northern Irishman will see his side face Norwich City next on Saturday.

The Foxes now sit 12th in the Premier League table, with three points from their opening two games. 

Coming up…

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

Patson Daka made his Premier League debut for City after coming off the bench at London Stadium.

City are back in action in five days’ time, when they travel to Carrow Road to take on newly-promoted Norwich City in a 3pm kick-off. The first international break of the season then follows prior to the Foxes welcoming Manchester City to King Power Stadium on Saturday 11 September (3pm kick-off).

All times BST.

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