Leicester City 1-0 West Ham United: Player ratings as the Hammers' unbeaten run comes to an end

Leicester City 1-0 West Ham United: Player ratings as the Hammers' unbeaten run comes to an end

West Ham travelled to the King Power Stadium on New Years Eve hoping to keep their good run of form up but had to settle with coming away with nothing.

elliot-buckley
Elliot Buckley

West Ham travelled to Leicester City in search of their fourth consecutive victory and to push themselves into the top half of the table but Leicester, who are struggling themselves, managed to get the vital three points. It was a close encounter but the foxes slightly edged it 1-0 in a cagey affair. 

Leicester started the game the much brighter side, and were very unfortunate not to go in front five minutes in when Marc Albrighton's cross found Islam Slimani unmarked at the far post. Fortunately for the Hammers, his header slammed against the post. 

The home side's pressure on West Ham paid off in the 20th minute when another wonderful looping cross by Albrighton again found Slimani, whose strong header was too powerful for Darren Randolph, who could only watch it go into the far corner. 

After this, West Ham managed to create some chances of their own and were unlucky not to equalise in the 42nd minute when Michail Antonio cracked an effort against Kasper Schmeichel's bar. The game remained the same going into the break. 

The hammers were again close to equalising mid-way through the second half when Aaron Cresswell's low free-kick came off Ben Chilwell and was heading for goal before the Schmeichel stretched to push it away. 

The game went into six minutes of added time at the end of normal time but West Ham were still unable to break the home side down and ended 2016 with a loss. Leicester capped off the most momentous year in the club's history with a victory which gives them some breathing space from the bottom three. 

Goalkeeper and Defence

Darren Randolph (7) - He made some very good saves to stop Leicester stretching their lead and could do nothing about the header which they fell behind from. He is a keeper playing with confidence and he is a big asset to the side at the moment. 

Aaron Cresswell (7) - It was a good performance from the left back. He was composed at the back and contributed a lot going forward and nearly grabbed himself a goal with a free kick. Definitely one of the better ones. 

Angelo Ogbonna (6) - He could have maybe done a little bit more to prevent Slimani having so much time to pick his spot with the header for the goal but it was such a good cross that it was hard to do that. He sometimes needs to be quicker when closing people down but he wasn't too bad. 

Winston Reid (7) - It was another good performance from the reliable centre half. He rarely let things go past him and organised the back four well. Many would say that he has been the Hammers' best player in this first half of the season and it would be hard to disagree.

Havard Nordtveit (6) - Again, he showed signs that he could adapt to the slightly unfamiliar role at the right side of the defence. You can see at times that he still needs to sharpen up but it is encouraging. He did try and switch the ball a couple of times but it didn't work as it went out of play both times. 

Midfield and Attack 

Cheikhou Kouyate (6) - He didn't do much wrong but he didn't do anything particularly impressive. He held his position well and kept possession when needed. Needs to contribute more going forward. 

Mark Noble (5) - He is such a well loved figure at the club but his performances for the whole season maybe haven't been good enough. After a great season last year, he was maybe expected to maintain it but with Pedro Obiang coming back from suspension, who has had a particularly good year since being introduced into the managers first team plans, it may mean that the skippers' days in the first eleven may be numbered. 

Michail Antonio (6) - It wasn't one of his best days. He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet late in the first half but other than that, nothing was really coming off for him. His work rate was excellent as always but there was simply no end product. 

Dimitri Payet (6) - He has played on the left hand side all season and many people see him as an attacking central midfielder, which is definitely why we haven't seen him reach the heights that he reached last season. His work rate isn't good enough to be a winger and he can affect play so much more in the middle. He looks uninterested and when you have a player of his calibre showing signs of that, then it puts the whole team down. 

Andre Ayew (5) - It was a performance which the club's record signing will want to forget. It was quite hard to notice that he was actually on the pitch at times and again, maybe he is playing out of position. He was so effective on the wing last year for Swansea City and maybe him and Payet need to swap to get the best out of each other. 

Andy Carroll (6) - He did everything that everyone has come to expect on a minimal level from him but nothing more. He, as is to be expected, won every header but when you are playing as a lone striker that isn't going to be an effective way of playing, and he also held the ball up well. He never really looked like he would get on the score sheet. 

Substitutes 

Manuel Lanzini (6) - He was brought on around the hour mark for Noble and you could see that West Ham were more positive in their play straight away. He introduced some attacking flare into the team and you could see he was trying his hardest to unlock the home sides defence. 

Sofiane Feghouli (5) - Brought on in place of Ayew, he didn't show anything different to what Ayew showed. You cannot fault his work rate but he has found it so hard to settle in at West Ham and it continued against Leicester.

Edimilson Fernandes (6) - He didn't have too long to make an impact but when he was on, there was that extra bit of energy in the side. He is very confident on the ball and thrives in a fluid ball moving style of play. Maybe if he had came on earlier it could have made more a difference.

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