West Ham United 2-2 Leicester City: Refereeing mistake leaves the Hammers far away from top half
(Photo: Getty Images - Rob Newell/CameraSport)

West Ham United 2-2 Leicester City: Refereeing mistake leaves the Hammers far away from top half

West Ham hosted seventh place Leicester as their top half pursuit continued.

alan-rzepa
Alan Rzepa
West HamFabiański; Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku; Snodgrass (Obiang 73'), Noble (C) (Wilshere 85'), Rice; Antonio; Arnautovic (Lucas 78'), Anderson.
Leicester CitySchmeichel (C); Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell; Ndidi, Tielemans (Mendy 90'); Albrighton (Barnes 64'), Maddison, Gray (Iheanacho 85'); Vardy.
SCORE1-0, MIN. 39, ANTONIO. 1-1, MIN. 67, VARDY. 2-1, MIN. 82, LUCAS. 2-2, MIN. 90+2, BARNES.

After a very harsh 2-1 loss against Manchester United last week, the Hammers had to instantly bounce back to continue their task of finishing in the upper half of the league.

And their Saturday' opponents, Leicester City, were coming into the game on the back of a home loss from the hands of Newcastle United.

Michail Antonio opened the scoring in the first half only to be denied by Jamie Vardy's poacher's finish. And it was the same situation in the second half as Lucas Perez's goal and ultimately West Ham's celebration was cut short by an equaliser from Harvey Barnes.

Story of the game

After a bit of a sluggish start from both sides, it became clear that West Ham were going to be the dominating side in this game.

Apart from a single long-range shot from James Maddison, Leicester had not managed to create a single clear-cut opportunity, as they fell behind Hammers' pressure.

The first real opportunity came in the 26th minute for West Ham. Marko Arnautovic did really well to hold out Ben Chilwell but his cross was too powerful for Antonio who didn't manage to get it on target.

In the 32nd minute, Maddison tried his luck from outside the box again, but his shot has been comfortably saved by Łukasz Fabiański, again.

And just a minute later Robert Snodgrass capitalized on Youri Tielemans' bad touch, fed the ball to Felipe Anderson whose shot was blocked by Antonio's chest.

As West Ham's pressure started to compile, the deadlock was broken.

A very good and patient play from Arthur Masuaku, Mark Noble and Snodgrass opened a big gap on the left side as Ricardo Pereira lost concentration.

Noble managed to run into it and send in a pin point cross straight at Antonio's header, who's got it on target and out of Kasper Schmeichel's reach.

The first 15 minutes after the break were very unconvincing from both sides, as none managed to really test each other's keepers.

On the hour mark, Noble tried his luck but just like Maddison in the first half, he didn't create any danger with his long-range shot.

Out of nothing, Vardy scored a typical goal of his to equalise the game. Chilwell's cross to the near post was perfect for Vardy who managed to get in front of Fabian Balbuena and poked the ball into the bottom corner - just out of Fabianski' reach.

In the space of three minutes, Maddison had two big chances to put the Foxes ahead.

Firstly he cut inside from the right but his effort was blocked by Balbuena. Then he tried getting something on the break but after going past the Paraguayan he's scuffed his shot wide.

In the 80th minute following a corner, Masuaku managed to get in a beautiful cross but unfortunately for the Hammers, no one decided to gamble on it.

And just two minutes later both substitutes were involved in a goal that brought West Ham back into the race for seventh.

After another beautiful and patient play from the Hammers, Pedro Obiang hit the post with a low powerful shot that only stopped on the post but fortunately Lucas was first to the ball and put the Hammers back ahead.

And the Spaniard was involved minutes later yet again.

Obiang sent a perfect through ball to Perez who skipped past Schmeichel and put the ball into the net, but unfortunately against for the hosts, the referee called it as offside.

The replay showed that Perez was onside, and the linesman' decision was very costly for the Hammers.

Two minutes into the stoppage time Barnes made a beautiful run and slotted the ball past Fabiański to equalise for Leicester yet again.

Takeaways

"Beautiful game" spoiled by referees

It's been another showcase of refereeing mistakes this afternoon in East London. After going up in the last minutes of the game West Ham had an opportunity to seal the game, but a simple mistake from the linesman, unfortunately, cost them points, yet again.

Out-of-touch players back on form

After being in and out of the team a lot this season for average performances, Masuaku, Obiang and Lucas had been vital for their side on the afternoon.

Masuaku had a very good game and was one of the best players on the pitch throughout. Both Obiang and Perez made an instant impact as they combined for the goal to give West Ham the lead, and for the second one that was wrongly called offside. Hopefully for West Ham fans, it's the kind of performances they'll see every week from now on.

Man Of The Match

Although there have been a lot of very good performances, the man of the match award goes to Antonio. The Englishman gave Chilwell a very tough game down the right flank, scored the goal to put West Ham ahead and had put in a very good all-around performance. Also, he deserves to get it for the celebration alone. 

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