Costly first half – Hammers 2, 2016/17 Champions 3

Andre Ayew

What a game.

For the first 8 minutes, I was having a huge issue trying to get the TV working, but then once up and running I think I was glad that I never saw anything. To be two down within the opening moments of the game is just ridiculous. The Mahrez goal should have been svaed by Randolph. Huth scores the second with acres of space and time – he could haev done a roast and got back in time to get that header in. And once again proves what I mused in my last ramblings – the defence is all over the shop. Fonte has been nowhere near the player he as at Southampton – just here now for the pay packet? He needs to prove his worth. Byram? Still awaiting a verdict. Agonising to see Reid go off which what looked like a bad injury……….doesn’t leave the Hammers with decent cover. I still rate Ginger Pele, so I am at a loss as to why he is not getting game time.

Was there any way we could come back from this? There is always a way…….

Interesting to note that Nobes was not playing today with Slav giving him some time off after the grief he has been getting from fans about his recent displays must have been an influencing factor. “Injured” says the team sheet, but I beg to differ. Without Mr West Ham, we instead have Mr Lanzini, who scored a brilliant free kick to drag us back in the game. So now we were looking for that equaliser and the tempo increased a wee bit. But still it was very frustrating. As half time approached, Vardy made good with some shambolic defending again and that pretty much seemed to condemn us to yet another defeat. Quite depressing stuff. But wait, there was still the second half to come…………

And with the completion of half-time, came the alamo. We basically threw everything at Leicester City pinning them for the majority of the 45 in their half. Why-o-why could we not play like this in the first half?! Lanzini was doing his best, but then from a corner and knock back from Carroll, Ayew gets the second Hammers goal and gives us hope that we could salvage a draw at least.

Carroll forces great saves from Schmeichel with a header going oh-so nearly in. Ayew blew a marvellous chance on 78 to level it after a great through ball from Antonio. It was a open goal and Ayew blazed it over. Gutting.

With 6 mins of added time, we once again threw everything at Leics City and Schmeichel again saves a point blank hit from Carroll after a Snodgrass free kick. How utterly frustrating.

We deserved something from this game. Ignore the fact that the first 10 mins were a total mare, we played some great stuff in the second half with Schmeichel being the one reason why Leics won the game.

Am I annoyed? Yes, very much so – the defensive frailties just have not been addressed, and this is costing us games. We are stuck in mid table  so the only consolation I can take is that we need to keep staying where we are and not get sucked into a relegation scrap. With Hull coming up next, this is a game we have to win and we cannot afford to lose if we are looking to consolidate our position. I am hoping that the recruitment process in the summer will bring some much needed cheer.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “It is very frustrating for us to lose the game. We didn’t start well and what is really disappointing is the way we conceded three goals.

“In this league you can’t afford to be 3-1 down and try to turn the game around. But they showed character. Last 20 minutes the ball just didn’t want to go in.

“You can call it poor finishing but we have to give huge credit to Kasper Schmeichel, especially for the save to the last chance from Andy Carroll.

West Ham United: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Reid © (Snodgrass 18), Cresswell (Masuaku 73), Obiang (Fernandes 67), Kouyate, Ayew, Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll
Subs not used: Adrian, Nordtveit, Collins, Feghouli
Goals: Lanzini 20, Ayew 63


Leicester City: Schmeichel (c), Simpson, Huth, Benalouane, Fuchs, Mahrez (Chilwell 86), Ndidi, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Okazaki (Musa 76), Vardy (Slimani 76)
Subs not used: Zieler, King, Amartey, Gray
Goals: Mahrez 5, Huth 7, Vardy 38
Booked: Drinkwater

Attendance; 56,979

Referee: Roger East


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