Marc Albrighton

West Ham 1-1 Leicester: Hammers marginally improved

1 Comment
  • Albrighton opens scoring in 8′
  • Kouyate brings Hammers back in 45′
  • Moyes’ first point as West Ham boss

The tangible takeaway was small — a single point — but the overall sentiment appeared my larger for West Ham United, as David Moyes‘ side came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the London Stadium on Friday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It didn’t take long for the Hammers’ boo birds to re-emerge and for the spotlight to return squarely — and blisteringly hotly — onto the club’s (already, after two games) beleaguered manager. Jamie Vardy broke down the left side of the penalty area, cut a left-footed cross back toward the penalty spot, and Marc Albrighton arrived at the right time to redirect the ball through traffic with an outstretched right foot.

Kasper Schmichael was forced to make one spectacular save during the first half, in the 25th minute. Manuel Lanzini‘s free kick floated to Angelo Ogbonna at the back post, where the Italian headed downward and inside the post. Schmichael quickly scrambled across the face of goal and pushed the ball away with two hands.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Then, the strangest event occurred: for just the sixth time in 25 games since relocation in the summer of 2016, West Ham scored a first-half goal — with only seconds to spare. Again, it was a set piece from which the Hammers posed their greatest threat. Lanzini lofted another beautiful ball to the top of Schmichael’s six-yard box, this time from a corner kick, where Cheikhou Kouyate rose above the rest and headed the ball off the back of Danny Simpson and into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

With the two sides seemingly pleased to split the points, the second half featured very little notable action — in terms of scoring chances, that is.

Riyad Mahrez, who spent all summer trying to engineer a move away from Leicester, was subbed out by manager Claude Puel in the 70th minute. The Algerian international and 2015-16 Player of the Year appeared to be far from pleased, as he and Puel made no eye contact nor gave any acknowledgement of one another when Mahrez walked past Puel and made his way to the bench. Rekindled rumors are right around the corner.

The draw leaves West Ham (10 points), who are now six games without a win, 18th in the league table, now level on points with West Bromwich Albion who currently sit just outside the relegation zone. Leicester (14 points), meanwhile, leapfrogged Newcastle United for 11th.

Leicester City 3-0 Watford: Foxes keep moving on up

Leave a comment
  • Leicester goes ninth
  • Vardy lively
  • Ndidi rewarded with goal
  • Watford drops 15th

Leicester City is within a win of eighth place after a thorough beatdown of Watford at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Wilfried Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton scored in a 3-0 win for the Foxes, who now have 43 points after spending so much of the season in the drop zone. Leicester is two points back of West Brom.

Watford drops a spot, their 40 points now eight points clear of Swansea.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Watford found some moments of promise after the first 10 minutes, and Tom Cleverley wasted a good chance from 18 yards.

Leicester rang the bell at the other end five minutes later, as Adrian Mariappa acted quick to stop a free kick play from reaching Shinji Okazaki. The ball rang off the post, and Watford was safe.

Ndidi changed Leicester City’s season in the long-term, and finally gave the Foxes their deserved lead in the short-term when he pounced on a missed Watford touch about 8 yards from goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Heurelho Gomes went horizontal to make a slapping stop on Vardy as the second half began and Leicester’s tails remained up.

And Mahrez beat Mariappa on the left of the 18 before nutmegging Gomes for a 2-0 Leicester lead.

The Foxes had a chance to eliminate all visiting hope with a near dead center free kick from 25 yards out, but Christian Fuchs‘ 72nd minute left-footed effort curled over the bar.

Albrighton added the final marker in stoppage time on a pretty classic Leicester counter attack. Vardy sucked Watford’s entire defense left, and Albrighton raced to the back post for a wide-open finish.

Everton 4-2 Leicester: Toffees take wild game from start to finish

Leave a comment

Everton came into their matchup with Leicester City at Goodison Park having seen 22 goals fly into the back of the home nets in six Premier League games through 2017 so far. That total only climbed on Sunday.

Attacking play was on display from literally the opening whistle, as Everton scored 30 seconds into the match, setting the tone for a wild game from start to finish. The match saw three goals in the opening 10 minutes, five goals in the first half, and six goals overall.

The game was off to a flying start, as Everton set Goodison Park alight right from the opening kickoff. Kevin Mirallas barged his way through the Leicester midfield in the opening minute, and upon reaching the box, he was hauled down in the penalty area. Credit referee Bobby Madley for allowing play to continue, as the ball was touched to Tom Davies as Mirallas slid to the turf, and Davies smashed it in with his left foot for a 1-0 lead less than a minute in.

The home side, buoyed by its cracking start, poured men forward hoping to capitalize on the early momentum, and it would do them in. The early lead was wasted as Leicester hit on the counter with Everton stuck in the attacking half, and Islam Slimani put the Foxes back level.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leicester would complete the quick comeback and go in front inside 10 minutes in stunning fashion. With Jamie Vardy earning a foul on the left edge of the penalty area, Marc Albrighton delivered a simply stunning free-kick, picking out the top right corner from a very tight angle. Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles will be highly disappointed with his failure to read the flight of the ball, but the effort was deserving of a 2-1 lead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

With Everton suddenly trailing, they turned to the Premier League’s leading scorer, and he delivered. Ross Barkley on the right flank put it on a plate with a pinpoint cross, and Lukaku was there for a simple and powerful header from point-blank range.

Everton should have had a third as the goal was gaping with five minutes to go until halftime. A slide-tackle by Davies sent the ball perfectly weighted to spring Barkley on the break, and while it looked that he had rounded Kasper Schmeichel, but the Leicester City goalkeeper recovered to get a slight touch and foil Barkley’s attempt.

But the Toffees would make amends on the ensuing corner, as Phil Jagielka rose high above the defense to glance a header into the far corner, putting Everton back in front 3-2. It’s the first time all Premier League season that two teams have combined to score five goals in the first half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After the break, the fun continued. Lukaku bagged a brace, left entirely unmarked at the back post of a corner, and as the ball trickled to him, he thumped it home across the face of goal for a 4-2 Everton lead.

As the game ticked into the final 10 minutes, Leicester City looked to change the tide by bringing on attacking players Riyad Mahrez and Leonardo Ulloa. The latter found himself with a great chance immediately after coming on, but his 78th minute header off a corner pinged straight into the head of Idrissa Gueye directly in front of net. They got another big chance with three minutes to go as Ulloa headed a Mahrez cross on target, but it was stopped by Robles, and the rebound was cleared by Jagielka with Ahmed Musa looking to pounce.

The win left Everton in 7th position but brought them up level with Arsenal on points. For Leicester City, they miss the chance to pull into the top half of the table, instead sitting level on points with three other teams muddied in 11th place.

Leicester City 1-0 West Ham United: Slimani goal holds up

Leave a comment
  • Albrighton feeds Slimani
  • Leicester moves 15th
  • West Ham 13th

Leicester City finished 2016 by showing its championship mettle one last time, as Islam Slimani headed the Foxes to a 1-0 win over West Ham United at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The Foxes move six points clear of 18th place Sunderland, and are now two behind West Ham.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Riyad Mahrez forced Darren Randolph into an early save when the Algerian found a sliver of space to lash a left-footed shot on target.

And the Foxes kept up their fast start through Slimani, who headed Marc Albrighton‘s cross off the goal post.

The pair connected for a goal soon after, with Albrighton sweeping a right-footed cross over the West Ham back line for Slimani to nod across and into the goal.

Some decent moments from West Ham followed, particularly through Dimitri Payet and Winston Reid, but it was Slimani who came closest to finding the next goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Follow @NicholasMendola

Leicester City 2-1 Club Brugge: Foxes win Group G

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Leave a comment
  • Foxes clinch seeded berth
  • Okazaki, Mahrez score
  • Leicester unbeaten in UCL

Leicester City’s foray into the UEFA Champions League may no longer be perfect, but only by the slimmest of margins.

Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez helped the Premier League champions to a two-goal lead before the Foxes conceded their first goal of their UCL campaign in a 2-1 win over Club Brugge at King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

Leicester wins Group G with 13 points after second-place Porto drew 0-0 at Copenhagen.

[ MORE: Champions League standings

Okazaki wasted little time in putting the Foxes on top, netting in the fifth minute off the counter (That’s what they do, you know). Christian Fuchs provided the cross, and Okazaki made a classy volleyed finish to make it 1-0.

Mahrez’s PK was won by Marc Albrighton, who was hacked down by defender Dion Cools for an easy-to-award penalty.

Colombian forward Jose Izquierdo pulled one back for Brugge after the break, carrying the ball for almost half the field before besting Ron-Rober Zeiler with a blast the keeper probably could’ve handled better. 2-1, 52′.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Follow @NicholasMendola