West Ham United hosted Leicester City in their first home game of the season yesterday at the London Stadium.
The game started off even in the early stages with Leicester keeping most of the possession but as West Ham swiftly grew into the game they could not be stopped. Fornals’ 26th-minute goal opened the scoring and Perez’s 40th-minute red card turned the tide in West Ham’s favor. Up 1-0 at halftime, the Hammers continued to pile on the goals in the second half, routing Leicester 4-1. After a brilliant team performance, let’s see how the players performed individually.
Lukasz Fabianski – 7/10: Fabianski only faced five shots with one on target which Leicester capitalized on, but there was not much Fabianski could do to save the goal. A good cross whipped in from the left side trickled through everybody to the feet of Youri Tielemans whose first shot was blocked well by Cresswell but fell right back to Tielmans who struck it home from close range. Fabianski did well to come out and get a touch on it but not enough to keep it out. Fabianski handled the small duties well today.
Vladimir Coufal- 8/10: Coufal had a great game today flying up and down the right side. He had some great link-up play with Bowen during the first half and had a few decent crosses today, one of them an absolute peach to Antonio leading to the fourth goal.
Player Grades From West Ham’s Rout of Leicester City
Craig Dawson: 8/10: Dawson was solid at the back today with some good passing up the field. The defense deserved a clean sheet today, but a lapse in concentration from the defense led to the Leicester goal. Dawson’s performance was a huge improvement from last week against Newcastle and let’s hope he and Ogbonna can continue this good form.
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Angelo Ogbonna – 8/10: Along with Dawson, Ogbonna had a great performance at the back today. Ogbonna had a few good tackles and interceptions and after looking a little off the pace last week, he seems to be back in good form as well, forming a solid partnership with Craig Dawson.
Aaron Cresswell – 8/10: The English left-back helped instigate the first VAR red card of the season by Ayoze Perez in the first half when he pressured Perez from behind, nudging him off balance leaving him scrambling forward to regain possession off the ball leading him into a 50/50 challenge with Fornals where Perez left a nasty high boot.
As always, Cresswell provided his assistance up and down the left flank, whipping in some good balls and throwing his body on the line at the other end to make an initial block on Tielmans shot, which eventually fell back at his feet leading to a goal. Overall, a solid showing from the left-back today.
Tomas Soucek – 7/10: The Czech midfielder had a pretty quiet game today, but he and Rice dominated the midfield. Soucek made some great passes and found himself in good spaces to attack a few headers, one that almost found the back of the net. Another solid showing from the 20/21 Hammer of the Year.
Player Grades From West Ham’s Rout of Leicester City
Declan Rice- 9/10: After a stellar second-half performance against Newcastle, the English international picked up right where he left off. Dec bossed the midfield today making some direct, driving runs up the field and numerous interceptions, with one spurring a counter-attack that led to the Fornals goal. Rice also had a great assist for Antonio’s first goal when he picked the ball up on the left and drove a nice low ball to the feet of Antonio which he slotted home.
Pablo Fornals- 9/10: What a great game for Fornals, who seems to have started this season off in stellar form. His off-the-ball movement in the first half was beautiful to watch as he opened up pockets of space and pulled the strings in the midfield. Fornals bagged the first goal of the game when he picked up the ball in the middle of the field, found Benrahma out left and darted into a great position in the box to guide the ball home in the bottom right. The Spanish midfielder had a game to remember today.
Säid Benrahma- 9/10: The Algerian wizard bagged a second goal and a second assist of the season today in what looks a promising season for him so far. After Fornals fed Benrahma the ball out left he lasered the ball right into the feet of Fornals who netted the first goal. Later in the game, Benrahma sprinted into the box to connect with a pass from Michail Antonio to put the Hammers up 3-1. He looks like he is going to be some player for us this season.
Jarrod Bowen- 8/10: Bowen also had a somewhat quiet game but was always an option down the right-hand side. He linked up well with Coufal throughout the game and turned a few of the Leicester defenders inside out and even secured a cheeky nutmeg late in the game. His ability to make intelligent darting runs at the defense opened up spaces for himself and his teammates which will be crucial to continue unlocking opposition team defenses.
Michail Antonio- 10/10: The newly crowned all-time Premier League leading goal scorer for West Ham was your man of the match today. Antonio looked a threat all game but finally got his reward when Rice fizzed a ball into his feet which he held up well, turned on the defender, and hammered into the bottom right corner. Then, he capitalized on a misplaced backward pass from Söyüncü and slotted a nice ball across the box into Benrahma which he put away. As the game came to a close Antonio was not finished, a sequence of two nutmegs by Fornals and Bowen led the ball to Coufal who whipped in a pearl of a ball to Antonio who brought it down and poked it past Schmeichel for the fourth goal. Netting two goals and an assist, there is not much more to ask from the number nine.
Substitutes: Noble and Yarmolenko came on late in the game for Benrahama and Antonio, but with insufficient time to grade their performances. This could well be the performance of the season, and tonight we sit top of the league. Come On You Irons!