Premier League
West Ham United 1 Leicester City 2

Saturday, 28th December 2019
by Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini's tenure as West Ham manager ended as the Hammers slumped to yet another defeat at the London Olympic Stadium.

The Chilean, who has been in charge of West Ham since the summer of 2018 was fired by vice chair Karren Brady immediately after today's desperately disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Leicester City.


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His team, who were captained by Declan Rice in the absence of Mark Noble were distinctly second best on a day in which they needed to produce an efficient, winning performance that might've persuaded the Board to postpone what seemed to be an inevitable conclusion.

The writing was on the wall for Pellegrini inside the opening ten minutes when Lukasz Fabianski was forced to produce a good save in order to deny Demarai Gray from giving the Foxes an early lead via the penalty spot.

The Pole, making his return to the first team following a lengthy lay-off atoned after conceding the penalty himself having felled Kelechi Iheanacho insisde the penalty area as the two contested a through ball.


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Yet Leicester didn't have to wait too much longer before opening the scoring. A mistake by Arthur Masuaku, restored to the starting XI in place of Aaron Cresswell saw Leicester gain possession inside the West Ham penalty box before Iheanacho converted Ayoze Perez's short pass.

Still, the Hammers had time to level the scores again before the half time whistle move. West Ham's best move of the game - a series of short, sharp passes - culminated with Pablo Fornals sweeping the ball beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

However it was the Foxes who went on to win the game with the only goal of the second period - and is was scored by Demarai Gray, who had missed that first half spot kick, just nine minutes after the restart.


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West Ham Utd: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Sanchez (Snodgrass 62), Rice, Fornals, Lanzini (Ajeti 70), Felipe Anderson, Haller (Antonio 55).

Subs not used: Roberto, Zabaleta, Reid, Noble.

Goals: Fornals (45).

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Justin, Morgan, Evans, Fuchs, Choudhury, Mendy (Ndidi 70), Albrighton, Gray (Barnes 83), Perez (Maddison 64), Iheanacho.

Subs not used: Ward, Chilwell, Soyuncu, Tielemans.

Goals: Iheanacho (40), Gray (56).

Referee: David Coote.

Attendance: 59,919.

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Player Ratings

Roberto Jimenez Gago
Not the greatest way to start his West Ham spell. Conceded four, probably could've done a little better with the last.


Ryan Fredericks
Enjoyed a productive opening 45 minutes, making several forays down the wing. A little less efective once City brought their big players on at the break.


Ben Johnson
No notable error. Good to see Pellegrini taking a closer look at his in pre-season.


Issa Diop
One vital error that led to City's third goal, as he conceded possession cheaply and unnecessary. As you might expect from a youngster.


Angelo Ogbonna
Still looking a little clumsy and conceded the penalty that put Manchester City ahead.


Declan Rice
Not involved to any great degree but made several decent interceptions and kept it simple.


Mark Noble
It seems his legs still haven't gone - and he's looking like a leader in every game.


Felipe Anderson
A decent half from the Brazilian winger, who gave one or two City defenders nightmares in the opening stages.


Manuel Lanzini
A decent first half but like many others, faded after the break.


Jack Wilshere
Fit again and it showed - and long may that remain the case.


Michail Antonio
A real busy bee in the 45 minutes he played as the lone striker - a role to be filled by the club's record signing upon returning from China.



Substitutes

Carlos Sanchez
(Replaced Rice) A pretty horrible appearance, in which he was responsible for the final City goal and lucky not to concede a (fairly clear) penalty.


Robert Snodgrass
(Replaced Wilshere) Largely anonymous against the better City players.


Andriy Yarmolenko
(Replaced Rice) "I'll be like a new signing!" he (sort of) said last week. And he was a bit. Unlucky not to score with an effort that rattled the post.


Javier Hernandez
(Replaced Antonio) Not really involved although one 25-yard free kick nearly caught City unawares.


Pablo Zabaleta
(Replaced Fredericks) The old boy endured a bit of a torrid time against City's attack in the second half.


Aaron Cresswell
(Replace Johnson) No more effective that young Johnson, who he replaced.


Pedro Obiang
It may well be his final appearance in claret and blue, the lack of notable effort was evident. * Other subs used: Grady Diangana (Lanzini 62); Winston Reid (Ogbonna 68).



Match Facts

West Ham United: Roberto Jimenez Gago, Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere, Michail Antonio.

Goals: Mark Noble 25                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Justin, Morgan, Evans, Fuchs, Choudhury, Mendy (Ndidi 70), Albrighton, Gray (Barnes 83), Perez (Maddison 64), Iheanacho.

Subs not used: Ward, Chilwell, Soyuncu, Tielemans.

Goals: Iheanacho (40), Gray (56).

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: David Coote.

Attendance: 59,919.

Man of the Match: Ryan Fredericks.