Saturday, December 7, 2019

Leicester City 1 West Ham 1: Ndidi leveller denies 10-man Hammers

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Oct 2018

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Wilfred Ndidi’s late deflected strike salvaged a 1-1 Premier League draw for Leicester City against 10-man West Ham at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Fabian Balbuena had earlier handed the Hammers a first-half lead, scoring his first goal for the club following his move from Corinthians with a close-range finish.

Their cause was made more difficult in the 38th minute when Mark Noble received a straight red card for raking his studs down Ndidi’s calf.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked like they would withstand Noble’s moment of madness, but Ndidi’s 89th-minute strike took a significant deflection off Balbuena and spun into Lukasz Fabianski’s top corner to ensure a share of the spoils.

Leicester started brightly – Kelechi Iheanacho seeing a strike ruled out for offside after just two minutes – but it was West Ham who carved out the first effort on target, Kasper Schmeichel keeping out Felipe Anderson’s low drive.

Robert Snodgrass flashed wide midway through the half from a tight angle, before Balbuena took advantage of some generous Leicester defending to give the Hammers a 30th-minute lead. The Paraguayan reacted quicker than the sluggish Harry Maguire after his initial header cannoned back off the post and prodded past Schmeichel from close range.

Noble then received his marching orders eight minutes later and the hosts almost immediately made their numerical superiority count, Fabianski repelling Vincente Iborra’s header.

The Foxes carved out a host of chances shortly after the hour mark, Marc Albrighton’s fierce volley kept out by Fabianski, substitute Jamie Vardy heading over from close range and Maguire thumping his own header against the crossbar.

Leicester looked flat in the closing stages, but Ndidi’s strike from distance took a wicked deflection off Balbuena to prevent his side from slipping to a third consecutive defeat.

What does it mean? Noble’s red proves costly for Hammers

It might not be enough to prevent discussion around Claude Puel’s future as Leicester boss, but Ndidi’s late goal at least prevents the Frenchman from suffering a third defeat on the spin. West Ham, meanwhile, end their own run of two straight defeats, but will be ruing Noble’s costly challenge in the first half, which surely prevented them from taking all three points.

Rice continues heady ascent

It is hard to believe Declan Rice is still only 19. The defensive midfielder has already caught the eye this season and he delivered another assured display in front of the Hammers’ backline to frustrate Leicester until Ndidi’s late intervention.

Noble’s moment of madness

The Hammers midfielder can have no complaints about referee Michael Oliver’s decision to dismiss him seven minutes before the interval. His challenge on Ndidi was late, high and reckless – a recipe for a red card.

What’s next?

Leicester are in EFL Cup action on Tuesday when Southampton visit the King Power Stadium, while West Ham host Tottenham in the same competition a day later, having emerged victorious at Wembley in the same tie last season.

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