Given that their team were 2-0 down after less than ten minutes and that their 'new' captain lasted only until the 18th minute, the crowd at West Ham's london Stadium could have been forgiven for 'doing a highbury', but the exact opposite happened. After the initial shock of going behind and losing Winston Reid the crowd suddenly found it's voice, a voice which easily drowned out the predictably boring chants from the Leicester City fans and filled the air with the sort of intimidating atmosphere not experienced during a day time match since the club left the Boleyn. The 'tourists' that left at half time, presumably to go and see a West End musical or show, deprived themselves of seeing a stirring fightback that eventually fell short of the mark due to profligacy in front of goal but mainly due to the brilliance of Kasper Schmeichel Leicester's goal keeper, without his services Hammers could have and would have won, but gifting the opposition a two goal start always had Slaven Billic's new look team on the back foot. Talking immediately after the game he said: “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. The first goal was very sloppy, two goals from set pieces, we knew they are very good at those and we needed to defend them but didn't. We deserved something from the game, we created lots of chances. In this league you can’t afford to be 3-1 down and try to turn the game around, but they showed character, the 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. What gives us hope is our performance in the second half, we were good with and without the ball, all we needed was to add is goals.”
On the injury front he said: “It doesn’t look good with Winston he pulled his abductor and had to go off, when there is no contact and a player has to go of it doesn't look good. Now it looks like Michail won’t be able to go with the England squad, he felt a hammy [hamstring]. We have to assess them next couple of days, hopefully, they will be fit after the international break, we are also waiting on news regarding Pedro Obiang, it was a tackle on his ankle and he is not the one who comes off easy but we have to see in the next couple of days.
We knew Leicester were very capable, not even last year but this season, they had it in them with Ranieri and the game against City, in the Champions League as well but, this team looks different now. They are the same players but they look better, it was a surprise. Very few things surprise me nowadays in football but I think they won today because they had to fight and they did that because they have momentum. Unfortunately, we don't have any over our last three games.
So a tremendous game, a bunch of injuries, three points lost, but an atmosphere found! Priceless - Ed