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  • By Charlie Stong at The London Stadium

Foxes beat sorry Hammers 2-0, but Maddison a World Cup doubt after hobbling off injured


West Ham United 0

Leicester City 2 (Maddison, 8, Barnes, 78)


West Ham slipped further into Premier League danger this afternoon, beaten 2-0 at home by a Leicester City side on the up.


James Maddison put the Foxes in front after eight minutes after a fine flowing move, and Harvey Barnes secured the win with a breakaway goal 12 minutes from time, as the Hammers pushed forward in search of an equaliser.


In between Lukasz Fabianski superbly saved a penalty from Youri Tielemans, but the Hammers were poor – and in the end well beaten.


But for Maddison the win was bittersweet. The England man hobbled off shortly after his goal, clutching his right leg after taking a corner, and must be a serious doubt for the World Cup with the showpiece just days away.


Tielemans tested Fabianski with a stinging shot from the edge of the box early on.


And the Foxes took the lead after just eight minutes.


Kieran Dewsbury-Hall’s ball across the box was helped on by Patson Daka, and Maddison swept the ball home first-time with his left foot.


Declan Rice’s 25-yard effort, which flew almost as high over Danny Ward’s crossbar as the distance from which it was struck, was the Hammers’ only shot in anger in the first 20 minutes.


Minutes later Fabianski had to pull off a fine tip-over to prevent it becoming 2-0 to the visitors.


Daniel Amartey was then allowed to waltz through the West Ham back line and unleash a fierce drive from the edge of the box, but it was very well saved by the Pole, who saw it all the way on to his gloves.


But joy turned to despair for Maddison, who pulled up with what looked like an injury to his right leg shortly after taking a corner, and the Leicester man hobbled off to a chorus of ‘England’s number 10’ from the travelling fans.


The injury seemed to temporarily subdue Leicester, and West Ham were nearly level almost instantly.


Said Benrahma forced his way into the box, and although he was initially held up, the ball found its way back to him, and his shot as he fell was brilliantly pushed away by Ward.


That spurred on the home side, who went close again on the half-hour mark when Lucas Paqueta headed wide, before Jarrod Bowen saw a shot deflected over the top.


But Leicester then had the chance to double their advantage from the spot. Craig Dawson’s challenge on Daka in the box was initially waved away by referee Jarred Gillett, but VAR did what it is there to do – overturn a howler – and a penalty it was.


However Fabianski dived full-length to his right to thwart the kick of Tielemans – a superb save from the former Arsenal stopper.


West Ham started the second half the brighter of the two teams, but were only really ever huffing and puffing.


First Bowen’s effort from the right was blocked before both Gianluca Scamacca, hero in front of goal of late for the Hammers, and Rice both headed over from corners.


But Leicester were far more clinical, and Barnes wrapped up the points for the Foxes with 12 minutes remaining.


A beautiful reverse pass from substitute Ayoze Perez set Barnes free, and as Fabianski rushed out to meet him, the Leicester man slipped the ball under the Pole’s body to secure the win.


‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, all what fun it is to see Leicester win away,’ sang the visiting fans, but for David Moyes’ Hammers, these are troubling times and they now sit in 16th position, just a point ahead of the drop zone.


Teams:

West Ham United: Fabianski, Cresswell, Zouma (Aguerd, 15), Scamacca, Paqueta, Dawson, Bowen, Benrahma, Kehrer, Soucek (Fornals, 75), Rice

Leicester City: Ward, Faes, Barnes, Tielemans (Ndidi, 55), Maddison (Praet, 24), Amartey, Daka (Vardy, 68), Dewsbury-Hall (Perez, 68), Castagne, Thomas, Soumare (Mendy, 68).

Referee: Jarred Gillett

VAR: Chris Kavanagh

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