Leicester’s King knocks West Ham out
PUBLISHED: 22:46 22 September 2015 | UPDATED: 22:46 22 September 2015
PA/Press Association Images
Capital One Cup: Leicester City 2 West Ham United 1 (after extra time)
The heartbroken Hammers simply ran out of gas at the King Power Stadium, where Slaven Bilic’s side were sent crashing out of the Capital One Cup deep into extra-time.
Leicester City skipper Andy King did the damage with his 115th-minute header that condemned West Ham to their first away defeat of the season, after Mauro Zarate had earlier wiped out Joe Dodoo’s early opener.
Indeed, after bagging a hat-trick on his debut in the 4-1 win at Bury in the second round, Dodoo had wasted no time in finding the net again, when he put Claudio Ranieri’s side ahead after just six minutes.
But Zarate hit back with a 20-yard screamer to make it all square at the break and with neither side able to convert after the interval, an intriguing tie went into extra-time.
In the Premier League it could not have been closer either with third-place West Ham sitting level on 12 points, just one rung and two goals above City.
And here in the Capital One Cup, the Hammers clearly set out looking for glory, with Bilic only making three changes from his workaholic winners that had performed so valiantly at Manchester City on Saturday evening as Andy Carroll, James Collins and Zarate replaced Diafra Sakho, Winston Reid and Dimitri Payet.
But having secured their heroic hat-trick of league victories on the road at Arsenal, Liverpool and City, the Hammers hopes of a four-timer took an early jolt with a mere half-dozen minutes on the clock, when Pedro Obiang’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Andrej Kramaric to young Dodoo, who held his nerve to side-foot past the stranded Adrian as Collins fruitlessly lunged in.
Ranieri had already masterminded a Foxes victory at Upton Park on the second Saturday of the season, but this was a much-altered side from that day and, indeed, the tinkering Italian had made no less than 10 changes from the team that had battled back for a dogged draw at Stoke City at the weekend, with only Gokhan Inler retaining his starting spot.
Having just seen Dodoo net on his home debut, the full-on Foxes then almost saw the 20-year-old double their lead but, this time, his low shot deflected off the heel of Collins to the relative safety of a corner kick.
Leonardo Ulloa had also forced Adrian into an early low save and, with the home side in dominant mood, Kramaric broke free from halfway before depositing a wasteful, audacious chip into the Spanish ‘keeper’s gloves.
In reply, Victor Moses swept an adventurous low 18-yarder into the side-netting, while James Tomkins rose highest to send a glancing header across the face of goal but, in truth, that had merely been token resistance from the visitors.
On 26 minutes, however, West Ham clawed themselves back into the tie from out of the blue, when Manuel Lanzini played the ball into compatriot Zarate, who turned half-circle and with Danny Simpson and Marcin Wasilewski approaching, the Argentinian let fly with an 18-yarder the flew between the outstretched right glove of Mark Schwarzer and the left-hand post.
Now level, the Cockney confidence levels were visibly rising and when Christian Fuchs was cautioned for tripping Moses in full flow 10 minutes before the break, Aaron Cresswell’s 20-yard free-kick was held at the second attempt by Schwarzer.
Right on half-time, the boy Dodoo almost restored the Leicester lead but he was over-stretching at the far post and could only scuff behind to leave it all square at the interval.
Just after the restart, King was only a stud away from giving his side an early advantage and, shortly afterwards, Marc Albrighton’s low scorcher was beaten away by Adrian before Ulloa just failed to bundle home following a frantic goalmouth scramble.
After Zarate had been booked for wrestling back Inler, Ulloa’s close-range header was brilliantly palmed aside by the athletic Adrian to the dismay of the Foxes fans in the crowd of 21,268.
That was the cue for Payet to replace the subdued Carroll and, after Obiang was booked for felling King, Fuchs almost curled City ahead from 20 yards, but the alert Adrian scrambled across goal to claw the resultant free-kick out from under his left-hand angle.
Jeffrey Schlupp replaced Albrighton midway through a second half in which West Ham had largely been on the back foot but, with a quarter-hour remaining, Lanzini came close with an angled shot that agonisingly looped up off Simpson’s heel and just an inch or so beyond the far post.
With extra-time looming, Cheikhou Kouyate switched with Zarate, who departed to generous applause from the 2,263 travelling West Ham fans and, after substitute Schlupp was booked for launching into Lanzini, City made a double-change, too, as Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante swapped with Dodoo and Kramaric.
Simpson, who had earlier been yellow-carded, was lucky to stay on the pitch after his uncouth charge through the back of Moses, and Payet almost made the Leicester defender pay when he sent the subsequent free-kick just too high to prevent an inevitable, yet unwelcome, extra half-hour.
City had three good chances to reclaim an early foothold but Yohan Benalouane diverted a clever low corner straight to Adrian before Inler went wide from 20 yards and Fuchs crossed to the in-rushing Mahrez, who stooped under the bouncing ball six yards out.
At the other end, a raving Mark Noble was booked for diving under the challenge of Simpson in the box, while in the opposite penalty area, the escaping Schlupp fired straight at the exposed Adrian before his next shot was blocked by Collins, who then saw Ulloa drive over the top too.
Collins then ventured forward to meet Payet’s cleverly-chipped free-kick with a near-post header that was ushered behind by Schwarzer, but the last word should have gone to Leicester, who saw Mahrez scoop over from a couple of yards before driving a point-blank shot straight at the grounded Adrian, who then could only watch as Tomkins cleared Schlupp’s follow-up off the line.
Lively Leicester started strongly in the second period of extra-time, too, as Adrian raced out to slide-tackle Kante and then the Spaniard got down well to save from the frustrated Schlupp.
Inler also fired over before Reid came for Obiang and, with West Ham mounting an immediate assault, Noble sent his shot over after a bout of penalty-box pinball.
By now, the tie looked destined to be settled by penalties, but that man King had other ideas and with just five minutes left, he got in front of Tomkins to meet Fuchs’ deep left-wing cross with an angled 10-yard header that looped over Adrian and into the far corner to send the Hammers out of the competition.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Simpson, Fuchs, Benalouane, Wasilewski, Albrighton (Schlupp 67), Kramaric (Kante 81), Inler, King, Ulloa, Dodoo (Mahrez 81). Unused subs: Schmeichel, De Laet, Chilwell, Blyth.
West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Tomkins, Collins, Noble, Moses, Obiang (Reid 112), Lanzini, Zarate (Kouyate 75), Carroll (Payet 64). Unused subs: Randolph, Oxford, Lee, Cullen.
Booked: Fuchs (34), Zarate (59), Obiang (66), Simpson (70), Schlupp (79), Noble (99), Wasilewski (107).
Referee: Peter Bankes.
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