Leicester 1-1 West Ham: Mark Noble sees red as Foxes strike late

Leicester 1-1 West Ham

Wilfred Ndidi netted a fortunate late leveller for Leicester in a 1-1 draw against West Ham, who had Mark Noble sent off in the first half.

Fabian Balbuena had put the Hammers into a first-half lead (30) but their momentum was lost when Noble was dismissed eight minutes later for an ugly lunge on Ndidi.

Leicester dominated the second period but couldn’t find a way through a brave West Ham defensive performance until Ndidi’s 25-yard effort deflected into the top corner via the backside of Balbuena.

Angelo Ogbonna missed a glorious chance in injury time for the Hammers but the game ended on a sour note as Leicester full-back Daniel Amartey was carried off, requiring gas and air, after suffering what looked a serious leg injury.

The late equaliser spared boss Claude Puel further scrutiny, who decided to drop Jamie Vardy from his starting line-up despite the striker declaring himself “back to full strength” on Instagram a day after suffering a stomach complaint in the defeat at Arsenal.

Player Ratings

Leicester: Schmeichel (6), Amartey (6), Soyuncu (6), Maguire (6), Chilwell (7), Ghezzal (6), Iborra (6), Ndidi (6), Maddison (6), Iheanacho (6), Albrighton (6)

Subs: Vardy (5), Okazaki (6), Gray (6)

West Ham: Fabianski (7), Zabaleta (7), Balbuena (8), Diop (7), Noble (3), Masuaku (7), Anderson (6), Rice (8), Snodgrass (6), Diangana (6), Chicharito (6)

Subs: Antonio (7), Cresswell (6), Ogbonna (4)

Man of the match: Declan Rice

West Ham controlled the game after a fast start by Leicester and got their noses in front on the half hour.

Felipe Anderson found Declan Rice from a set-piece and his header across the area was met by Balbuena but his diving header hit the inside of a post. The defender reacted quickest to the rebound though and fired home from close range.

Leicester looked lost for ideas but the game changed when Noble was dismissed.

The West Ham captain slid in recklessly on Ndidi’s shin and referee Michael Oliver was on the spot quickly to brandish the red card.

With Leicester now having an extra-man, Puel sent on Vardy at half-time but he didn’t look his sharpest in front of goal, heading over a fabulous chance on 58 minutes.

Team news

Jamie Vardy – despite declaring himself fit to start –was dropped in one of four changes. Caglar Soyuncu, Vincent Iborra, Rachid Ghezzal and Marc Albrighton returned. Marko Arnautovic was ill and misses the game. He was one of three changes with the injured Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell also dropping out.

Leicester pinned West Ham back and Lukas Fabianski made a fine double save to deny Marc Albrighton before Harry Maguire then saw a header clip the top of the crossbar.

Despite their endeavour, Leicester didn’t create a golden chance and Hammers substitute Angelo Ogbonna let them off the hook on 85 minutes, heading wide from eight yards out.

Ndidi punished the visitors as the clock ticked into added time when his strike from range took a huge deflection off Balbuena and flew into the top corner.

There was still time for Ogbonna to blaze over from close range and Amartey to be carried off on a stretcher needing oxygen after twisting his lower leg.

Man of the match: Declan Rice

England manager Gareth Southgate would’ve liked what he saw from the stands. The West Ham midfielder, who has played three times for Ireland but withdrew from their squad to consider whether he wanted to represent England instead, put in yet another powerful display in front of the back four.

In West Ham’s dominant spell in the first half, Rice was key, nullifying the skills of James Maddison, who found space limited. After Noble’s dismissal Rice almost played as a third centre-back but – along with Balbuena – made some important clearances.

What’s next?

Leicester host Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening before travelling to play Cardiff in the Premier League on Saturday. Meanwhile, West Ham play Tottenham in a tasty Carabao fixture on Wednesday.

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