Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma stood out while Caglar Soyuncu was the worst of a sub-par bunch as West Ham United cruised to a 4-1 win over Leicester City.
In what proved to be a thoroughly dominant performance, West Ham United grabbed the lead midway through the first half courtesy Pablo Fornals, who finished off a fine move wherein he linked up brilliantly with Said Benrahma. The hosts continued to stifle Leicester City time and again before they were given a numerical advantage.
Just five minutes ahead of half-time, Leicester were down to ten, as Ayoze Perez was sent off in a contentious but fair decision, as he appeared to have stamped on Fornals’ leg. Having one extra man on the pitch did help, as West Ham strangled out their visitors before being gifted the second goal by Caglar Soyuncu, whose horrendous back-pass was intercepted by Michail Antonio, who set up Benrahma in turn.
Leicester then hit back with a goal out of nowhere from Youri Tielemans, but that was only a flash in the pan as Antonio scored twice in quick succession to round off a comprehensive win. The result has taken the Hammers to the top of the table on goals scored while Leicester are now down at 12th place. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
"I'm making history, I've got to do something special!" 😂
Michail Antonio explains his iconic celebration and explains the reference…🕺 pic.twitter.com/vAIjb9aLxL
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 23, 2021
West Ham United
Lukasz Fabianski: 6/10
A game wherein Fabianski had precious little to do. With West Ham firmly in control of the contest, the veteran Polish keeper did not have a single save to make. Could not have done anything to deny Youri Tielemans, though.
Vladimir Coufal: 7.5/10
Solid as ever from Coufal, who comfortably prevailed in his duel with Harvey Barnes while also being a potent outlet down the right flank. On one of his forays, the Czech full-back provided the assist for Michail Antonio’s second of the night. Job well done.
Craig Dawson: 7/10
A major reason why Jamie Vardy was rendered to be ineffective, Dawson was particularly dominant in the air, winning each of the eight aerial duels he contested. Made three clearances as well, which meant Fabianski did not have a save to make on Monday.
Angelo Ogbonna: 7/10
Alongside Dawson at the heart of the West Ham defence, Ogbonna provided a solid presence that sucked the life out of the moves that Leicester looked to create. Made one block while winning each of the duels he contested. Completed 90 percent of his attempted passes as well, ensuring efficient build-ups from the back.
Aaron Cresswell: 7/10
Like Coufal on the right flank, Cresswell provided a solid presence from the left flank. Was barely tested following Ayoze Perez’s dismissal. While he did not create a chance on this occasion, the experienced defender supported Said Benrahma smartly.
Declan Rice: 8/10
Declan Rice vs Leicester City
95% pass accuracy
2 key passes
7/8 accurate long balls
2 successful dribbles
3 tackles won
1 aerial won
7/10 duels won
Leader and midfield controller. Incredibly consistent player. ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/ur3vLawpj3
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) August 23, 2021
A colossal performance by Rice, who was nothing short of phenomenal in the middle of the park, completely shutting off James Maddison. The West Ham skipper also won the ball off Vardy in the build-up to the first goal while retaining an excellent passing rate of 95 percent. On top of that, he won eight duels while completing four tackles and three interceptions.
Tomas Soucek: 7/10
A solid display by Soucek, who could not really manage to get a chance his way but was still quite an imposing presence in the final third on a number of occasions. Solid defensively, the Czech ace won five duels while completing a couple of tackles as well. Such a consistent performer.
Jarrod Bowen: 8/10
The creative supremo for West Ham, Bowen was in his elements against Leicester, playing a game-high five key passes. While his pass completion rate slipped a little as a result, the 24-year-old was still a major reason why the Hammers created plenty of chances over the course of the game.
Said Benrahma: 9/10
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 24, 2021
From one creative force to another, Benrahma was in his elements against Leicester, playing two key passes, one of which proved to be the assist for the goal that Pablo Fornals scored. The Algerian attacker then found the back of the net once himself, and all of that while retaining a 91 percent passing rate. In sublime form right now.
Pablo Fornals: 8/10
The three men behind Antonio were in a league of their own and Fornals was top class, completing three key passes while scoring the first West Ham goal with a peach of a finish from close range. On another day, he could have had an assist of his own, but this was still one of his better showings as a West Ham player.
Michail Antonio: 9/10
The player who makes it all tick for West Ham, Antonio was once again top class. While he could have scored an early goal himself if not for a poor headed effort, Antonio grew into the game so much that he left a stamp of authority by the time he was done.
Scored two late goals, the first of which ensured he is now West Ham’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League. Also provided the assist for Benrahma’s goal, pouncing on a poor back-pass by Caglar Soyuncu before laying the ball on for the Algerian. Just brilliant right now.
Michail Antonio has now scored more Premier League goals for West Ham (48) than any other player in the competition’s history.
Not bad for a right-back. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/ZiIAYjNG2t
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) August 23, 2021
Mark Noble: N/A
A late introduction, Noble helped see the game out.
Andriy Yarmolenko: N/A
On for Antonio, Yarmolenko barely got any time on the pitch.
Kasper Schmeichel: 6/10
One of two Leicester players who can hold their head up high, Schmeichel could not have done anything to prevent any of the four West Ham goals and was really sold short by the defenders in front of him. He still made three solid saves to ensure the scoreline did not become too embarrassing. Needed better support.
Ricardo Pereira: 5/10
A sub-par showing by Ricardo, who was perhaps the best defender for Leicester, although that hardly tells much, when he really should have done better in the moment leading up to the first goal that West Ham scored. On the opposite end, he had a decent enough chance to score, only to fluff his lines.
Daniel Amartey: 4/10
With Jannik Vestergaard unavailable due to an injury, Amartey got another chance to make an impression at the heart of the Leicester defence. However, after going unpunished last time out, on this occasion he did not come out scot-free, with West Ham – and Antonio in particular, troubling him all throughout. The return of the actual centre-backs cannot come soon enough.
Caglar Soyuncu: 3/10
Soyuncu when he saw Antonio was open pic.twitter.com/q2Ri8zqDXp
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) August 23, 2021
While Amartey was a disaster waiting to happen, the fact that the actual disastrous moments came from Soyuncu was shocking. The Turkish defender was abysmal on the night and his ridiculous blind back-pass, which led to the second goal, capped off what was a game to forget. Needs to pull his socks up.
Luke Thomas: 5/10
Like Ricardo Pereira on the opposite flank, a lot was expected from Thomas, who has been growing steadily in the Leicester first-team setup. However, the young defender was well off his best and just could not manage to contain the irresistible Bowen. Also felt the pressure whenever Coufal charged forward, and he just could not get going.
Youri Tielemans: 6/10
While Tielemans was well off his best levels, he still gets the rating bumped up slightly because he scored the goal that gave Leicester a glimmer of hope in the final quarter of the game. The Belgian international, though, hardly provided any creative presence while struggling on the defensive front as well. He will see better days.
Wilfred Ndidi: 4/10
Usually one of the more reliable performers for Leicester, Ndidi was, on Monday, one of the worst players on the pitch for the Foxes. The disasters began right from the time Fornals scored when he could not manage to keep track of the West Ham midfielder and the Nigerian was simply unable to provide Leicester with the control they needed to put their hosts under pressure. A rare blip.
Ayoze Perez: 3/10
Perez would argue that he had no way of stopping in his tracks when he was actually off balance. However, technically, Michael Oliver was right to send him off, as he ended up stamping on Pablo Fornals’s leg. Otherwise, the Spaniard was barely in action in the first 40 minutes. Rodgers now has an opportunity to set things right and give Kelechi Iheanacho the start he deserves.
Ayoze Perez was shown a red card for this challenge 😬 pic.twitter.com/Z0Wrsg6Knn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 23, 2021
James Maddison: 5/10
Much of the talk around Maddison this summer has centred around how he would boost the creative quotient at Arsenal if they were to sign him. However, judging by his performance versus Leicester, the Gunners might well be better off without him, even though they are in horrible form themselves. Having said that, this was Maddison way below his best and he will definitely see better days.
Harvey Barnes: 5/10
Barnes has recently penned a new contract with Leicester and would have come into this game riding high on confidence. However, he was shut out of the game quite easily by Coufal, while his pass completion rate of 77 percent left a lot to be desired. Has to do better.
Jamie Vardy: 4/10
After scoring in the season opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vardy would have hoped to once again find the back of the net. This time around, though, the veteran striker ended up playing a role in a goal his opposition scored, as he lost the ball before the move for the first West Ham goal was set off. Otherwise, Vardy flitted in and out of the game constantly and just could manage to get into scoring areas.
Patson Daka: 5/10
On for Barnes, it was as if Daka was not even on the pitch, as he managed just three touches despite playing over 25 minutes.
Kelechi Iheanacho: N/A
A late introduction, Iheanacho barely had time to make an impact.
Boubakary Soumare: N/A
Sent on with ten minutes left, Soumare did not have much time to make his mark on the game.