Premier League
Leicester1West Ham0

Leicester City 1-0 West Ham United

Islam Slimani heads Leicester City into the lead against West Ham
Islam Slimani has scored 15 of his 33 league goals since the start of 2015-16 from headers

Leicester City pulled six points clear of the Premier League relegation zone as Islam Slimani's header ended West Ham United's three-match winning run.

Slimani had already headed against the post when he nodded home Marc Albrighton's excellent cross.

Home keeper Kasper Schmeichel twice denied Dimitri Payet with fine saves, while Michail Antonio hammered a shot against the Leicester bar.

Schmeichel also did well to keep out Aaron Creswell's deflected free-kick as champions Leicester ended a momentous 2016 with a first clean sheet in 12 league games.

The win lifts the Foxes one place to 15th, while West Ham's first league defeat since 3 December means they drop from 11th to 13th.

Relive the action from the King Power Stadium

Reaction from all of Saturday's Premier League games

Will the real Leicester please stand up?

Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha rewarded the club's older fans with a free beer before the game.

It was not to drown their sorrows despite a poor first half to the season, but to reward them for their backing during a historic year in which the 5,000-1 outsiders won the title.

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Ben Chilwell was preferred ahead of Christian Fuchs and the 20-year-old left-back did not let his side down as he helped Leicester keep a rare clean sheet. Chilwell's touch map shows how involved he was.

And many of the ingredients that contributed to the Foxes being crowned champions were back on display in their final game of 2016.

Leicester have been accused of looking ragged and lacking in ideas lately, but against West Ham they were hungry, determined and energetic.

They tore into their opponents, in the first half in particular, and gave their fans hope they will not spend 2017 embroiled in a relegation fight.

Mahrez back to his best?

Several Leicester players produced potential man-of-the-match performances.

Schmeichel was influential as Leicester kept a first clean sheet in the league since 2 October - his save to keep out Cresswell's set-piece, which deflected off Ben Chilwell, the highlight.

Danny Drinkwater drove the midfield, Albrighton's crosses caused West Ham repeated problems, and Slimani was a serious threat throughout.

And playmaker Riyad Mahrez, dropped to the bench for the defeat by Everton on 26 December, marked his return with a performance more like those he produced with such regularity last season.

He forced a fingertip save from Darren Randolph in the second minute and later had a free-kick superbly kept out by the West Ham keeper.

His gritty performance typified Leicester's display. Boss Claudio Ranieri will want more like this from the Algeria winger, but his Boxing Day rest may yet prove a blessing in disguise.

Hammers pay for sluggish start

West Ham had 25 shots, yet failed to score in a Premier League game for the first time since 30 October.

They were made to pay for their poor start, and Leicester should have been 2-0 up before Slimani's goal.

Manager Slaven Bilic should not be too alarmed, but one defeat could quickly turn into two if they are not firing on all cylinders against Manchester United on Monday.

This was a game punctured by countless fouls and eight yellow cards.

Both teams could have been reduced to 10 men - Daniel Amartey cut short Mark Noble's afternoon with a nasty tackle, while Havard Nordtveit was fortunate not to see red after a ridiculously high challenge on Chilwell.

Man of the match - Marc Albrighton (Leicester)

Leicester's Marc Albrighton in action against West Ham
Marc Albrighton created the winner with a glorious cross for Islam Slimani and had already fashioned a chance for the striker when he hit the post early on

'Grit, determination, everything'

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri: "I am very proud because we made a clean sheet - finally.

"The result is very good for everybody here in Leicester, and of course it is very good for the team.

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Important to end 2016 with a win - Ranieri

"We needed the crowd's support, and when I called them they were together with us. The support of our fans is very important."

Leicester City midfielder Marc Albrighton: "Grit, determination, everything - we showed it in abundance and we need to build on this result in the new year.

"It's no secret that we're not in a place that we want to be at the moment, but the performance was tremendous."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: "They started better and deserved to score but after that we were really good. We were just missing that final touch.

"We gave everything so it is a shame and a frustration, but we played good."

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Leicester defeat a blip - Bilic

Slimani looking the part - stats

  • Islam Slimani has been involved in four of Leicester's past six league goals at the King Power Stadium (two goals, two assists).
  • Slimani has scored 15 of his 33 league goals since the start of last season from headers.
  • Leicester won 12 Premier League home games in 2016, a record bettered only by Manchester United (13).
  • West Ham failed to score in a league game for the first time since October (against Everton), having netted in eight consecutive games beforehand.
  • The Hammers kept just two clean sheets from 19 away games in the Premier League in 2016.

What's next?

It's a quick turnaround for both clubs as they return to action on Monday. While Leicester are at Middlesbrough (12:30 GMT), West Ham get a few extra hours before hosting Manchester United (17:15 GMT).

More to follow

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1SchmeichelBooked at 72mins
  • 17SimpsonBooked at 83mins
  • 5Morgan
  • 6HuthBooked at 44mins
  • 3Chilwell
  • 13AmarteyBooked at 47mins
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 11AlbrightonBooked at 66mins
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forFuchsat 70'minutes
  • 22GraySubstituted forOkazakiat 80'minutes
  • 19SlimaniSubstituted forUlloaat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Musa
  • 10King
  • 20Okazaki
  • 21Zieler
  • 23Ulloa
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs

West Ham

  • 1Randolph
  • 4NordtveitBooked at 71mins
  • 2Reid
  • 21OgbonnaBooked at 45mins
  • 3Cresswell
  • 16NobleSubstituted forLanziniat 57'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 8KouyatéSubstituted forFernandesat 78'minutes
  • 30Antonio
  • 20A AyewSubstituted forFeghouliat 65'minutes
  • 27Payet
  • 9Carroll

Substitutes

  • 7Feghouli
  • 10Lanzini
  • 13Adrián
  • 14Obiang
  • 24Fletcher
  • 31Fernandes
  • 36Quina
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
32,060

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home12
Away24
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 1, West Ham United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, West Ham United 0.

Attempt blocked. Edimilson Fernandes (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Offside, West Ham United. Darren Randolph tries a through ball, but Michail Antonio is caught offside.

Foul by Edimilson Fernandes (West Ham United).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dimitri Payet with a cross.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Wes Morgan.

Attempt blocked. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Attempt missed. Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) header from very close range is too high.

Attempt saved. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Amartey.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Aaron Cresswell.

Foul by Winston Reid (West Ham United).

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Winston Reid.

Attempt missed. Andy Carroll (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell with a cross.

Booking

Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United).

Daniel Amartey (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Danny Simpson (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Michail Antonio (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Danny Simpson (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Islam Slimani.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Demarai Gray.

Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).

Islam Slimani (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Ham United. Edimilson Fernandes replaces Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Attempt missed. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Fuchs.

Attempt saved. Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Daniel Amartey.

Booking

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Håvard Nordtveit (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Håvard Nordtveit (West Ham United).

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Attempt saved. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Booking

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea19161242132949
2Liverpool19134246212543
3Man City19123439211839
4Arsenal18114339192037
5Tottenham18106233132036
6Man Utd19106329191036
7Everton197662523227
8West Brom197572523226
9Southampton196671922-324
10Bournemouth197392631-524
11Burnley1972102129-823
12Watford186482230-822
13West Ham196492333-1022
14Stoke195682232-1021
15Leicester195592431-720
16Middlesbrough194691722-518
17Crystal Palace1844102933-416
18Sunderland1942131735-1814
19Hull1934121641-2513
20Swansea1933132144-2312
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