Leicester extended their winning run in the Premier League to four in five games with victory over West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Foxes were efficient and clinical in the capital against a Hammers side that had more of the ball and more opportunities to score. James Maddison, who is suddenly an injury doubt for the World Cup after lasting just 24 minutes, and Harvey Barnes scored the goals, which ensured that a missed penalty from Youri Tielemans ultimately made no difference to the result.
Even before scoring early, Leicester initially began the stronger of the two sides and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall tested Lukasz Fabianski after only a couple of minutes. It then wasn’t very long before Maddison’s fired the Foxes in front, capitalising on a miss-kick from teammate Patson Daka that inadvertently turned into an assist and lashing the ball high into the top corner at the far post.
The Hammers came into it after and had the better of the play and chances for a solid chunk of the first half, including several good opportunities for Lucas Paqueta. Tomas Soucek also had the ball in the net 35 minutes in, only to see an offside flag raised.
Leicester had the chance to double their lead somewhat against the run of play in the closing stages of the first half when VAR intervened to spot a foul on Daka from Craig Dawson in the penalty area. But Tielemans failed to convert from 12-yards, his effort comfortably saved by Fabianski.
Clear chances were a little more sparse after the interval, with West Ham missing the target several times and then getting caught on the counter attack just over 10 minutes from the end.
A West Ham move broke down in the Leicester half, giving substitute Ayoze Perez space to run into. The Spaniard played the ball into the space in front of Barnes, whose pace saw him surge past Nayef Aguerd and finish with clinical precision beyond Fabianski.
It means that Leicester sign off for the World Cup comfortably in mid-table, having been bottom of the standings little over a month ago. West Ham, meanwhile, have taken just four points from the last 18 on offer and will spend the next six weeks sat just abiove the relegation zone.
GK: Lukasz Fabianski (7), RB: Thilo Kehrer (6), CB: Craig Dawson (6), CB: Kurt Zouma (6), LB: Aaron Cresswell (7), CM: Tomas Soucek (6), CM: Declan Rice (7), RM: Jarrod Bowen (7), AM: Lucas Paqueta (7), LM: Said Benrahma (7), ST: Gianluca Scamacca (6)
Subs: Nayef Aguerd (6), Pablo Fornals (6)
GK: Danny Ward (8), RB: Timothy Castagne (7), CB: Daniel Amartey (7), CB: Wout Faes (7), LB: Luke Thomas (7), CM: Youri Tielemans (6), CM: Boubacar Soumare (7), CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (6), RW: James Maddison (7), ST: Patson Daka (7), LW: Harvey Barnes (7)
Subs: Dennis Praet (6), Wilfred Ndidi (6), Ayoze Perez (7), Jamie Vardy (6), Nampalys Mendy (6)
Player of the match – Danny Ward (Leicester)
Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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