Craig Dawson’s injury-time header earned West Ham United a crucial point in the fight to finish in the top four just as Leicester City looked set to put their recent struggles behind them.
The first serious questions were being asked about manager Brendan Rodgers after the FA Cup fourth-round thrashing at Nottingham Forest was followed by defeat at Liverpool.
The Foxes made a slow start and were punished by Jarrod Bowen’s 10th-minute strike. But they were gifted a lifeline right at half-time when Aaron Cresswell needlessly handled James Maddison’s corner, Youri Tielemans drilling home the penalty.
Leicester were galvanised and further rewarded for their improvement when Ricardo Pereira headed home a Harvey Barnes cross after 57 minutes.
West Ham, without controversial defender Kurt Zouma after he felt unwell in the warm-up, had lost their way, but rescued the draw that keeps them a point ahead of Manchester United in fourth. Dawson rose highest to meet a Bowen corner and score with a looping header.
Leicester miss big chance
The fragile state of affairs at Leicester was illustrated by the sound of groans and jeers as they passed the ball around at the back after West Ham took an early lead.
Frustration was in the air and returned at the final whistle when the Foxes lost the advantage late on, for the third time recently after losing to Tottenham and drawing with Brighton.
It was a desperate body blow for Rodgers and his players who looked like stepping out of their malaise as they were moments away from coming from behind to win.
The pain was etched on faces all around the King Power Stadium as this was a movie they have seen before.
Leicester have a soft center without key defenders Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana.
It was exposed by Issa Diop’s pass for Bowen’s goal and then again in stoppage time, even after Rodgers was sent on the giant figure of Jannik Vestergaard late on, presumably to guard against such an eventuality as Dawson’s goal.
So near and yet so far for the Foxes. Again.
Hammers fall below high standards
West Ham manager David Moyes will have been relieved to earn a point so late on, but also feel his side wasted an opportunity to earn a vital victory.
The Hammers were in control without sparkling in the first half only to throw away a position of power via Cresswell’s handball moments before the break.
The goal, coming at a crucial time, threw West Ham off course and few could have had Leicester hung on at the end.
The Hammers were poor after the interval but deserve credit for at least sticking at it to stage another late show.
Moyes can point to the reshuffle that robbed him of Zouma just before the kick-off, but he will also know his side let Leicester off the hook when they had them down, in arrears, and with the crowd restless in the opening period.
It may prove an important point in the final reckoning, and West Ham stay in the top four – albeit having played a game more than Manchester United.
Moyes will know, however, that high standards have been set this season and this was a performance that fell below them.
West Ham United
- 21Ricardo PereiraBooked at 18mins
- 2JustinSubstituted forThomasat 31′minutes
- 8TielemansSubstituted forVestergaardat 90′minutes
- 10MaddisonSubstituted forLookmanat 73′minutes
- 5CoufalSubstituted forFredericksat 67′minutes
- 3CresswellBooked at 60mins
- 41RiceBooked at 61mins
- 10LanziniSubstituted forbenrahmaat 79′minutes
- 8FornalsSubstituted forVlasicat 79′minutes
- Michael Oliver
Match ends, Leicester City 2, West Ham United 2.
Second Half ends, Leicester City 2, West Ham United 2.
Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Patson Daka.
Goal! Leicester City 2, West Ham United 2. Craig Dawson (West Ham United) with an attempt from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Jarrod Bowen with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.
Attempt blocked. Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Leicester City. Jannik Vestergaard replaces Youri Tielemans.
Foul by Youri Tielemans (Leicester City).
Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Ademola Lookman (Leicester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.
Attempt saved. Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the center of the goal.
Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomas Soucek (West Ham United).
Foul by Patson Daka (Leicester City).
Nikola Vlasic (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner following a corner.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Luke Thomas.
Substitution, West Ham United. Sad Benrahma replaces Manuel Lanzini.
Substitution, West Ham United. Nikola Vlasic replaces Pablo Fornals.
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