Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

West Ham 2-3 Leicester: Foxes revival continues

Are Leicester players heroes or villains after Sevilla win? Marc Albrighton insists Leicester are capable of further Champions League shocks
Damon Campbell | 19 March, 2017, 00:20

Despite the amount of pressure clubs place on their managers to qualify for the Champions League, there hasn't been much success for English sides of late.

"Defensively, West Ham haven't really had a settled back four this season, so I think the likes of Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki could cause them problems going forward".

Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy - three of the main protagonists of last season's title triumph - stunned the Hammers with first-half goals. The Algerian's two goals in the three league games since Shakespeare took charge are as many as he managed in the previous 22 games under Ranieri, an alarming drop in form that was mirrored across the team. "The game has gone, the referee made his decision and we have to move on".

"You don't enter a competition and aim not to win". Strikers live and die by their goals but the overall performance of forwards is vitally important.

"I haven't banned talk of the Champions League but after the game the focus, what I wanted, has been on West Ham", he told reporters.

"There are some good ones (strikers) and he is proven in terms of being in the (England) squad before so he's up there with the rest of them". You can play and the opponent can beat you, but we were not there. They seem to be on the ball with things and I think they'll do what they did so well last season if they come to West Ham.

He has now guided Leicester to victory in each of his last four games since taking over from Claudio Ranieri.

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The Foxes have kept just one clean sheet in their last 21 away matches against West Ham (1-0 in August 2000), with Tim Flowers in goal for Leicester that day.

It was a thrilling finale with West Ham looking most likely to score the next goal and they nearly did in stoppage time but for an outstanding save from Schmeichel, who somehow denied a Carroll shot from only a few yards out.

Just a couple days ago, Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho said that his midfielder Paul Pogba, the world's most expensive player, "does not give an ass" what anyone says about him. Today, speaking at his weekly news conference, Mourinho said "they don't give an S," they being the Premier League, in regards to balancing a team's workload and schedule.

"It seems the very best players are concentrated elsewhere, and there is just a sprinkling of the leading players in the Premier League sides".

And in stoppage time Schmeichel made a stunning point-blank save to deny Carroll as Leicester held out to take another big step away from relegation trouble, and continue to prove there is life in the champions yet.

Leicester could equal the club Premier League record of 16 consecutive away matches without a win, set from December 2001 to October 2003.

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