Craig Dawson’s late strike saves a point for West Ham at Leicester

West Ham’s week of controversy ended with some relief after Craig Dawson scored a late equalizer to earn a 2-2 draw against Leicester after Kurt Zouma pulled out in the warm-up at King Power Stadium.

Dawson saved a point in the first minute of time added on after Jarrod Bowen put the Hammers ahead, but Youri Tielemans’ 45th-minute penalty equalized before Ricardo Pereira’s header appeared to clinch Leicester’s first win in five in all competitions.

Zouma was reported to be feeling sick and suffered problems with his vision and substitute Issa Diop started instead with goalkeeper Darren Randolph making up the bench.

His withdrawal came after he was pictured on a video on social media kicking his pet cat.

The French center back has been fined two weeks’ wages, around £250,000, while two cats have been removed from his property and the RSPCA have launched an investigation.

West Ham seemed unaffected however and settled quickly before taking a 10th-minute lead.

Jarrod Bowens
Jarrod Bowen opened the scoring (Tim Goode/PA)

Diop lofted the ball forward and Leicester’s defense was caught napping as Bowen controlled before firing a left-footed drive across Kasper Schmeichel for his ninth Premier League goal of the season.

It was in-form Bowen’s seventh goal in as many games, making it 12 in all competitions this season.

Leicester, short of confidence after three defeats in their last four including a hammering at Sky Bet Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, struggled early on and supporters were quick to show their frustration with pockets of boos around King Power Stadium.

The home side gradually improved to lift their fans however.

Tielemans and Harvey Barnes were both off target with angled shots from distance as Leicester sought an equaliser.

Yuri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans (right) leveled from the spot for the hosts (PA)

That came in the 45th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Aaron Cresswell handled as he tried to head away James Maddison’s corner on the edge of the six-yard box.

Tielemans confidently drove the spot kick low to the right of Lukasz Fabianski, who guessed correctly but was beaten by the power and accuracy of the shot.

Leicester began the second half with much more purpose than they started the first and soon put West Ham under pressure.

Barnes was the dangerman, with one of his several crosses leading to Leicester’s second goal.

Patson Daka was fractionally too late sliding in to convert the winger’s cross.

Ricardo Pereira
Ricardo Pereira (second left) celebrates with team-mates after putting Leicester ahead (PA)

But Barnes’ next delivery was bang on the money, as Ricardo beat Cresswell to plant a bullet header into the top corner of the net.

Tielemans flashed a rising shot just wide as Leicester sought a third goal.

But after Hammers substitute Said Benrahma produced two efforts, the visitors saved a point when Bowen’s corner went in off Dawson’s upper arm, looping high into the net.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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