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Player Ratings

How West Ham rated as they secured a much-needed first win of the season over Huddersfield



West Ham picked up their first victory of the season and eased the pressure on under-fire manager Slaven Bilic as two second-half goals signalled the end of Huddersfield’s unbeaten start to the season.

In their first home match of the season at the London Stadium, the Hammers came the closest to opening the scoring in a fluid first-half when Javier Hernandez rattled the crossbar from close range.

But it was perhaps an unlikelier source who found a way past Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl, with Obiang’s shot taking a desperately unlucky deflection off Mathias Jorgensen and looping into the net.

And a first victory – and first points – of the Premier League season were well and truly wrapped up just a few minutes later when substitute Andre Ayew was on hand to stab home from just a yard out.

The result sees the Hammers move into 18th place, only remaining in the relegation spots through goal difference, whilst Huddersfield will stay in 6th spot after falling to their first ever Premier League defeat.

See below for how Slaven Bilic’s side rated as they secured their first points of the new season.

Joe Hart – After conceding ten goals in three matches on his return to the Premier League the England number one enjoyed a much more comfortable evening’s work as he kept his first clean sheet in 23 league matches. Made a save low to his left early in the second-half but that was about it. 6.

Jose Fonte – Hasn’t exactly enjoyed the best of times since arriving from Southampton in January but he put in a more convincing display on Monday night, keeping the visitors at bay in his own area before being in the right place at the right time to put the ball on a plate for Ayew to stab home. 7.

Winston Reid – Passed fit in time to return from a calf injury the West Ham captain managed his back three well after a shaky start to the season, ensuring that Fonte and Collins remained tight and compact. Repelled Huddersfield when they did venture forward in a morale-boosting display. 7.

James Collins – Came close to giving his side a first-half lead only to miscue his free header from a corner and he always posed a threat from set-pieces. Had a relatively quiet time of things inside his own penalty area as the hosts dominated the play but he tidied things up well when called upon. 7.

Aaron Cresswell – Seemed to build-up a neat relationship with Hernandez down the left side of the pitch, looking to play quick balls in-behind the opposition for the Mexican to latch on to. Was a constant outlet in the attacking third and he made a sensational diving block to deny Ince a goal. 7.

Pedro Obiang – Often guilty of playing the game at a pedestrian pace but West Ham supporters won’t care one bit after his extremely fortunate effort from outside the area found its way into the back of the net via a wicked deflection. Will be lucky if he retains a starting role next week though. 6.

Cheikhou Kouyate – Awarded his first start of the season by Bilic due to a number of midfield injuries, he marshalled his own back-line well and drove out of the West Ham half with intent a few times after turning over possession. Battled hard to keep the influential Mooy at arms length all match. 7.

Pablo Zabaleta – Enjoyed the licence to get forward down the right-hand side on Monday night, looking to support Antonio whenever possible. Showed the battling edge and gritty determination that made him so successful at Manchester City and proved he can still compete at the top level. 8.

Michail Antonio – Undeniably put in his best performance of the season to date, running Huddersfield’s defence ragged with his raw acceleration and pure power and driving to the by-line with intent. His trickery and movement proved tough to handle and his display merited a goal. 9.

Andy Carroll – Made his first Premier League appearance of the season and nearly created an immediate impact inside 90 seconds, thrashing a shot agonisingly across the face. Gave West Ham something to aim for in a typically aerially dominant display and it’s clear he has been missed. 8.

Javier Hernandez – Moved into a wider position to accommodate the returning Carroll, he was always looking to gamble on the target-man’s flicked headers. Saw an early effort crash back off the crossbar when well placed inside the area before his evening was cut surprisingly short by Bilic. 6.

Jordan Ayew – Introduced just after the hour mark to try and provide the all-important breakthrough and it had the desired effect, stabbing home from on the line to secure the points. 7.

Diafra Sakho – Given a run out for the final ten minutes. N/A.

Declan Rice – Brought on in injury-time to run down the clock. N/A. 

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Leicester City

How Leicester rated as they fell to battling defeat in a compelling encounter against Liverpool



Philippe Coutinho scored a sensational free-kick as Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League with an entertaining victory over Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday night.

There was more than just a small sense of déjà vu reverberating around the King Power after the two sides met during the week in the Carabao Cup, with the hosts running out gritty 2-0 winners.

However, there was to be no repeat result on Saturday evening as Liverpool learnt from their mistakes in front of goal, with Mohamed Salah scoring his sixth of the season with a powerful back-post header.

It took just seven minutes for Coutinho to double the visitor’s lead with a pinpoint free-kick past Kasper Schmeichel’s reach, before Shinji Okazaki controversially pulled one back right on half-time.

Jordan Henderson looked to have put the game beyond the hosts but Jamie Vardy hit straight back, and the England striker missed a golden chance to level when Simon Mignolet denied him from the spot.

The Foxes arguably should have had another spot-kick just seconds later when Emre Can appeared to handle inside the box but Liverpool held out to record a first win in five matches in all competitions.

See below for how Craig Shakespeare’s side rated on a compelling encounter against Liverpool.

Kasper Schmeichel – Arguably could have done a lot more for Salah’s opener, being beaten far too easily at his front post, but there was nothing he could do about Coutinho’s sublime free-kick seven minutes later. Made two or three solid stops late on to keep his side in the hunt for an equaliser. 7.

Danny Simpson – Remained alive to the threat of Moreno well all match, putting in a number of important blocks in his own area, and he was one of Leicester’s better players. Offered himself as a useful outlet out wide as the game went on and anticipated Liverpool’s attempted counters well. 8.

Wes Morgan – Found it tough to keep his defence disciplined at times as Klopp’s side looked to stretch the Leicester back-line and open gaps but, on an individual front, he put in a solid display. 7.

Harry Maguire – Returned to the defence after being rested during the week and he cut a confident and composed figure once again, dealing well with anything in the air. Was at fault for Liverpool’s third though, losing the ball in possession 70-yards from his own goal and failing to keep Henderson on his weak foot. 6.

Ben Chilwell – Rewarded for his exceptional display in the week with a start on Saturday ahead of Fuchs but found the test of Salah a much more challenging proposition, losing the winger’s run for the opener. To his credit he stuck to the task well, and gave little away down the right-hand side. 7.

Riyad Mahrez – Had very few opportunities throughout the match to drive at Liverpool’s weak defence, with the visitors getting men behind the ball after their early double. Showed a few neat touches and some quick feet but on the whole he wasn’t in possession enough to have a telling impact. 6.

Andy King – Boss Shakespeare turned to him after utilising Iborra in a central role during the week and the former Chelsea man had an efficient, if unspectacular, match. Got his foot in well more than once to poke the ball away from danger and played a superb ball through to Vardy for the penalty. 7.

Wilfried Ndidi – Picked up an early booking for a needless foul and it was from the resulting free-kick that Coutinho scored Liverpool’s second. The 20-year-old struggled against Can and Wijnaldum in midfield all evening, finding himself second to everything, and it wasn’t his finest Leicester display. 5.

Marc Albrighton – Offered very little in an attacking sense during the first-half but he was always on hand to help Chilwell out with defensive duties, tracking back exceptionally well. Pushed on as Leicester looked to equalise and he floated a delightful ball into the box to create Vardy’s opening. 8.

Shinji Okazaki – It was his display in the week that turned the game in Leicester’s favour and he deservedly started, picking up where he left off with exemplary work-rate. Put himself about to try and make things happen and he – controversially – gave Leicester hope seconds before half-time. 7.

Jamie Vardy – Passed fit in time to feature, he looked to attack Matip and Lovren with his pace from the word go. Forced Mignolet into a superb reaction save in the build-up to Okazaki’s goal before grabbing his sixth goal in four games against the Reds, yet his missed penalty proved to be costly. 8.

Demarai Gray – Brought on to try and take the game to Liverpool for the final 30 minutes and he did exactly that, forcing Mignolet to parry a shot straight into Vardy’s path. Looked lively down the right-hand side and should have earnt a penalty when his cross hit Can’s arm. Impressive cameo from him. 7.

Kelechi Iheanacho – Came on as Leicester threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool. Had little impact. N/A.

Islam Slimani – Barely had a touch of the ball in the final ten minutes. N/A.

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Player Ratings

How Tottenham’s players rated as they beat West Ham in the London derby




In a heated London derby at the London Stadium, it was the visitors Tottenham who held on to emerge victorious with a 3-2 win over West Ham United.

Harry Kane got on the scoresheet twice alongside Christian Eriksen to give his side a dream start, though Chicharito pulled one back for West Ham not long after the hour mark.

A red card for a foolish challenge by Serge Aurier which saw him earn his second yellow opened the tie up, with Cheikou Kouyate ensuring there was a nervy finish as he added a second for the Hammers, but it wasn’t enough.

Here is how Mauricio Pochettino‘s side rated…

Hugo Lloris – 6

Had little to do in truth and could not be blamed for either goal. He made one smart save from Chicharito and emerged to deny Marko Arnautovic as a sweeper keeper on a couple of occasions. Flapped at a late cross.

Serge Aurier – 7

Played very well with some excellent tackles and a valuable attacking contribution as he burst down the right hand side and looked to put the ball into the box. However, the tackle which saw him sent off for a second yellow card was foolish and left his team-mates in real trouble.

Toby Alderweireld – 8

Kept Aurier in check and often covered for him when he was caught out too far up the field. His experience and leadership alongside Davinson Sanchez will be a huge help as he adjusts to life in the Premier League.

Davinson Sanchez – 8

Hugely improved on his display against Swansea, he looked strong from the off making a crucial block in the opening minutes. His style and aggression were perfect for a heated derby game like this. Handled Andy Carroll well.

Jan Vertonghen – 8

Looks more comfortable going forwards on the left with every game. Looked solid and reliable at the back and like Alderweireld, helped Sanchez out at times as well.

Ben Davies – 7

Played in a more advanced position than he has previously found himself and delivered plenty of balls into the box. Those deliveries weren’t always the best, but after missing two games through injury some rustiness may be expected.

Eric Dier – 7

Dier was the engine in midfield and did his job effectively and quietly. Did very little to stand out but cleared things up well when West Ham looked to break through the middle.

Moussa Sissoko – 6

Too many of his crosses failed to beat the first man when he was going forwards and then lost Chicharito and allowed him to score for his goal. Did little to justify a place in the starting line-up.

Christian Eriksen – 9

Scored with a pinpoint finish after being involved in the first goal, setting up Dele Alli to provide an assist for Harry Kane. At the heart of most of Spurs’ most threatening attacking play, he was a stand out performer.

Dele Alli – 8

Did well with his movement for the first two goals, claiming an assist for the first and having his shot saved before the striker scored the second. Could have got on the scoresheet later on but fluffed his lines and had a quiet second half.

Harry Kane – 9

Hit the woodwork twice and found the back of the net twice too. Had less service in the second half but was still a threat. The Hammers looked terrified and struggled to keep up with the England international.

Harry Winks – 7

Made his presence felt and his energy was valuable late on against tired legs.

Kieran Trippier – 6

Brought on to add some defensive strength on the right but West Ham scored with a move down his flank.

Fernando Llorente – N/A

Held the ball up well in the final moments.

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How Jurgen Klopp’s experimental side rated as Leicester knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup



Leicester City withstood some immense Liverpool pressure before two second-half goals proved enough to see off Jurgen Klopp’s side and secure their place in the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup.

In a re-match of the fixture that saw Craig Shakespeare begin his remarkable turnaround as caretaker manager of the Foxes, Liverpool dominated the first-half and were unlucky not to score.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly capped his first start with a goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch Ben Chilwell challenge, before Philippe Coutinho and Dominic Solanke went close before the break.

Yet despite Liverpool’s dominance it was the hosts that took a shock lead, with substitute Shinji Okazaki pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area to tuck into the corner against the run of play.

And Islam Slimani secured Leicester City’s spot in the fourth-round draw when he picked up on Okazaki’s pass and produced a stunning strike into the top corner, leaving Danny Ward helpless.

The Merseyside outfit won’t have to wait long to try and get revenge over the 2015-16 Premier League title winners though, with the two sides set to meet at the King Power on Saturday evening in the league.

See below for how The Boot Room rated Jurgen Klopp’s side as they exited at the third-round stage.

Danny Ward – After helping Huddersfield reach the Premier League during his loan spell last season, he made his first Liverpool appearance since May 2016 but he was only called upon to pick the ball out of his own net twice. Made a diving stop to deny Leicester a third but the damage was done by that point. 6.

Jon Flanagan – Barely saw the ball on his return to Liverpool colours such was his side’s desire to exploit the space Robertson was afforded down the left-hand flank. Found himself in a good battle with Gray during the second-half but he allowed Morgan to ghost in-behind him in the build-up to Leicester’s opener. 6.

Joe Gomez – Would have felt in need of some redemption after his late sending-off in the draw with Sevilla last week and he responded well in a central role, even if it was a much quieter evening for the 20-year-old. Defended well and there wasn’t an awful lot he could have done for either goal. 6.

Ragnar Klavan – Has come under fire in recent weeks for his part in a weak Liverpool back-line and he would have done little to convince Klopp to start him on Saturday. Was out-muscled too easily by Slimani in the build-up to Leicester’s second goal and didn’t push out quick enough for their first. 5.

Andrew Robertson – Staked a claim for a regular first-team role with another promising display, looking to get forward down the left and put cross after cross into the area. His delivery was consistently superb during the first-half – deserving more – but he faded as the match went on. 7.

Marko Grujic – The 21-year-old Serbian made his presence known in the midfield on Tuesday evening, hustling the likes of Ndidi and Iborra well and turning over possession on a number of occasions. Became sloppy as the game went on though, losing concentration as Leicester scored twice. 6.

Jordan Henderson – Re-instated to the starting line-up after missing out against Burnley, it was another customary unspectacular yet efficient display from the Liverpool captain. He was solid in his defensive duties as usual but his final ball was lacking again, often over-cooking his forward pass. 6.

Georginio Wijnaldum – Played the majority of the game from deep, allowing Coutinho room to influence further forward, but every now and then he injected pace into Liverpool’s game with a 20-yard burst on the ball. Might have given Klopp something to think about ahead of Saturday’s fixture. 7.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Making his full Liverpool debut following his £40million deadline day switch from Arsenal, he should have scored inside five minutes but for a superb block from Chilwell. Seemed to roam the opposition third looking for space, having some neat touches, but he faded late on. 7.

Philippe Coutinho – Seemed much more like his usual self on Tuesday night, weaving in between Leicester defenders with relative ease. Pulled the strings in the middle and nobody could get near him, whether on the ball or not, and Klopp brought him off at half-time with Saturday in mind. 8.

Dominic Solanke – There was no shortage of opportunities for the youngster at the King Power, such was Liverpool’s dominance, and he was unlucky not to get on the end of one of Robertson’s many teasing crosses early on. Should have scored moments before the break but he clipped a shot over the bar. 6.

Ben Woodburn – The much-talked about 17-year-old was awarded his first Liverpool appearance of the season, coming on as a half-time substitute, and he nearly got his side an equaliser when his curling effort narrowly nestled over the bar. Showed a lot of endeavour but no end product this time. 6

Danny Ings – Came on for the final 20 minutes for his first Liverpool appearance since last October, much to the delight of the visiting support, but he barely got a sniff in front of goal on his return. 5.

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