Riyad Mahrez leads the goal scoring table with 3 goals
Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez were on target in Leicester’s 2-1 Premier League win at West Ham, with Dimitri Payet netting for the home side.
Leicester City’s impressive start to life under Claudio Ranieri continued with a 2-1 Premier League victory at West Ham United.
Building on an emphatic 4-2 opening-day win over Sunderland, Leicester took a deserved 27th-minute lead in east London as Japan international Shinji Okazaki scored his first for the club.
Riyad Mahrez was a two-goal hero for City last time out and the Algeria winger was on target once more to give Ranieri’s men breathing space at the interval.
West Ham was a shock victor over Arsenal in its opening game but rarely threatened to scale the same heights on this outing.
Offseason signing Dimitri Payet halved the deficit 10 minutes into the second half, but West Ham’s final league campaign at Upton Park got off to a poor start, with a red card for goalkeeper Adrian in stoppage time compounding a miserable afternoon.
Carl Jenkinson replaced James Tomkins, after being ineligible against his parent club, in West Ham’s only change.
Having won numerous plaudits on his Premier League debut at Arsenal, Reece Oxford almost handed Slaven Bilic’s team a perfect start when he headed Payet’s free kick against the top of the crossbar.
Jamie Vardy started in an unchanged Leicester side despite being fined by the club in midweek for an alleged racial slur, and the England forward was booked in the 11th minute for a rash challenge on Adrian.
The West Ham goalkeeper recovered sufficiently to thwart Mahrez at the end of a jinking run in the 26th minute and pushed Robert Huth’s hooked effort from the resulting corner around the post.
But Leicester was rewarded for a promising spell when Okazaki volleyed Vardy’s left-wing cross toward goal – with Adrian saving brilliantly – and headed in at the second attempt.
Okazaki was involved in Leicester’s well-worked second in the 38th minute, feeding Marc Albrighton who burst into the West Ham box and cut the ball back for Mahrez to sweep home.
The hosts had strong penalty appeals waved away in first-half stoppage time as Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel collided with the onrushing Diafra Sakho.
Mahrez also had a claim for a spot kick rejected in the 54th minute as his latest dribble caused further disarray among the West Ham defense, but Bilic’s men had a lifeline shortly afterwards.
Payet’s initial shot from Mark Noble’s low cross was blocked but Cheikhou Kouyate teed up the former Marseille midfielder to clatter his second strike emphatically into the top-left corner.
The Upton Park faithful roared their team forward in search of the equalizer and an unmarked Sakho headed tamely at Schmeichel.
Ranieri shrewdly removed Okazaki and introduced N’Golo Kante, who shored up the Leicester midfield to good effect.
Danny Drinkwater passed up the chance to add a third following more excellent work by Mahrez before City was indebted to an excellent stop from the relatively unemployed Schmeichel.
A loose ball broke to Sakho in the penalty area but the forward was denied from point-blank range as he lost his footing and Leicester, which lost on all six of its visits to the capital last season, would suffer no further London heartache.
Schmeichel’s opposite number Adrian endured a more forgettable conclusion to the contest. The goalkeeper plunged his studs into Vardy’s stomach after coming up for a stoppage-time corner, receiving his marching orders.