Leicester vs West Ham match report: Andy King strikes late to give Foxes their first win in 10 and lifts hopes of Premier League survival

Leicester 2 West Ham 1: Esteban Cambiasso put Leicester ahead only for Cheikhou Kouyate eqaulised setting up King for the winner

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The Independent Football

As Sunderland proved last season, the seemingly impossible can happen. Leicester remain bottom of the Premier League, where they have been since November, but after a first win in nine matches the gap to the haven of 17th place is, for the moment, a mere four points.

Survival may be beyond them, yet there are strands of hope.  Five of their eight remaining matches are at home. Away from home they face West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Sunderland, scrappers like themselves.

“It is still going to be a big ask,” their manager Nigel Pearson said. “But the players have kept the belief and our fate is still in our own hands.”

Their hero was Andy King, not a regular starter in the League and without a goal all season. Until, that is, he popped up with less then four minutes remaining of the 90.

Sent on with 12 minutes left, a last throw of the dice by Pearson, he scrambled home the goal that keeps Leicester believing.

Kasper Schmeichel celebrates Esteban Cambiasso's opener

Adrian saves a David Nugent penalty

Leicester had looked to be heading for frustration. Esteban Cambiasso, the Champions League winner, had been their inspiration, delivering a performance rich in expertise and class, his passes rarely off target, his words of encouragement just as valuable.

He scored after 12 minutes, taking advantage of good fortune as the ball bounced to him off the back of James Collins, but finishing superbly, whipping a half-volleyed shot beyond the reach of Adrian from just outside the box.

Three minutes later, David Nugent missed a penalty, saved by Adrian after Carl Jenkinson had clumsily brought down Leonardo Ulloa. West Ham regrouped, equalised before half-time through Cheik Kouyaté, who hit the woodwork in the second half.  When substitute Andrej Krameric’s shot was cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell, the Foxes seemed to be heading for more despair, until King had the last word.

Cheikhou Kouyate scores the equaliser for West Ham

Andy King scores the winner for Leicester

Leicester City (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; De Laet (King, 79), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp; James, Cambiasso; Mahrez (Albrighton, h-t), Nugent, Vardy; Ulloa (Krameric, 72).

West Ham (4-1-3-2): Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Song (Nene, 88); Downing, Noble, Nolan (Amalfitano, 65), Kouyaté; Sakho.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Cambiasso (Leicester)

Match rating: 8/10