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Leicester seal crucial win over West Ham

AAP logoAAP 31/12/2016

Leicester moved six points clear of the relegation zone after the struggling champions beat West Ham 1-0 for their first English Premier League victory in four matches.

Club record signing Islam Slimani, who had earlier hit the post, met Marc Albrighton's cross with an emphatic header past keeper Darren Randolph after 20 minutes to score the only goal of the match.

"It was special to win against a team with a lot of confidence," said Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri.

"We started very well. The first 30 minutes were fantastic. In the last 15 minutes they got back and created good chances to equaliser. It was good to win and see our fans support us and our players fight together to win the match."

Ranieri was full of praise for Slimani, describing his goal as a "masterpiece."

"He can only improve. When somebody comes from another country it's not easy. Some players need six months or one year to be involved in the atmosphere of English football," he said.

"He has scored six goals and that's good for us. But we have to find him much better because he has very good quality. Sometimes he can make mistakes because he's very tired but he's OK."

Leicester's fifth victory in 19 league matches lifted them to 15th with 20 points and ended a run of three wins for West Ham, who came closest when Michail Antonio's shot hit the bar.

The victory rewarded Leicester for their fine opening half hour after which West Ham took control and dominated possession but failed to score despite twice as many shots as their opponents.

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