Michail Antonio netted a brace to surpass Paolo Di Canio as West Ham's Premier League all-time top goalscorer as they thumped Leicester 4-1 at the London Stadium.
West Ham set out with a plan to press high and counter attack. They simply didn't give Leicester a moment's peace and ran away with the match in the end. Youri Tielemans' passing was uncharacteristically erratic, James Maddison couldn't influence play and Jamie Vardy was a passenger for long spells.
The Hammers broke the deadlock after 26 minutes in the way they'd been threatening, on the break. Pablo Fornals fed Said Benrahma on the left, and he timed his cross perfectly for the Spaniard to meet after breaking into the box.
Chances for a second came and went when Tomas Soucek and Craig Dawson failed to guide headers on target.
Five minutes before half time, the game swung further in the hosts' favour. Fornals looked to press Ayoze Perez as he met a short goal kick from Kasper Schmeichel, but the Leicester forward caught him with his studs as he came away with the ball.
On the advice of VAR, referee Michael Oliver reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor and instantly flashed the red card in Perez's direction. The collective grimace in the stands when the incident was relayed on the big screen was telling.
Antonio should have doubled West Ham's lead six minutes after the break, but his header was stopped brilliantly by Schmeichel.
Moments later, the hosts got their cushion, and it came via a gift from Caglar Soyuncu. Seemingly under no pressure at all, he played a blind pass back to Schmeichel, which Antonio latched on to. The striker stayed calm to pick out Benrahma, who passed the ball into the net.
David Moyes' men were beginning to enjoy themselves as they swarmed forward looking to secure the victory. Antonio drew another good save from Schmeichel, this time from distance.
But Leicester found a route back into the game out of nothing on 69 minutes. Maddison darted forward from the left and crossed for Tielemans to stab home, halving the deficit.
West Ham weren't shaken, though, and 10 minutes from time, the moment everyone in the home end was waiting for arrived. Antonio swivelled in the area and powered a shot into the far corner, breaking Di Canio's record and giving Schmeichel no chance.
There was still time for Antonio to add his second and West Ham's fourth with two minutes of normal time remaining.
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TALKING POINT - PEREZ RED PAVES THE WAY FOR A HISTORIC HAMMERS NIGHT
Perez can have no complaints about his first-ever red card in English football; it was clear foul play. From a VAR perspective, it was the perfect example of why it works, with replays showing the clear extent of the incident. West Ham were already in the ascendancy by then, and went on to secure back-to-back wins to start a Premier League season for the first time in 24 years in style.
Rodgers 'proud' despite 4-1 defeat at West Ham
MAN OF THE MATCH - Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Benrahma deserves a mention, but Antonio stole the show in the end. It isn't all about his record, but also his hold up play, energy and all round centre forward play. With the number 9 on his back, he looks the part, even as a converted winger. He's West Ham's Mr Dependable, and deserves his name written in folklore.
Declan Rice of West Ham United celebrates their second goal scored by Said Benrahma during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Leicester City at The London Stadium on August 23, 2021 in London, England.
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26' - GOAL! Fornals scores! 1-0 West Ham.
40' - Ayoze Perez is off! Long way back for Leicester.
51' - SAVE! Oh, that could be big. Schmeichel's point-blank stop denies Antonio!
52' - GOAL! Soyuncu plays the ball blind, into Antonio's path. He keeps his composure to find Benrahma. 2-0 West Ham.
69' - GOAL! Tielemans pulls one back from nothing. Now its 2-1.
80' - GOAL! Antonio makes history! He is West Ham's top Premier League goalscorer.
88' - GOAL! It is 4-1, Antonio gets between the Leicester defenders and puts the icing on the cake.