West Ham’s miserable home record continued as defeat by a much-changed Leicester side left them stuck in a Premier League relegation battle.
Boos from the Hammers fans greeted the final whistle at London Stadium as Manuel Pellegrini’s side racked up a fourth straight home defeat.
Second-placed Leicester, who made nine changes from the Boxing Day defeat by Liverpool, had a measure of control throughout and deservedly won through Demarai Gray’s composed second-half finish.
Gray did see an early penalty saved by Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabiasnki, but the Foxes still took the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho’s instinctive close-range header.
West Ham levelled through Pablo Fornals’ precise finish on the cusp of half-time, but they could not build on that in the second half.
Instead it was Leicester who were the more composed, illustrated by the slick move and finish by Gray which consolidated second place ahead of Manchester City.
The Foxes are four clear of City, who have a game in hand, but trail runaway leaders Liverpool, who have played two games fewer, by 10 points.
West Ham remain fourth bottom, a point clear of the relegation zone, although they have played one game fewer than their rivals at the bottom because of Liverpool’s triumphant involvement in the recent Club World Cup.
Another short turnaround for both teams with more Premier League matches taking place on New Year’s Day.
The Hammers have another huge home game when they host Bournemouth, who are one place and one point above them, at 17:30 GMT.
Leicester again go on the road, travelling up to Newcastle for a 15:00 GMT kick-off.