West Ham – Leicester was a wild clash, as the Hammers surged into a 3-0 lead and just hung on to it as the Foxes fought back.
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David Moyes’ side flew into a 3-0 advantage as Jesse Lingard scored twice in the first half and Jarrod Bowen scored early in the second half, but Kelechi Iheanacho’s late double set up a tense finish as Wesley Fofana almost grabbed an equalizer in stoppage time.
The win pushed West Ham into the top four, just one point behind third-place Leicester, as their amazing season continues.
Three things we learned
1. Quick-starting West Ham believe in top 4: They have lost Declan Rice and Michail Antonio to injury, two of their stars, but they still found a way to win. You feel like West Ham believe they can finish in the top four and their fast starts are keeping their Champions League dreams alive. They have now gone 3-0 up before the 48th minute in each of their last three PL games and drawn 3-3, and won 3-2 back-to-back. That run has been a rollercoaster and if West Ham can settle down late in games, they will be right up there at the end of the season. Six of their last seven games are very, very winnable. They can do this.
2. Leicester wobbling: Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost back-to-back PL games for the first time since November and the pressure seems to be getting to them. Jamie Vardy is in a drought, Soyuncu is out and the absence of Maddison, Perez and Choudhury due to a COVID-19 protocols breach is the last thing Rodgers will have wanted. Leicester have very winnable games remaining, but their lead above the other top four contenders basically vanished this weekend. With an FA Cup semifinal coming up next weekend, which they are expected to win, can the Foxes regain their cool and finish the season strong? Iheanacho will lead their charge, but this is starting to feel like last season when they just missed the top four.
3. Moyes has done amazing job: Wherever West Ham finish, you have to applaud Moyes and his staff. They have given the Hammers a clear plan, direction and roles that were previously missing. West Ham have very talented individuals but now they are a team. Yes, they should be holding on to leads better, but they are finding ways to win and grind it out. That is typical from a Moyes team and if they finish in the top four he will surely be the PL manager of the season. Surely.
Man of the Match: Jesse Lingard – 8 goals and 3 assists in his 9 games at West Ham. Amazing return during his loan move.
An even start saw the two teams set up their five-man defenses, but it was West Ham who broke through first.
Jesse Lingard’s clever shot snuck home at the near post as he continued his fine form and West Ham scored with their first shot on goal.
Vladimir Coufal then raced clear but couldn’t slot the ball into Lingard’s path as West Ham looked dangerous on the break, and that was how they went 2-0 up.
One long ball forward from Issa Diop caught out Wesley Fofana and Jarrod Bowen set up Lingard to slot home his and West Ham’s second.
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A few minutes into the second half West Ham went 3-0 up as Lingard and Tomas Soucek lined up, with the latter teeing up Bowen to slot home.
Diop finished off Lingard’s cross, but it was ruled out for offside, as the Hammers continued to create chances.
Leicester improved after going 3-0 down as Wilfred Ndidi fired over and Lukasz Fabianski was forced to come and claim several balls in the box.
Iheanacho fired home from the edge of the box after Ricardo Pereira won the ball back, as the Foxes finished strongly.
Fabianski did superbly to deny Pereira, who surged into the box, and in stoppage time Iheanacho finished off Marc Albrighton’s deflected cross to make it 3-2.
Fofana then flicked wide with the last touch of the game as somehow West Ham held on for another huge win in their push for the Champions League.