Two quickfire first half goals was enough for West Ham to move into fifth place and boost their hopes of securing an unlikely Champions League spot with a comfortable win over Leeds United at the London stadium.
David Moyes’ side climb to fifth – two points behind Chelsea, who beat Everton 2-0 earlier on Monday – with a game in hand on their London rivals.
The hosts took the lead when Jesse Lingard hit home the rebound from a penalty after being felled in the penalty box by Luke Ayling. The on-loan Manchester United star had his initial penalty saved by Illan Meslier, but quickly pounced to prod home the rebound.
Leeds started the game on top, and had two goals correctly ruled out by VAR. Tyler Roberts’ finish was chalked off after offside was given against Helder Costa and Raphinha ran the ball out of play before crossing to Patrick Bamford to score.
But the visitors were two goals down before half-time when the unmarked Craig Dawson headed in Aaron Cresswell’s corner. The centre-back could have had another soon after, when his header from a similar situation hit the post.Embed from Getty Images
Leeds had plenty of chances to drag themselves back into the game, Patrick Bamford put an effort wide after being put through on goal by centre-back Diego Llorente.
Raphinha had a sensational effort tipped over the bar by Lukasz Fabianski and the Brazilian set up Bamford in the box but he skewed his shot well over the bar, another night which saw Leeds wasteful in front of goal.
Pablo Fornals’ struck the crossbar with a dipping second-half shot, but the Hammers ultimately held firm at the back to see out the crucial three points and strengthen their impressive pursuit of a place in next season’s Champions League.
The results means West Ham move into fifth place two points behind their resurgent rivals Chelsea with a game in hand, while Marcelo Bielsa’s side have now only won two of their last six games but remain in 11th place on 35 points.
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