Football: Lingard double fires West Ham back into top four

West Ham United's Jesse Lingard (centre) celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Leicester City on April 11, 2021.
West Ham United's Jesse Lingard (centre) celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Leicester City on April 11, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (Reuters) - Jesse Lingard scored twice as West Ham United climbed back into fourth spot in the Premier League with a vital 3-2 victory over third-placed Leicester City on Sunday (April 11).

Lingard, who has been in scintillating form since arriving on loan from Manchester United in mid-season, took his tally for the Hammers to eight goals with two strikes before halftime.

Jarrod Bowen made it 3-0 shortly after the interval and West Ham were denied a fourth when Issa Diop's effort was deemed offside.

Leicester finally came to life with Kelechi Iheanacho punishing a defensive mistake with 20 minutes remaining.

West Ham, who squandered a 3-0 lead to draw with Arsenal last month and almost did the same against Wolves in midweek, looked nervy at times after that and Iheanacho ramped up the tension with a second goal in stoppage time.

But West Ham survived some heart-in-the-mouth moments in six added minutes to secure a vital victory in their quest for an unlikely top-four finish.

They moved back above Liverpool and Chelsea with 55 points from 31 games, one point behind Leicester who suffered a second successive league defeat.