Premier league news West Ham's win v Wolves without Declan Rice shows top four challenge is for real Last spor news
PremierLeague-News.Com - West Ham United continued their charge towards securing a top-four spot with a victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night - here are football.london's talking points
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! No longer under the radar David Moyes and his players have previously said that they felt like West Ham United were going under the radar this season. The suggestion being that their achievements were being overlooked and this was something that suited them just fine. This is no longer the case. With just eight games remaining the Hammers are one point clear of Chelsea and sit in fourth spot. The challenge for next season's Champions League is on and West Ham are in pole position. There is still a lot of football to play but the Hammers are serious contenders. What made the win against Wolverhampton Wanderers all the more impressive was the absence of Declan Rice through injury and the loss of Michail Antonio in the first half. Rice has been imperious all season and Antonio was having one of his best games of the season when he went down holding his hamstring. The Hammers have also been without their best center-back in Angelo Ogbonna for the past seven games, if the trio can return in time for the run-in, Moyes will be in an even stronger position to pull off possibly his greatest achievement in management to date. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Lessons learned Twice in the space of two games, West Ham have been 3-0 up inside 40 minutes, and on both occasions, the opposition got a goal back before half-time. Wolves followed in Arsenal's footsteps in ramping up the pressure in the second half and added a second. For a team that had given up a three-goal lead just two weeks ago, the Hammers could be forgiven for fearing the worst. A lot of fans certainly were. Wolves had a chance through Leander Dendoncker to level things up but after he skied his effort West Ham reorganised and held out. Before Wolves got their second goal, Ben Johnson had been brought on for the tiring Arthur Masuaku and it was noticeable that he played deeper than the Congolese international. Read More Related Articles Every word David Moyes said on West Ham moving into top four following 3-2 win at Wolves Read More Related Articles David Moyes gives Michail Antonio injury update after West Ham's thrilling 3-2 win over Wolves Jarrod Bowen was moved wide right as Moyes switched to a 5-4-1 formation to provide extra cover to his full-backs and Said Benrahma was brought on not to create but to provide more energy than Pablo Fornals was able to do after running himself into the ground. Against Arsenal, Moyes made his changes too late, he did not make the same mistake again here. Michail Antonio injury The cruelest thing about Antonio's injury was it came after he had been superb for 36 minutes. In the opening minutes, he had bullied his way past a couple of Wolves players before smashing his shot against the post. His unselfish run had created space for Lingard to burst into for the opening goal and this summed up Antonio's team ethic. There was no way Lingard was passing to him, but he still sprinted half the pitch in support, dragging the defence away and leaving the path free for the England international. Michail Antonio of West Ham United receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) Lingard still had a lot to do but Antonio had made it slightly easier for him. In the action that led to Antonio's injury, the striker had bustled his way through the Wolves defence before hitting his shot into the side netting. He had no right to get through the crowded back-line but did so through sheer determination. Bowen replaced Antonio and scored just two minutes later but in the long run, the former Hull man does not offer as much as the Hammers striker does. The 31-year-old is having a scan today and the results of it could have a massive impact on the rest of West Ham's season.
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. Mark Noble was a regular starter last season but has barely featured from the off in the league this time around - but when called upon he was ready. This attitude sums up Noble but also sets an example to everyone at the club. The team is more important than the individual and this is a message Moyes was keen to pass on when asked about Declan Rice's injury. "The team has been playing great this season and Declan has been part of that but the team has been doing great," he said. "We talk about the team more than the individuals, we recognise that we have some very good individual players but we are more interested in how the team performers and we didn't half do great tonight."
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One example of the team spirit came on the final whistle. After the referee blew up, Craig Dawson and Lukas Fabianski roared with delight and then the entire team sprinted almost the length of the pitch. Lingard and a Wolves defender were having a minor scuffle after the Hammer had taken umbrage with his marker. Nothing came of it and after a few seconds it petered out, but every West Ham player was there to back up their man if needed. After running a combined 119km over the past 90 minutes the players still had one last sprint left in them to support their teammate, you cannot buy that attitude it is developed on the training ground and the Hammers have it in bucket loads. West Ham stood up to the pressure Wolves pressured West Ham throughout and had chances to take a point from the game but West Ham stood up to the pressure. And it was not the only pressure put on the Hammers on Monday. West Ham went into the match knowing how all of their rivals had performed over the weekend and that three points would see them move into the top four.
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This is something Spurs also had the opportunity to do but could not take advantage of Chelsea's slip-up, but there was no question of the Hammers bottle and this bodes well going forward. West Ham's next match is at 2:05pm on Sunday, Chelsea and Liverpool both have Saturday matches and the Hammers could be in sixth place as they kick-off against the Foxes. As we reach the business end of the season every match will come with its own set of pressures, but Moyes and his team have shown they are up for the fight.
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com