West Ham break into Top Four / Everton cling on to a Top Eight spot

Jesse Lingard got his sixth goal for West Ham

EPL Matchday 30 of 38:

Wolverhampton 2 West Ham United 3 – Molineux stadium

David Moyes’ Hammers staved off a second-half Wolves fight back to emerge 2-3 winners away at the Molineux stadium on Monday night and break into the Top Four once again.

After racing into a 3-0 lead within the first forty minutes, the Hammers kept the Wolves at bay to secure a victory that put them a point above Chelsea after 30 games.

Jesse Lingard got his sixth goal for West Ham with a solo effort as he made a darting run from inside his own half and prised open the Wolves defense for the game’s opener in the 6th minute.

The influential Lingard was in action again as he produced a deft flick from the byline to find Arthur Masuaku, whose low cross was turned in with a side-footed shot by Pablo Fornals to make it 0-2 for the visitors.

Jarrod Bowen coming in for the injured Mikhail Antonio in the 36th minute found instant success as he drove in for the Hammers’ third within two minutes of his introduction.

Moyes’ side who had allowed Arsenal to hold them to a draw after leading 3-0 in their last outing looked in danger of a repeat when Leander Dendoncker headed home in the 42nd minute to reduce the deficit for the Wolves. Fabio Silva made it 2-3 midway through the second half with a fine strike in the 68th.

West Ham dug in deep as they tried to protect their slender lead and although Wolves applied pressure in the final 20-odd minutes, a third goal eluded them.

While the Hammers celebrated their return into the Top Four and a shot at the Champions League, the chances of Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves finishing inside the top half look daunting leave aside earning a berth in the Europa League. After Monday night’s loss, the Wolves have slipped to the 14th spot with 35 points from their 30 League outings.

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Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1 – Goodison Park

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to give Crystal Palace a late equalizer even as Everton clung on to a place in the Top eight.

The visiting Eagles were able to restrict Everton possession in the early stages with Eberechi Eze testing Robin Olsen from an angle. But that was as far as Palace got as Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees took charge and created a flurry of chances.

Calvert-Lewin seized upon an incredible through ball from Mason Holgate, but goalkeeper Vincente Guaita made sure to narrow the gap and block the ball away. Richarlison then headed over from a Seamus Coleman cross seconds later. Gylfi Sigurdsson went close as he diverted Lucas Digne’s cross goalwards but Guaita was at hand to make the save.

However, the Eagles custodian wasn’t able to make a clean job of the save as it fell to Seamus Coleman who ran into the area and relayed a ball to James Rodriguez. The Colombian threaded his shot through a maze of defenders to give the hosts the much-needed lead in the 56th minute.

The goal sparked life into a Crystal Palace side that spent an hour containing their rivals. Eze forced Everton keeper Robin Olsen to make a save from a long-range effort while Wilfried Zaha stretched the Toffees custodian a little later. Batshuayi, who was introduced late in the 84th minute didn’t have to wait long for his goal as he equalized for the Eagles in the 86th minute with his shot going beyond Olsen to find the bottom corner of the net.

Calvert-Lewin had a chance late on to win it for Everton as he charged into the box, but he botched a one-on-one chance with the very impressive Guaita as his side settled for an unwanted draw. The result left Everton on the eighth and three points ahead of 9th placed Aston Villa.

The only comforting thought for Ancelotti’s men going ahead is that they have played a game less than the rest. Roy Hodgson’s Eagles still struggle at the bottom half on the 12th with 38 points from their 30 games.

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