Jesse Lingard scored a brace as West Ham United secured a crucial 3-2 victory over top 4 rivals Leciester City. The win sees West Ham rise to 4th position and they are now just one point behind the Foxes.
Jesse Lingard, who is on loan from Manchester United, has hit the ground running for the Hammers and has been in stunning form. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder has an incredible 8 goals and 3 assists from just 9 starts in the Premier League. His amazing form could see him win a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Euros.
Leicester City, on the other hand, are being dragged into a top 4 fight with the likes of West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton. Brendan Rodgers' men have been in the top 4 for the majority of the season but recent results could see them drop out of the top 4 by the end of this campaign.
The Foxes missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification narrowly last time around and the Northern Irishman will be keen to avoid a repeat of last season's failings in this campaign.
Rodgers, who dropped James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury from the squad for a Covid 19 protocol breach defended his actions saying that he was bitterly disappointed by the trio. Speaking to reporters, he said:
“My objective coming into Leicester was to create a standard on and off the pitch. The standards fell way below what we expect, in particular at this stage of the season when we’re fighting to finish off an exciting season.
"The guys who weren’t involved in the squad today would have been. As a consequence of the behaviour they weren’t.
“That’s how strongly I felt. There are some things that are more important than football. You have to respect what the nation are going through. We have to respect what our values are. It’s gone now and they’ll rejoin us next week. I was bitterly disappointed. But it’s a mistake. I won’t hold it against them.”
West Ham United manager David Moyes reacted to the victory, saying he was thrilled to be in the race for a Champions League spot once again. Speaking to Football London, he said:
"It sounds great that people are even considering us that we could be Champions League contenders and I think that in itself is making the league exciting. It is a great time for West Ham supporters as we want to try and do it.
"We want to try and be in European football of some sort and I think if we do that it would be a great achievement."
With Jesse Lingard in such fine form, West Ham could very well end up playing in Europe's premier competition next season. Without further ado, let us take a look at the: