Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard were both on the scoresheet to hand West Ham all three points against Spurs at the London Stadium on Sunday. The Hammers currently sit in 4th, occupying a Champions League spot, and are 2 points clear of Chelsea who are in the Europa League position.
With 10 points from a possible 12 in their last 4 league games, Lingard seemingly replicating his peak Man United form and current internet sweetheart Thomas Soucek's 8 league goals from defensive midfield, The Irons appear increasingly likely to end the season in the top 5. Their hopes will be further bolstered by city rivals Spurs and Arsenal's ongoing mediocre league campaigns, with the two North London Clubs currently sitting in 9th and 10th place, respectively. The absence of these two traditional "Big 6" clubs from the European spots means European football is there for the taking for West Ham.
However, with 13 games left to play, qualification is far from guaranteed. In fact it's common for non-big 6 clubs to slip up in the business end of the season when gunning for European qualification, such as Leicester's late drop out of the Champions League spots last season. This can be down to a lack of squad depth- a luxury that bigger clubs often have which comes in handy in the spring period when players get tired and injuries start to become frequent. Another reason for this can be the difference in mentality. Bigger clubs are often full of players who are more experienced at the elite level and are used to the pressures that come with challenging for the European spots. Qualifying for Europe will aslo be more of a standard requirement for them.
Regardless, West Ham have now been knocked out of the FA and Carabao Cups so the fight for Europe will be the entirety of their focus for the remainder of the season.
Standout matches today