Lingard double fires West Ham back into top four

West Ham moved back above Liverpool and Chelsea with 55 points from 31 games, one point behind Leicester.

Jesse Lingard celebrates with Jarred Bowen after the latter scored West Ham's third goal against Leicester City.   -  REUTERS

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

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.

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Jarrod Bowen made it 3-0 shortly after the interval and West Ham was 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, which 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.

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

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