West Ham’s unlikely attempt to qualify for the Champions League for the first time appeared to be fading, after the team was left without Michail Antonio and other key players due to injuries.
One by one they are coming back and the team is still keeping alive the prospect of finishing in the top four of the Premier League, beating some of the great teams in English football along the way.
Antonio marked his return to the field after being out for almost a month with a double for West Ham to bounce back and beat Burnley 2-1. With the victory, the club moved three points behind fourth place Chelsea, with four rounds remaining.
West Ham’s home stretch, which includes matches against Everton and the lower trio Brighton, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton, appears to be more benign than Chelsea’s, who have yet to play against leading and virtually champion Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester and Aston Villa.
Antonio, the team’s star forward and leading scorer, as well as defender Aaron Cresswell returned for the game against Burnley, while Declan Rice returned to training after undergoing knee surgery that has put him out of action since late March. .
David Moyes’s team arrived at Turf Moor after suffering losses to Newcastle and Chelsea, but they looked much more powerful with Antonio leading the front and Jesse Lingard behind.
THEY NEED A MIRACLE
Sam Allardyce needs what he claims is “a miracle” to maintain his record of never having been relegated from the Premier League.
West Brom, the team he joined in mid-December, are 10 points from salvation with four games to go after drawing 1-1 with Wolverhampton.
West Brom’s fate is likely to be sealed next weekend, perhaps ahead of the team’s next engagement on Sunday at Arsenal.
“We owe it to everyone to maintain a professional attitude and go out and try to win every game we have left,” Allardyce said, “and hopefully all the teams above us lose all their matches and that a miracle happens and we let’s keep it here ”.
There are five teams that are above the relegation zone and are between 10 and 12 points ahead of West Brom, who are second to last. Only two teams from that quintet need to win to sentence West Brom back to the second division.
The Wolves were fortunate to take the lead at Hawthorns in the first half’s stoppage time, when defender Kyle Barkley’s punt attempt fell to forward Fabio Silva who sent him to the back of the net.
Mbaye Diagne tied at 62 minutes.