Lingard scored a brilliant goal as West Ham moves into the top four

Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard scored his sixth goal for West Ham

Jesse Lingard scored a brilliant solo goal before West Ham held off a Wolves fightback to secure a victory that moves them into the top four of the Premier League.

On-loan Manchester United midfielder Lingard has been in inspired form since joining the Hammers on 29 January.

And he continued his impressive resurgence when he charged through the Wolves midfield and defence to slot in the opener early in the first half.

Lingard was instrumental in West Ham’s next two goals as he produced a brilliant flick on the byline to find Arthur Masuaku, whose low cross was turned in first time by Pablo Fornals, before Lingard led a quick counter to tee up substitute Jarrod Bowen to drive in the third.

However, David Moyes’ side had let slip a 3-0 lead in their previous game against Arsenal to draw 3-3 and they looked in danger of a repeat when Leander Dendoncker headed home just before half-time and substitute Fabio Silva rolled in a fine strike midway through the second half to reduce the deficit to one goal.

West Ham dropped deep as they tried to hold onto their slender advantage and although Wolves dominated the closing stages they could not find a way through for a third time.

With Chelsea having surprisingly lost 5-2 to West Brom at the weekend, this win moves West Ham up to fourth with 52 points. Defeat for Wolves, meanwhile, means they are 14th.

Lingard shines as West Ham eye Champions League

Few would likely have expected Lingard, who had fallen out of form and out of favour at Manchester United, to prove to be one of the signings of the January transfer window when he made the switch to the Hammers.

But since the move he has not just developed into an integral part of Moyes’ side but also into one of the most in-form players in the Premier League.

He scored two goals on his West Ham debut and now has six in eight league appearances, with his form having propelled him back into the England set-up at just the right time with the European Championships coming up this summer.

Opta graphic for Jesse Lingard's goal
With three, Jesse Lingard has scored more goals from fast breaks than any other player in the Premier League this season

His latest strike was undoubtedly a goal of the season contender as he picked the ball up from halfway and slalomed his way past stunned Wolves players before finishing clinically.

Since he joined West Ham only Harry Kane (nine) has been involved in as many goals as Lingard and his arrival has undoubtedly played a key role in ensuring the Hammers are very much in the conversation for a finish in the Champions League places with just eight games remaining.

For 30 minutes, West Ham were superb and if they can produce that performance over a longer period in game they will deservedly remain in contention. Only their defending threatens to derail their top-four bid, having now conceded six goals in their last three games.

Wolves left with too much to do

Since returning to the Premier League Wolves have often found themselves in the battle for the European places, but a disappointing and inconsistent campaign this time round means that their campaign is spluttering towards a mid-table finish.

Injuries have certainly not helped Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, with Raul Jimenez having been ruled out for much of the season with a fractured skull while they were dealt another blow before this game with the news that wing-back Jonny is out for the rest of the campaign with an ACL injury.

Jimenez’s absence has been particularly telling as Wolves have struggled for goals without him – only Burnley had scored fewer than Wolves’ 29 in the Premier League prior to this fixture.

The three conceded in the first half against West Ham ultimately left them with too much to do but there were some positives for Wolves in the second half, none more so than performance of Fabio Silva.

The 18-year-old has only scored three goals this season but his latest was his best and a reminder of the exciting talent he possesses as he produced a great first touch to control an excellent Pedro Neto pass before finishing clinically.

What next?

Wolves are back in Premier League action on Friday, 9 April (20:00 BST) when they travel to Fulham while West Ham host Leicester on Sunday, 11 April (14:05 BST).

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