EPL: West Ham’s top-4 bid back on track thanks to Michail Antonio double

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With Michail Antonio and different key gamers out injured, West Ham’s inconceivable bid for a primary ever Champions League qualification was thrown off track.

One by one, they’re returning. And a top-four end within the Premier League — toppling a few of English soccer’s greatest groups alongside the best way — may nonetheless be on.

Antonio marked his comeback recreation after practically a month out with two objectives as West Ham rallied to beat Burnley 2-1 and transfer inside three factors of fourth-placed Chelsea with 4 video games left.

West Ham’s run-in — that includes video games towards Everton and lowly trio Brighton, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton — seems extra benign than that of Chelsea, which should nonetheless play champion-elect Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester and Aston Villa.

Just as important for West Ham supervisor David Moyes, his damage listing is clearing up.

Antonio, the staff’s star striker and joint-top scorer, and inventive defender Aaron Cresswell made their returns towards Burnley, and Declan Rice — the England holding midfielder — is back in coaching after a knee damage that has stored him out for the reason that finish of March.

Moyes’ facet arrived at Turf Moor on the back of losses to Newcastle and Chelsea, however regarded a way more potent pressure with Antonio main the road and Jesse Lingard floating behind.

Chris Wood, recent off a hat trick at Wolverhampton, gave Burnley the lead from the penalty spot within the nineteenth minute after being fouled by Tomas Soucek however Antonio equalized inside two minutes by heading in Vladimir Coufal’s cross.

Antonio then glanced in Said Benrahma’s whipped cross from the left with the slightest of touches into the far nook within the twenty ninth.

West Ham vaulted Tottenham into fifth place and is 4 factors away from seventh-placed Liverpool, which has a recreation in hand after its match at Manchester United on Sunday was postponed due to fan protests towards United’s American homeowners.

NEEDING A MIRACLE

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Fabio Silva celebrates after scoring his facet’s opening purpose throughout an English Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, England, Monday, May 3, 2021. (Jason Cairnduff/Pool through AP)

Sam Allardyce wants what he says is a “miracle” to preserve his document of by no means having been relegated from the Premier League.

A West Brom staff he took over in mid-December is 10 factors from security with simply 4 video games remaining after drawing with Wolverhampton 1-1.

West Brom’s destiny is probably going to be sealed subsequent weekend, maybe earlier than the facet’s subsequent recreation — at Arsenal on Sunday.

“We owe it to everyone to keep a professional attitude and go out and try to win every game we’ve got left,” Allardyce mentioned, “and hope every team above us loses every game and then, by some magic miracle and some fairy dust, we stay up.”

There are 5 groups above the relegation zone who’re 10 to 12 factors away from West Brom, which is in next-to-last place. Just two of that quintet want to win to consign West Brom to a direct return to the second-tier Championship.

Wolves was lucky to go in entrance at The Hawthorns in first-half stoppage time when West Brom defender Kyle Barkley’s tried clearance struck the standing foot of 21-year-old striker Fabio Silva and looped into the web.

Mbaye Diagne equalized within the 62nd minute.

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