London, Apr 11 (EFE).- A first-half brace from an in-form Jesse Lingard led West Ham to a 3-2 victory over Leicester City on Sunday, a result that boosts the London side’s hopes of a Champions League spot next year.
The English forward opened the scoring shortly before the half-hour mark with a first-touch shot from the edge of the area after collecting a pass from Vladimír Coufal.
Lingard had to wait for VAR to confirm his second goal, which came after a counter-attack just before half-time.
The referee was checking whether Jarrod Bowen was offside when he received the ball that he then passed across an empty box for Lingard to slot home.
After the break, the hosts picked up just where they left off as Bowen scored what would prove to be a valuable goal on a close-range shot three minutes into the second half.
West Ham were denied a fourth goal from Issa Diop in the 55th minute when VAR ruled that the Frenchman was offside when he headed home Lingard’s cross.
Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho sparked comeback hopes over the final stretch, but his brace was not enough for the Foxes to draw level.
The Nigerian forward pulled one back in the 70th minute on a left-footed shot from the edge of the area, and then had to wait until the first minute of the injury time to complete the brace.
After the win, West Ham regained the fourth spot they momentarily conceded with 55 points, just one ahead of Chelsea, and closed the gap with third-placed Leicester to just one point.
Earlier in the day, Newcastle earned a 2-1 away win over Burnley, their first victory in over two months that boosted their hopes to avoid relegation.