Wolverhampton, England, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- Jesse Lingard scored early for West Ham United after a solo run covering more than half the field and also contributed to two more first-half goals, helping lead the visiting club to a key 3-2 victory Monday over the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Lingard received a pass from Vladimir Coufal at the start of a Hammers counterattack in the sixth minute at Molineux Stadium and raced nearly 60 meters down the field as the Wolves’ defenders tried to scramble back into position.
He finally finished off the play with a left-footed shot over goalie Rui Patricio, who came off his line to no avail. Lingard enjoyed extra space thanks to a clever off-the-ball move by striker Michail Antonio that drew a defender out of position.
The England international, who is on loan from Manchester United, also was involved in his team’s other two first-half goals.
In the 14th minute, Arthur Masuaku set up Pablo Fornals for a short-range strike after receiving a cross into the area from Lingard.
Then in minute 38, Lingard once again put the Wolves on their heels with a blistering counter-attack run before finding Jarrod Bowen, a replacement for the injured Antonio, for a shot past Patricio.
The Wolves found themselves up against the ropes but began their comeback with a highlight-reel goal of their own late in the first half.
Adama Traore did most of the work, racing more than half the length of the pitch before sending in a cross that Belgian midfielder Leander Dendoncker headed into the back of the net in the 44th minute.
The Wolves later appeared to seize full momentum midway through the second half when Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva received a lobbed pass from Pedro Neto and scored from a tight angle past West Ham net minder Lukasz Fabianski in the 68th minute.
West Ham’s flow had noticeably dissipated without Antonio, yet the home side’s attack also petered out over the final 20 minutes, with their last clear scoring opportunity coming on a header by Dendoncker that sailed over the crossbar in minute 70.
With the win, the Hammers moved into fourth place in the Premier League standings past Chelsea and took a key step toward a potential berth in next season’s Champions League.
The Wolves, who have been depleted by injuries this season and are winless in their last five games, are currently in the No. 14 spot.
In one other Premier League match on Monday, eighth-place Everton and 12th-place Crystal Palace played to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in Liverpool. EFE-EPA