David Moyes says that after the Hammers beat bottom club Sheffield United, it “nearly feels uneasy” to talk about West Ham’s position at the top of the Premier League.
The penalty for Declan Rice, Issa Diop’s header, and a third from substitute Ryan Fredericks lifted Moyes’ side into the top four and a place in the Champions League.
Nevertheless, in Monday’s late kick-off, Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle meant West Ham ended the day fifth – above champions Liverpool.
“We’ve got five games before April and if we make it to there it might start hotting up,” Moyes said after winning the sixth West Ham game in eight league games.
But talking like this almost feels weird. The teams around us are top, top teams and we’re going to have to perform extremely well to be there.
“But I think we’ve got another gear or two to what we’ve shown tonight.”
The lunge of Chris Basham on Jesse Lingard helped to give the Hammers victory, Rice making no mistake from the spot before Diop, who in his previous game was forced off with a head injury, doubled the lead from the corner of Aaron Cresswell.
Third deep into stoppage time was inserted by replacement Fredericks.
Sheffield United, 14 safety points with 14 games remaining, went close to equalizing at 1-0 only for Lukasz Fabianski to make an excellent save to keep the deflected header of David McGoldrick out.
An early penalty was awarded to West Ham when Enda Stevens fouled Craig Dawson and referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot, but the decision was reversed after a VAR consultation.