How West Ham’s top four aspirations are now in their own hands

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United beat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park.

West Ham United followed up a superb win over Tottenham Hotspur by completing a remarkable come-from-behind victory to defeat Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park.

The Toffees were 2-0 up and had the chance to seal victory from the spot, yet Adrian’s wonderful save proved the catalyst for a stunning spell which saw the Hammers claim all three points with Dimitri Payet scoring the winner deep into stoppage time.

The victory is just one of a number of real highs for Slaven Bilic during his debut season as West Ham boss, and it has taken them to within touching distance of Manchester City and the cusp of the top four.

Can West Ham realistically finish in the top four? There is no doubt that the East London side have a challenging fixture list ahead of them, but on current form, yes they can.

And arguably more importantly, a place in next season’s Champions League is now in their own hands.

West Ham sit in fifth spot on 49 points having played 29 matches, three points behind third-placed Arsenal, two points behind City [following their 0-0 draw at Norwich City] and two points ahead of Manchester United.

With United and Arsenal still to visit the Boleyn Ground and City to play the Gunners in the penultimate game of the season, West Ham will be guaranteed a top four spot if they win all their remaining fixtures - regardless of what happens elsewhere.

How? If West Ham win all nine games, they will finish on 76 points. Beating Arsenal will see the Gunners’ maximum output reduced to 76, while a City vs Arsenal clash on the penultimate game of the season means either or both will drop points. If Arsenal beat City, Pellegrini’s men can only reach 75 points.

While there are still plenty of games to play between now and May with lots of twists and turns in store, for West Ham to have a top four spot in their own hands at this stage represents a great achievement.

Many questioned them and Bilic following back-to-back home defeats to Leicester City and Bournemouth earlier in the campaign, but nobody is questioning their ability now.

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