West Ham United improved their prospects of avoiding relegation from the Premier League with deserved 2-0 victory at below-par Leicester City on Saturday.
West Ham, who moved on to 38 points and should be safe with two home games remaining, were the brighter side from the start and deserved their lead after 34 minutes.
The lively Marko Arnautovic hit the bar, then regained possession and laid on a pass to give Portuguese international Joao Mario a simple goal. Leicester protested in vain that Arnautovic had fouled Christian Fuchs.
Booed off at halftime, the hosts improved a little with a double substitution but conceded again in the 64th minute to Mark Noble’s fine volley from outside the penalty area.
“That’s the best I’ve scored for sure, especially with what’s involved with this game,” Noble said.
“It could have gone anywhere but it’s hit the post and gone in.
“I hope on Thursday night against Man United we can perform like that but we want to try and finish as high as we can.”
Manager David Moyes, with his side in 15th, is also looking up the table rather than down.
“These players are capable of winning games,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m thinking can we get closer to mid-table.”
Leicester remained ninth in the table.
Reporting by Steve Tongue, editing by Ed Osmond and Clare Fallon