West Ham on Saturday, May 15 lost any glimmer of hope of a Champions League spot and now battle desperately for Europa place after they managed to force Brighton to a last-gasp draw.
Danny Welbeck had put the hosts in front in the 84th minute and Brighton were looking good to run away with the three points at stake before Said Benrahma conjured a superb goal from his magic box three minutes to the end of the encounter.
The Hammers became a classical example of the unpredictability of the English Premier League as the the London club, who were strong contenders for a top four position for the better part of the league, slumped to a gloomy fate of uncertainty, with their draw yesterday.
A win for 6th placed West Ham, who have 59 points in their kitty, would have rekindled the Hammers’ chances of a Champions League slot, depending of course, on the fact that 5th placed Liverpool, with 60 points, lose their match day 36 encounter.
All of that is now academic as there is a 5-point gap between
West Ham and 4th placed Chelsea and with two matches left.
As things are now, Champions League is out of the question for West Ham as Manchester City, with 83 points, Manchester United, 70 points, Leicester (66 points) and F.A. Cup silver medallists, Chelsea, with 64 points, look to consolidate their Champions League positions.
Even if Chelsea or Leicester slips, it is no consolation for West Ham as Liverpool will thankfully move in.
West Ham midfielder, Declan Rice captures their recent miserable outings when he told BBC Sports, “we can’t be relying on other clubs
“We have to go out and win — we have drawn too many and lost some. It is obviously horrible because we had the Champions League in our sights”.
The Hammers have only themselves to blame for their word as they have suffered four defeats in five games.
West Ham manager, David Moyes, seeing their CL aspiration fading irredeemably away, has turned his sights on the Europa Cup but even that may not be on a platter of gold.
Fifth placed Liverpool, with 60 points, one ahead of the Hammers, are guaranteed a Europa slot unless the unthinkable happens.
Tottenham and Everton, both with 60 points apiece, occupy the 7th and 8th position on the log, but have an extra game at hand and would fancy their chances of leapfrogging West Ham to the 6th position and a Europa slot.
In the event of West Ham winning its last two matches and Tottenham as well as Everton also winning their remaining three matches, all three clubs will tie on 66 points apiece and it will boil down to number of goals, deciding who joins Liverpool for the Europa Cup.
Don’t cry for West Ham as they refuse to grab their opportunities when they came, with both hands.