Allardyce thrilled by West Ham progress

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce was delighted with Saturday’s 2-0 victory at home to Leicester City, which was enough to guarantee the club a place in the Premier League’s top four at Christmas, writes BBC Sport.

The deadlock was broken on 24 minutes when Andy Carroll ran on to a poor back-pass from Leicester left-back Paul Konchesky and confidently lifted the ball over the advancing Ben Hamer. That made up for a glaring miss by the striker moments earlier, as he blazed the ball over the bar from six yards.

Stewart Downing made it two early in the second half with a fine curling strike, and the Hammers held on fairly comfortably despite goalkeeper Adrian being forced to make two saves in the closing stages.

The result made it four wins in five Premier League games for West Ham, taking them up to 31 points, and Allardyce is hoping his side can continue to defy expectations. He said: “It’s not often a team is breaking the barriers everybody else doesn’t expect them to break. Being fourth is a great Christmas present for everybody at West Ham and having 31 points already is a pretty major achievement for us.

“The players who have applied themselves magnificently well are reaping the rewards.”

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