LONDON: Jarrod Bowen scored twice as West Ham returned to the top four of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at home to basement club Norwich on Wednesday. Bowen’s double, which took him to eight goals for the season, saw the Hammers go two points clear of London rivals Arsenal as David Moyes’s men posted their third straight league win.

“We have to try and keep it going,” West Ham manager Moyes told the BBC of his side’s climb up the table. “As long as we are around the mix and European places, that will be really good but if we can hang on the coat tails of teams above...that is what we will try and do.” Reflecting on the match, Moyes said: “We thoroughly deserved the victory but it wasn’t easy.”

Norwich manager Dean Smith was “disappointed” with the manner of this latest defeat but insisted all was far from lost for the Canaries in their fight against relegation. “We get battered from pillar to post from people outside that we’re not fit to grace the Premier League,” he said. “But we’re still only three points from safety. I have got a committed and honest bunch of players.”

In a match re-arranged from December because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Canaries’ camp, Bowen almost put West Ham ahead inside two minutes at the London Stadium found by Manuel Lanzini’s ball into the box, but his shot was too near goalkeeper Tim Krul. Lanzini went close moments later and Krul was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty when he clashed with Nikola Vlasic on the goal-line, shoving the forward to the turf by his face.

West Ham had the ball in the net in the 35th minute when Bowen’s cross went straight in but that effort was disallowed given Vlasic was offside. Their dominance, however, was rewarded three minutes before the break when Bowen got ahead of Ben Gibson to head in a cross from Vladimir Coufal.

Michail Antonio should have made it 2-0 early in the second half but shot over the crossbar from six yards out. Bowen then saw a chip over Krul  come back off he crossbar before his deflected shot hit a post. At 1-0 down, Norwich still had hope and they almost equalized when Adam Idah’s shot was pushed onto the post by Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. But the second goal West Ham had long threatened came seven minutes from time when Bowen turned in Arthur Masuaku’s cross, with VAR overturning an offside decision. — AFP