GOALS from Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson kept West Ham in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish with a 2-0 win over Leeds at the London Stadium last night.

The Hammers are back up to fifth after Lingard converted the rebound from his own missed penalty and Dawson crashed in a fine header.

Since the Premier League resumed after lockdown last June, West Ham have collected 60 points from 34 games and transformed themselves from a side battling the drop to one mounting a challenge for European qualification.

But they had to survive a frantic opening period. Leeds almost opened the scoring through Helder Costa's angled drive, before they had the ball in the net twice in the space of two minutes, only for both goals to be chalked off.

First, Costa crossed for Tyler Roberts to tap home but a flag was raised and VAR confirmed the former was just offside in the build up.

Moments later, Patrick Bamford was presented with a tap-in but the ball had just gone out of play when Raphinha cut it back.

But Leeds' boom or bust policy was exposed again as West Ham took the lead in the 20th minute with virtually their first attack.

Lingard played a neat one-two with Said Benrahma and skipped into the area, where Luke Ayling clumsily brought him down.

The Manchester United loanee saw his weak spot-kick saved by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier, but the ball bounced straight back to his feet and he tucked in the rebound.

Eight minutes later, West Ham doubled their lead, Dawson arriving at the far post to head in Aaron Cresswell's corner.

The Watford loanee almost added a third before half-time but this time his header came back off a post.

Bamford should have halved the deficit at the start of the second half when he was put through by Diego Llorente.

The striker had time to open his body up and curl the ball around Lukasz Fabianski, only to send his shot the wrong side of the post.

At the other end, Pablo Fornals took aim from 25 yards and his volley looped over Meslier and off the crossbar.

Leeds continued to create chances but Fabianski saved a fierce drive from Raphinha, Bamford lifted a sitter over the crossbar and Dawson capped a man-of-the-match display by clearing a late deflection off Vladimir Coufal off the line.