February also featured a narrow extra-time FA Cup fifth round exit at Manchester United and ended with a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City but, by then, West Ham had risen to fourth in the table and the chat around possible European qualification was growing ever louder, even if manager Moyes admitted to feeling ‘uneasy’ talking about the topic.
After a busy start to 2021 that saw West Ham play 13 times in the opening two months of the year, the Irons contested just three fixtures in March due to an international break.
Man of the moment Lingard, who would go on to be nominated for three consecutive Premier League Player of the Month awards in February, March and April, scored both goals in a 2-0 home win over Leeds United, but a second visit to Old Trafford in the space of five weeks ended in a 1-0 defeat.
The Irons looked to have returned to winning ways in style when Lingard, Bowen and Souček put them into a three-goal lead against Arsenal at London Stadium, only for the Gunners to stage their own dramatic fightback to snatch a point.
Goals galore in April
Having gone 3-0 up against Arsenal in their final match of March, West Ham then proceeded to repeat the trick in their first two games of April.
However, while they relinquished their advantage to the Gunners, Moyes’ men held on to win 3-2 at Wolverhampton Wanderers and again by the same scoreline – and in similar circumstances – at home to Leicester City.
Lingard’s breath-taking start to his West Ham career continued with goals in both matches, earning him the Premier League Player and Goal of the Month awards in the process, while a resurgent Bowen was also on target as the Irons tamed the Wolves and the Foxes.