In the fourth part of our 2021/22 season review, we revisit the Irons' fortunes at the turn of the year, with a look at how they got on in January and February...
Topping their UEFA Europa League group prior to Christmas afforded West Ham the rare luxury of prioritising Premier League and FA Cup challenges for the opening months of 2022.
And the Hammers made it a happy start to the year with another absorbing 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day, Manuel Lanzini again the Eagles' nemesis with a stunning brace - including the strike later voted the Club's Goal of the Season - after Michail Antonio had opened the scoring.
David Moyes' side were forced to dig deep in the second half, but managed to see the result out to close to within a point of the top four.
Lanzini was on target again with a smartly taken strike in a 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Leeds a week later, with Jarrod Bowen scoring in injury time on the counter-attack to seal progression to the fourth round.
And Bowen would then bag a brace in a 2-0 win over Norwich City in the Premier League, forming part of the No20’s mid-season run of seven goals in seven games.
Sadly, Moyes’ men could not repeat their Cup victories from earlier in the season in their next two Premier League fixtures, falling to a 2-3 home defeat to Leeds and a 1-0 loss at Manchester United to remain fifth in the table.
The Irons’ kicked off February with two hard-fought wins.
Firstly, they were once again forced to demonstrate their resilience to overcome a spirited Kidderminster Harriers side in extra time in the FA Cup fourth round, Declan Rice and Bowen getting the crucial goals to see the Irons through at a noisy Aggborough Stadium.
Then, Bowen was on target once again with a deflected effort to help the Irons defeat Watford and briefly move back into the Premier League’s top four.
But Tomáš Souček made it a 27th birthday to remember by shooting his side to a 1-0 win over a dogged Wolves team.
It wasn't long, however, before attentions would return to the Hammers' efforts on the European stage... but our round-up of those will feature next time!