From the Terraces - Joe Difford

Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday's 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion
Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday’s victory over West Bromwich Albion…
Slaven Bilic's side went into Saturday afternoon's clash at the Hawthorns knowing that anything less than three points could jeopardise their push for Champions League football.
The Baggies on the other hand, were fired up to stop another loss and perhaps add to their disappointing goal tally, the second lowest in the division.
It was the home side who almost opened the scoring through Craig Gardner, and if the midfielder had his shooting boots on he would have had a hat trick to his name in the opening half an hour.
Jonathan Leko, the first player born in 1999 to play in the Premier League, was fantastic on his top flight debut, turning Aaron Cresswell inside out. 
His cross to Gardner was perfect but the shot was blocked and then the rebound was saved. He then headed narrowly wide from an open header, frustrating his home fans. 
Quite honestly, the Hammers struggled to settle and make anything of their dominant possession, but Diafra Sakho came close from our first real chance. Cresswell got forward and shipped a low cross in but it missed Sakho by a few inches. 
As Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini got more involved in the game, we became stronger in attack, and the goal came from the Frenchman, as many do. 

Winston Reid, back to his best in defence, won a sliding tackle that flew up field and landed at Payet's feet, with the number 27 playing the perfect cross for Cheikhou Kouyate to nod into the far post. 
You could feel the sense of relief and growing confidence as the Senegalese midfielder wheeled off celebrating, and our second came just ten minutes later. 
An incisive breakaway following some beautiful, delicate passing football in our own half, allowed Kouyate to burst forward from the half way line before cutting it back to Mark Noble, who stretched to poke home. 
The game summed up Noble's season, as he constantly chased the ball and called for the pass, before coolly finding a man in space and playing the perfect ball. It was a real captain's performance and he added his second of the game, fourth in two games, just ten minutes from time.
The ball was perfectly crossed in from the left hand side and the skipper composed himself before volleying into the roof of the net with aplomb. It is quite frankly ridiculous that Mark Noble still isn't a frontrunner for Roy Hodgson's EURO squad, but at least he'll stay fit over the summer to lead us out into the Olympic Stadium.
The next three games are the most important games in the history of our football club. Three wins and a slip up from Manchester City would mean Champions League football. It's important not to get carried away, after all Slaven Bilic's initial objective was to avoid relegation, but European football in some shape or form seems very likely right about now.
It has been a great season, arguably the best in the club's history, and the clinical 3-0 victory over West Brom was the cherry on top.
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