There has been an absolutely huge boost for West Ham in the battle for survival after utter Fulham chaos in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Going into the week’s action, West Ham were one of nine clubs separated by just five points in what is the tightest Premier League relegation battle for years.

The Hammers had no say in whether that remained the case after the postponement of their game against Man City.

But after nine matches involving West Ham’s direct relegation rivals, David Moyes and his players will be mightily relieved that almost all the results were favourable.

So much so those nine clubs in the battle at the bottom are now only separated by four points.

West Ham United v AEK Larnaca: Round of 16 Leg Two - UEFA Europa Conference League
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Absolutely huge boost for West Ham in battle for survival after utter Fulham chaos

It means West Ham can leap as high as 12th place with a win over Southampton after the international break.

And the Hammers now also have two games in hand on four of their rivals.

West Ham have a crucial week of winnable fixtures after the break.

They have Saints and Newcastle at home before playing Fulham away.

And there has been an absolutely huge boost for West Ham in the battle for survival after utter Fulham chaos.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The Cottagers had manager Marco Silva, playmaker Willian and star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic all sent off as they imploded to throw away a 1-0 lead in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Old Trafford.

Mitrovic, who was excellent and had given Fulham the lead at Man United, aggressively shoved and elbowed referee Chris Kavanagh and was dismissed as a result. Fulham ended up down to nine men and lost 3-1 with the Serbian now facing a very lengthy ban.

West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio was famously banned for 11 games after “shoving” referee Paul Alcock while playing for Sheffield Wednesday. Mitrovic’s actions were arguably worse given his use of the elbow and the aggressive nature of his confrontation with the official.

Kavanagh could be seen after the game telling his assistants ‘he elbowed me’. So it will undoubtedly go into the referee’s report and a big ban is on the way for Mitrovic.

West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League
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Arsenal do Hammers a big favour too

That means Mitrovic will almost certainly be banned for the game against West Ham given the precedents in place for physically confronting match officials. A minimum six-game ban is anticipated.

Silva and Willian will likely only get one-game bans. But going out of the cup and the manner of the implosion may also take some of the wind out of Fulham’s sails too.

In other good news, Arsenal did West Ham a big favour as well by battering Palace 4-1 to worsen the Eagles’ goal difference and extend their long winless run.

Palace are now well within West Ham’s sights after the international break and leapfrogging them has to be the aim for Moyes and his players in a jam-packed April.


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