Manchester United stepped up their drive to secure a top four Premier League result this season by defeating West Ham on Sunday.

The Hammers were one of the surprise packages of the 2020-21 season but missed the chance to fill the gap with United when they were beaten 1-0 at Old Trafford.

The result puts United in second place on the standings – 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand against their rivals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men hope for second place, but end up in the top four – and thus qualify for the Champions League – have top priority.

United are one point ahead of third-placed Leicester City and six points ahead of Chelsea in fourth.

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Notably, they now have a nine-point pillow between them and fifth-placed West Ham, whose prospects have struck Old Trafford.

People like Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool will continue to have hopes of cracking the top four.

Former United defender Gary Neville predicts United will finish second behind City, Chelsea third and Leicester fourth.

“Leicester are the ones that you are most nervous about (when you get out of the top 4) because they got blown up last season and had a really difficult run-in,” he said on the latest Gary Neville podcast.

“But I just think there’s enough this year. I don’t see a team under West Ham … I don’t see West Ham catching Leicester and the team under it that is so inconsistent and seems to be everywhere I’m not sure which of them will put together a run.

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“You are capable of some of them, but I would think Leicester will hold out this year and it would cement the fact that Brendan Rodgers did a brilliant job two years on the go.

“They were so unlucky last season that they missed the final day against Manchester United. I think he’ll be in the top four this year.”

“And I think Chelsea will be third and I think Leicester will be fourth.”

We looked at the remaining Premier League games for City, United and their rivals in the race for the top 4 …

Man City fixtures

April 3: Leicester City (A)

April 10: Leeds (H)

April 17th: Aston Villa (A)

May 1st: Crystal Palace (A)

May 8: Chelsea (H)

May 12: Newcastle (A)

May 15th: Brighton (A)

May 23: Everton (H)

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Man United fixtures

April 3: Brighton (H)

April 10: Tottenham (A)

April 17th: Burnley (H)

April 24th: Leeds (A)

May 1: Liverpool (H)

May 8: Aston Villa (A)

May 11: Leicester (H)

May 15: Fulham (H)

May 23: Wolves (A)

Leicester fixtures

April 3: Man City (H)

April 10: West Ham (A)

April 17th: West Brom (H)

April 24th: Crystal Palace (H)

May 1st: Southampton (A)

May 8: Newcastle (H)

May 11: Man United (A)

May 15: Chelsea (A)

May 23: Tottenham (H)

Chelsea games

April 3: West Brom (H)

April 10: Crystal Palace (A)

April 17th: Brighton (H)

April 24: West Ham (A)

May 1st: Fulham (H)

May 8: Man City (A)

May 12: Arsenal (H)

May 15: Leicester (H)

May 23: Aston Villa (A)

West Ham fixtures

March 21: Arsenal (H)

April 3: Wolves (A)

April 10: Leicester (H)

April 17th: Newcastle (A)

April 24: Chelsea (H)

May 1st: Burnley (A)

May 8: Everton (H)

May 11: Brighton (A)

May 15: West Brom (A)

May 23: Southampton (H)

Everton Games

April 3: Crystal Palace (H)

April 10: Brighton (A)

April 17th: Tottenham (H)

April 24: Arsenal (A)

May 1st: Everton (A)

May 8: West Ham (A)

May 11: Sheffield United (H)

May 15th: Wolves (H)

May 23: Man City (A)

Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions by beating West Ham 1-0.

Scott McTominay forced an own goal from Craig Dawson to score an important win at United’s runner-up this season as the focus is now on major games against AC Milan and Leicester – in the Europa League and the FA Cup, respectively.

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Tottenham fixtures

March 21: Aston Villa (A)

April 3: Newcastle (A)

April 10: Man United (H)

April 17th: Everton (A)

May 1: Sheffield United (H)

May 8: Leeds (A)

May 12th: Wolves (H)

May 15: Aston Villa (H)

May 23: Leicester (A)

Liverpool matches

March 15th: Wolves (A)

April 3: Arsenal (A)

April 10: Aston Villa (H)

April 17th: Leeds (A)

April 24th: Newcastle (H)

May 1: Man United (A)

May 8: Southampton (H)

May 11: West Brom (A)

May 15: Burnley (A)

May 23: Crystal Palace (H)