How late lapses have cost West Ham a place in Europe this season

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After watching their side throw away a lead in the 95th minute of the match against Stoke at the weekend, West Ham fans must be thinking of what could have been this season.

A bright start saw the Hammers flirting with the Champions League places early on in the campaign, only to fall away of late, and there is one reason amongst others that stands out.

The inability to hold onto the three points they were set to gain against the Potters is nothing new for the east Londoners this season.

Sam Allardyce’s men have conceded goals in the last 10 minutes of matches to lose points they might have otherwise had in the bag on five occasions this season.

That got us thinking, just what would the Premier League table look like if all matches ended after 80 minutes.

Looking back through the campaign, some things would be the same.

Chelsea would still be on their way to the title (even more comfortably), and Leicester and Burnley would be looking doomed to relegation.

However, if we wiped all goals that game after 80 minutes from the face of existence, it is fair to say that Hammers fans would be more revved up for their season run-in than they perhaps are at the moment.

A total of seven points have been dropped by the Upton Park outfit in the latter stages of games this season, whereas every other team above them has gained ground in that final 10 minutes.

Totting all the potential points gained and lost during those final few minutes paints a frustrating picture for West Ham.

The ‘After 80 minutes’ table would see the Hammers level on points with Southampton, scrapping it out in fifth and sixth, with Manchester City just four points in front.

Liverpool and Spurs would be the ones to pay the price for the Irons revival, dropping down to seventh and eighth place respectively.

While this is all irrelevant, as obviously games are not 80 minutes long, but it does tell a story.

If Sam Allardyce is the man to take West Ham onto greater things before their big move to the Olympic Stadium, he must find a way of consolidating winning (or drawing) positions late on in the match.

Had he done that, Sunday’s clash with Manchester City could have been a battle for the final Champions League qualifying position.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.