Croatia national team star Nicola Vlasic was only a substitute as his West Ham United side boosted their top-four hopes with an impressive 1-0 win at home to rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers are two of the teams battling to finish in the top four as far as this season’s Premier League campaign is concerned. The other teams in the fight are Manchester United and the London trio of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

West Ham United signed Croatia star Vlasic from Russian team CSKA Moscow in a £30m deal at the start of this season, but he has not been able to break into the starting XI on a consistent basis. A lot of his playing minutes in the Premier League this season have come as a substitute.

Croatia attacker Vlasic had played 14 times for the Hammers in the Premier League this season before the Wolves game at the London Stadium on Sunday. He came on for Michail Antonio in the first minute of stoppage time for his 15th league appearance to help his team see out the win over Wolves.

West Ham United came into the home game with Wolves on the back of a two-game winless run and they needed to get back to winning ways to boost their fight for a top-four spot in the league. Only a place in the top four at the end of this season’s Premier League campaign campaign guarantees Champions League football next season. Champions League football is also possible for teams who win either the Champions League or the Europa League.

Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek proved to be the recipient of the winning goal for the Hammers just before the hour mark and off the assist from the aforementioned Antonio. His goal gave West Ham a deserved win thus moving them above Arsenal on goal difference and into fifth spot. The Hammers are two points off Manchester United in fourth spot. West Ham United and Manchester United have played the same number of games, while Arsenal have three games in hand over both teams.