Kelechi Iheanacho hit a second-half double to spark a revival for Leicester City but the Foxes ultimately came up short as home side West Ham held on for a 3-2 victory at the London Stadium that takes them to within a point of Leicester in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
On-loan midfielder Jesse Lingard hit a first-half brace and Jared Bowen added a third minutes after the break as the rampant Hammers ran riot over a strangely lacklustre Leicester that also had Wilfred Ndidi for the duration of the encounter.
But just as it appeared David Moyes’ side were set to stroll to victory, Iheanacho picked up the ball on the edge of the Hammers’ box and fired an unstoppable effort beyond goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from 25 yards out in the 70th-minute.
The Nigerian striker, Leicester’s and Premier League player of the month for March, then set up a grandstand end to the match with his second in added time but the Foxes couldn’t muster the required equaliser as West Ham held on to boost their Champions League qualification chances.
Leicester, meanwhile, fall to back-to-back defeats following a reverse to Manchester City last time out.
Iheanacho’s double brought his tally to eight goals in 18 Premier League appearances and 14 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions.
Moyes’ side are up to 4th in the table with 55 points, one point off Leicester as the race for the top four places goes down to the wire.