Antonio strikes early as West Ham edge past toothless Burnley

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2021 4:56

Michail Antonio West Ham TEAMtalk

West Ham stretched their unbeaten Premier League run to four games and moved up to eighth in the table with a 1-0 win over Burnley at the London Stadium. 

Michail Antonio’s early strike earnt them the three points, although the Hammers could and probably should have won by more.

The result, which was David Moyes’ first win against opposite number Sean Dyche, takes them above Aston Villa and Chelsea in the league.

On an afternoon of early opening goals in the Premier League, West Ham followed suit and took the lead after eight minutes through Michail Antonio.

The striker, netting for the first time since October, was able to tap home from close range after Burnley defender James Tarkowski ducked out the way of Pablo Fornals’ cross.

The Hammers had an optimistic appeal for a penalty turned down in the 18th minute when a cross struck Erik Pieters on the hand, but the referee barely flinched.

That was arguably more than what Burnley were offering going forward though as their attacking struggles continued. Robbie Brady’s free kick that went straight into the wall, followed by Josh Brownhill’s wayward effort, was as good as they managed in the opening half an hour.

The Clarets did have the ball in the net in the 33rd minute when Aaron Cresswell turned into his own goal, but it was ruled out as Chris Wood was narrowly offside in the build-up.

Dwight McNeil Burnley TEAMtalk

Angelo Ogbonna hit the crossbar as the Hammers came within inches of doubling their lead before half time, but nonetheless they will have been pleased to be leading at the break in what was a low thrills first half.

Moyes’ side created the first opening of the second half too, Antonio again the man on the end of it. The 30-year-old got on the end of Tomas Soucek’s delivery and beat Nick Pope with his header, only for Ben Mee to clear the ball off the line.

Declan Rice, a man rarely on the scoresheet, went close with a cleanly struck free kick from a tight angle but he didn’t quite get the required dip on his strike to see it drop into the top right corner.

Jarrod Bowen then made a mess of teeing Said Benrahma up before Antonio horribly sliced an attempted volley to send it for a throw-in.

Bowen was lively throughout had the best chance to give his team a two-goal cushion after being put through one-on-one with Pope, but he could only find the side netting as West Ham made hard work of killing the game off.

It looked like it cost them too as the game entered the final 20 minutes as Burnley attempted to push for an equaliser.

Mee and Tarkowski were both found by crosses in the box but neither properly tested Lukasz Fabianski, while Craig Dawson was forced to pull off a last ditch clearance to prevent a cross finding a Burnley man in space at the back post.

A looping cross from the left by Dwight McNeil also looked as though it may drop into the far corner for a split second, but it clipped the bar and bounced away to the relief of a flapping Fabianski.

Substitute Jay Rodriguez was next to close when an attempted clearance ricocheted off him and cannoned towards goal, however the ball rolled wide of the post.

But Burnley’s lack of cutting edge up front hurt them again as they failed to find a way through as the Hammers held on in East London.

 

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