West Ham United came back from an early deficit to beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor on Monday, keeping alive their dreams of a top-four Premier League finish.
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Chris Wood got Burnley’s goal, but Michail Antonio hit back twice in the first half to secure all three points.
The victory puts West Ham back into 5th place in the Premier League table, again just three points behind Chelsea after both sides were victorious in matchweek 34.
2 things we learned: Burnley – West Ham
1. West Ham do it a different way: The Hammers are where they are, knocking on the door of UEFA Champions League qualification, on the merit of their results over the 34 games played thus far. Buying into David Moyes’ vision of being a strong defensive side with terrifying counter-attacking ability has been a major key to those results, but against a side like Burnley — one of a select few to sit deeper and with less interest in attacking — a backup plan is always required. Thus, here’s almost 30 seconds of West Ham patiently rolling the ball around Burnley’s box until something worthwhile presented itself.
3. Burnley must sign an attack this summer: 60 minutes into Monday’s game, Burnley have attempted all of two shots, with exactly one half of their efforts coming from the penalty spot when defenders aren’t allowed to go anywhere near the ball until a shot is taken. Sure, the Clarets managed to tack on another six shots by full-time, pulling nearer to their 9.9 shots per game average (17th in the Premier League) on the season. After (probably) narrowly escaping relegation this season, Burnley might not be so lucky again next year.
Wood created and scored the opener all on his own in the 19th minute, winning a penalty kick with no support and no clear path forward. Alas, Burnley’s main man simply refused to be denied and was eventually bowled over by a reckless challenge from Tomas Soucek. Wood stepped to the penalty spot and converted with immense power, despite Lukasz Fabianski going the right way and seemingly covering his lower right-hand corner.
The score was 1-1 just two minutes later, though, as Antonio stopped down to get his head on Vladimir Coufal’s cross from the right wing and power the ball into the back of the net.
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Antonio put his poacher’s nose to good use and bagged the winner just before the half-hour mark. Said Benrahma curled the ball toward the far post from the left side of the penalty area, and though the ball might have found its way into the net without any help, Antonio was happy to help it on — and in — with a first-time flick for goal no. 9 on the season.