West Ham United 0 Burnley 1
Wednesday, 8th July 2020
by Chris Wilkerson
West Ham failed to put any further space between themselves and the bottom three this evening and Burnley came to the London Stadium and left with the three points.It was a frustrating game for the Hammers, who had multiple good chances to score, but one they let drift away from them.
The result leaves the gap to 18th still at four points, David Moyes?EUR(TM) side now with four games remaining.
They were given warnings early on of Burnley?EUR(TM)s threat, and should remember from recent meetings that Dyche?EUR(TM)s side are happy to defend deep and feed off scraps up front.
It took until the drinks break for West Ham to get going, and Burnley could have scored twice with two presentable chances.
Pieters blazed over with the first, the Burnley build crafted nicely down the left and the makeshift midfielder in plenty of space in the air as he smashed a left footed drive high over the bar.
Moments later, Vydra missed with a free header after a delivery from a freekick, the forward marching in unmarked and disappointing with a difficult but by no means impossible chance.
In the other half, the Clarets seemed comfortable watching the home side play in front of them, lacking many ideas and any penetration.
The game turned for West Ham as Soucek?EUR(TM)s influence on the game grew. With Burnley dropping off, the Czech midfielder took it upon himself to burst into the box, whilst his work snapping into challenges helped his side slowly pin the away team back.
He had the first West Ham chance, a volley after a lovely Fredericks cross that was a little behind him. The contact was strong, but it was right at Pope. Moments later, the goalkeeper saved well again as an Antonio effort down low was well saved.
The West Ham dominance continued to grow, with little half chances and openings happening regularly.
It was with West Ham at their peak that Burnley scored.
Having been an almost eleven man defence for 20 minutes, a chance to make something down the left was taken. Taylor was given acres of space and put under no pressure, bending in a lovely cross towards the middle of the area.
Rodriguez moved towards it, Cresswell moved later. It was the Burnley forward who got to it, stooping to head in as Cresswell dangled a desperate foot. Both full backs can take the blame, one not making any effort to defend the cross, another letting his man get across him and react to a ball that Cresswell should have been able to defend.
Straight from the restart, Antonio missed the best chance of the game. Getting in behind, he was one-on-one with Pope and tried to sidefoot the ball round him. It curled in towards goal, but clipped the outside of the post.
He should have scored and would rue the miss.
The half-time whistle came and West Ham could rightly feel frustrated.
When they came out, you wouldn?EUR(TM)t have known they desperately needed the points. Burnley controlled the first ten to fifteen minutes,. They were crossing with such ease on their left that Moyes had to move Bowen over to give Fredericks some support.
The game could have changed just before the hour as Tarkowski was booked for what was quite clearly a red card challenge. You could bemoan VAR at this point in time, but it hardly feels worth it any longer.
Minutes later the some defender impeded Antonio on the edge and inside the area, but it was deemed an innocent fall.
As the hour ticked over, on came Haller. With the ball upfield, it was launched into the box and Antonio swivelled on it and shot.
He scuffed it, the ball rolling in front of Haller, but the big French forward could only get it onto his left, and his shot was excellently saved by the quite excellent Nick Pope.
And, frankly, not much else happened from there. There was no desperate late charge, no chances, no fight back. No fight, in fact.
Not that the players can be blamed, really. They looked exhausted, with these tense and tumultuous games in quick succession and very little being done to keep the side fresh.
It did not seem to bother the manager, who waited until the 86th minute to make his only other change, suddenly looking at Ajeti as an alternative from the bench. The substitution achieved nothing.
In the end, the 1-0 scoreline was unfair on a side that had made big chances, but followed a narrative that it feels these games with Burnley always do.
Instead they look to Tottenham and Manchester United to do them favours as they prepare for another two massive games. Norwich next, Watford to follow; the end is coming, one way or another.
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Player RatingsLukasz Fabianski
One good save, otherwise not a lot to do. Couldn?EUR(TM)t have stopped the goal.
One really good cross does not excuse some poor defensive play, woeful use of the ball and some sloppy play.
Poor on the goal, one good tackle aside near the end, he just wasn?EUR(TM)t up to it. Should have been taken off as he offered no attacking threat and the pace of Masuaku could have been useful.
Generally did fine and did look to step out of defence when he could. One pass was exquisite, and he will feel he wasn?EUR(TM)t responsible for the deficiencies in the game today.
Much the same as Diop, really. Did his job to a sound level.
He tried, putting in some dangerous crosses and making an effort to push the midfield on, but as he and the side tired, there was just nothing left.
If anything was going to happen, it really did seem like Soucek would be the one to force it. He drove into the box, had shots outside, made big tackles and worked hard
His worst performance for a while. Better when the game has some space and his running up and down has most impact. Just didn?EUR(TM)t get into the game.
Defensively, he doesn?EUR(TM)t do the work that Bowen does. If he did, maybe that cross for the first doesn?EUR(TM)t happen. He carried a threat in the first half, but without a turn of pace, he doesn?EUR(TM)t do a lot outside the box.
Frustrating for Bowen, he did a lot well and then faded. His crossing is excellent, and he?EUR(TM)s made Snodgrass?EUR(TM) injury feel less impactful.
Missed the big chance. Was sloppy in attacking areas often. And looked dead on his feet as the game went on. A worry considering how important he is.
(Replaced Yarmolenko) Did reasonably well in terms of winning headers, having a presence and giving Antonio less work. But the players seemed to die around him as time went on, whilst he should probably have done better with his chance, albeit Pope did excellently.
(Replaced Fornals) As with most of his performances, he came on and ran about a bit in the small time he had.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play. * Other subs unused: Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio.
Booked: Ryan Fredericks 64 .
Sent off: None.
Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Long, Taylor, Pieters, McNeil, Westwood, Brownhill, Rodriguez, Vydra (Wood 58).
Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Gudmundsson, Brady, Thompson, Dunne, Benson, Goodridge, Driscoll-Glennon.
Goals: Rodriguez (38).
Booked: Tarkowski (57).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Man of the Match: Tomas Soucek.