West Ham maintained their hopes in the Champions League with a decisive 2-1 victory in Burnley on Monday.
It was the Clerks who took the lead when Chris Wood received his mandatory goal against West Ham from the penalty spot, but this was quickly canceled when Michael Antonio celebrated his return to the team, heading past Nick Pope.
At first, West Ham seemed insecure in a new 4-2-3-1 formation, but increased their confidence with the equalizer and took the lead only six minutes later when Said Benrahma’s wonderful delivery was touched in the far corner by Antonio.
The second half was wide open and Burnley had a real chance to return to it. Deputy Jay Rodriguez had the best chance, but he somehow extended his efforts when it seemed easier to use it up close.
But West Ham have overcome the excitement and are holding on to a victory that could be huge in their pursuit of the Champions League next season. Now they are only three points away from Chelsea and with the other four games, it’s all about play.
Let’s get into some player ratings!
Nick Pope (GK) – 6/10 – A few simple stops kept West Ham at bay, but nothing remarkable from Burnley’s stopper.
Matthew Lawton (RB) – 5/10 – I wish I never saw Benrahma again. Torn by the Algerian in the first half and this destroyed his will to move forward or take risks.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 5/10 – He struggled to keep up with Antonio, whose pace and power were too much to handle at times.
Ben Mi (CB) – 6/10 – Several important blocks kept West Ham in the bay early.
Charlie Taylor (LB) – 5/10 – He did a good job keeping the silence of Pablo Fornals, but passed the ball with anxious regularity.
Josh Brownhill (RM) – 5/10 – He spent the entire first half doubling with Lawton at Benrahma, with absolutely no results. He stepped forward a little more after the break and almost equalized.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 7/10 – Great hard work to encourage the first goal. Vital in the heart of Burnley’s engine room.
Jack Cork (CM) – 6/10 – Keep things neat and tidy in the midfield without having a real impact on the game.
Dwight McNeill (LM) – 6/10 – He passed the ball too easily to West Ham’s equalizer. Otherwise one of the brightest performers of Burnley.
Matthew Otter (CF) – 5/10 – One or two lively moments, but he was really trying to establish himself in the game. Subbed for Jay Rodriguez per hour.
Chris Wood (CF) – 7/10 – Play on the street to win the penalty. Street performance to convert it. Not so street when he decided to play as an auxiliary central half for a few minutes in the first half and stood in Tarkovsky’s way for the second.
Jay Rodriguez (Otter, 61) – 5/10
Johann Berg Gudmundson (McNeill, 74) – 5/10
Ashley Barnes (Wood, 85) – N / A
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 6/10 – Barely received a bite of the ball, a penalty to the side.
Vladimir Kufal (RB) – 7/10 – Simple but effective delivery to choose Antonio for the West Ham equalizer. He came into the game as an attacking threat and often went beyond the Fornals.
Isa Diop (CB) – 5/10 – One or two hairy moments especially in the first half, but take advantage of Dawson’s experience next to him.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 6/10 – He was sharp to refuse the insidious Otter on the line to keep his team in the lead. Its importance to the West Ham country is only growing.
Aaron Creswell (LB) – 6/10 – Sharp with their defensive play, but did not allow the change in the formation to prevent his attacking participation.
Tomasz Sucek (CM) – 5/10 – Inconvenient to allow an early penalty. He looked worried, without any of his regular partners next to him, but he recovered well from the shaky start.
Manuel Lanzini (CM) – 6/10 – Asked to play central midfield in the absence of Declan Rice and Mark Noble. It didn’t look very comfortable, but it did a delightful job under the circumstances.
Jesse Lingard (AM) – 6/10 – He didn’t seem to like playing a slightly deeper role than usual and showed only glimpses of the form that made him one of West Ham’s players this season. But he still had a hand in the equalizer.
Pablo Fornals (RW) – 6/10 – It’s not entirely clear what his best position is … but the right wing probably isn’t. The quietest of West Ham strikers from a distance.
Michael Antonio (CF) – 8/10 – Do you know that five-sided player you really want to kick, but you can’t really get close enough to him to do it? Return to the team with a header and the slightest touch to crash into Benrahma’s cross.
Said Benrahma (LW) – 8/10 – The glorious delivery created West Ham’s second and seemed to fill it with confidence. He kept Lawton really busy, not that the right back could get close to him.
Jarod Bowen (Benrahma, 79) – 5/10