|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Felipe Anderson double gives West Ham victory over Burnley in six-goal thriller
Paul Doyle at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 3 Nov 2018 17.22 GMT
The West Ham Way is a nebulous concept that provokes both reverence and derision. In the absence of a cogent definition, this match gave suitably contradictory pointers. Manuel Pellegrini’s team were bold, thrilling and brittle, much superior yet not convincing. There was no doubt, at least, that they deserved to win and that most people in a crowd of more than 56,000 seemed highly entertained, even if the scoreline should have been more emphatic.
Pellegrini said it might have been the best performance since his arrival in the summer. His Burnley counterpart, Sean Dyche, described it as a “crazy game” and, completing the oddness, complained that a penalty was not awarded against his own team when Grady Diangana went down in the first half under a challenge by Steven Defour. “It was a clear foul,” said Dyche. “If he had rolled around and flung his arms about, it would have been given. But because he fell normally, it was not. We have to change that.” Dyche has made similar complaints when his own players have been denied justice, so his consistency is to be welcomed.
Dyche’s team are struggling to recreate the consistency they showed last season, when their solidity lifted them to unexpected heights. After heavy defeats by Manchester City and Chelsea, Burnley seemed racked by jitters here, making uncharacteristic errors against adventurous hosts.
In the 10th minute Marko Arnautovic, making a return after two games out with a stomach illness, took great pleasure in sickening James Tarkowski, who had hurt him with a tackle early on. When Tarkowski dithered on the ball outside his own area, Arnautovic took it off him and fired into the net, then belly-laughed in his face.
With Burnley looking hopeless, West Ham threatened to run away with the match. Arnautovic was excellent, as was Diangana, a tricky 20-year-old winger making his second league start. Joe Hart, back at the ground where he flopped while on loan last season, denied Arnautovic and Pedro Obiang with fine saves in the first half, while Ben Mee rescued his team with a sensational clearance off the line when Felipe Anderson curled a shot past Hart. Then, even more sensationally given the run of play, Burnley equalised. It was a nicely taken goal on the stroke of half-time, Ashley Westwood teeing up Johann Berg Gudmundsson for a smart finish.
Burnley improved in the second half and Pellegrini chased victory by introducing another striker, Javier Hernández, after the hour. The Mexican would have scored almost immediately if not for a perfectly timed intervention by Mee.
Burnley did not hold out for much longer. After lovely work by Arnautovic and Diangana in the 68th minute, Anderson fired the ball through the advancing Hart’s legs from 12 yards.
Dyche had to stimulate another improbable fightback – and did so. Two substitutes conjured an equaliser, Robbie Brady delivering a corner to Chris Wood, who headed powerfully into the net.
West Ham pulled away for a third time, but only after Anderson struck the post following more deft interplay by Diangana and Arnautovic. That pair combined again in the 81st minute to create another chance for Anderson. This time the Brazilian’s shot found the net via a deflection off Mee.
Incredibly, Burnley almost equalised again but Wood’s header in the 85th minute bounced out off the crossbar. West Ham at last secured the victory when Hernández rounded off a counterattack with a fine finish in stoppage time.
“The players have a lot of trust in the way we are playing,” said Pellegrini. “I try to have a team that if you are winning, you do not go back near your box, you keep going forward. This was a test for the team because we twice had the advantage and they came back but we kept going. And when it got to 3-2, we went for four.”
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
WEST HAM: (4-1-4-1) Fabianski 6; Zabaleta 6.5, Diop 6, Balbuena 6.5, Cresswell 6; Rice 7; Diangana 7.5 (Antonio 86), Obiang 6.5 (Hernandez 61, 6.5), Snodgrass 6, Anderson 8; Arnautovic 7.5 (Ogbonna 90)
SUBS NOT USED: Adrian; Fredericks, Masuaku, Lucas Perez
GOALS: Arnautovic 11, Anderson 68, 84, Hernandez 90
BOOKINGS: Anderson 34
COACH: Manuel Pellegrini 7
BURNLEY: (4-4-1-1) Hart 7; Lowton 6, Tarkowski 4, Mee 7, Taylor 6; Westwood 6.5, Vydra 5 (Barnes 72, 6), Defour 6.5; Gudmundsson 7, Vokes 5.5 (Wood 72, 7), Lennon 5.5 (Brady 75)
SUBS NOT USED: Heaton; Hendrick, Long, McNeil
GOALS: Gudmundsson 45, Wood 77
BOOKINGS: Tarkowski 68, Lowton 87, Barnes 90, Brady 90
COACH: Sean Dyche 5.5
REFEREE: Roger East 5.5
MAN OF THE MATCH: Felipe Anderson