The Hammers picked up their first win in three games on Saturday as they dispatched Sean Dyche’s Burnley by four goals to two. Despite the visitors coming from behind on two occasions, they were unable to keep West Ham at bay and Pellegrini’s side inflicted more damage on Burnley’s disastrous defence.
West Ham got off to the perfect start after Marko Arnautovic put them ahead within ten minutes of kick off, slotting calmly past former Hammers keeper Joe Hart. However with half time looming, the Clarets found themselves level; albeit against the run of play as Westwood slotted in Johann Gudmundson who finished nicely past Lukas Fabianksi.
Though on the 68th minute, Felipe Anderson put the Hammers 2-1 ahead. After some clever work from youngster Grady Diangana, he expertly found the Brazilian who made no mistake of toe poking the ball past Hart into the corner of the net. Yet Burnley were not done and took advantage of a shaky West Ham defence to level. Robbie Brady’s corner was met with precision by substitute Chris Wood to put Burnley level with 13 minutes remaining.
This game was far but done though and West Ham pushed for a winner. They were rewarded for their endeavour as Anderson grabbed his second of the game with six minutes to play, tucking away his effort via a deflection from Ben Mee. Javier Hernandez made sure of the points late on as he clinically dispatched his effort over the on rushing Hart to put the game to bed.
Mid table obscurity?
Despite how one-sided this game was, it was clear that both sides will not be in a relegation dog fight this season. West Ham showed great attacking quality and were unlucky not to score more than the four goals they did. When key players return to fitness such as Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll, Pellegrini will have greater options in the attacking outfit and his side will be a force to be reckoned with – especially against sides lower down the table.
As for the Clarets, despite not showing as much going forward as their counterparts on Saturday, they were clinical throughout scoring two goals from only three shots on target. It is worth noting that they were unlucky not to be level again on the 85th minute as Chris Wood’s header rattled the bar, much to West Ham’s relief. If Burnley can show this efficiency throughout the season then they should be just fine come May, with a mid-table finish looking likely.
Anderson stepping up in Yarmolenko’s absence
With many claiming this week that the Brazilian was a waste of £42million, Felipe Anderson hit back at his critics on Saturday. His performance against Burnley showed why the Hammers put their faith in him, and with two crucial goals either side of Burnley’s second he was certainly the match winner today.
With Yarmolenko being hit with a season ending injury a few weeks back, Anderson’s importance has doubled. His overall play and passing ability showed on Saturday and he was a constant threat to the Burnley defence all afternoon. He will be of paramount importance to this West Ham side this season and his partnership with Arnautovic could be key.
Grady Diangana – one to watch?
Despite Andersons return to form, it’s actually Grady Diangana who appears to have the entirety of East London at his feet. The 20-year-old who has been at West Ham since the age of 12 and made his first home start this weekend; the youngster was brilliant throughout and just as big of a threat as Arnautovic and Anderson. With his small build and quick feet he is able to quickly shift the ball and take on his man at will. The Englishman was unlucky not to have won West Ham a penalty in the first half after he brilliantly took on Stefan Defour who in turn brought him down – only for Roger East to wave it away. He brushed this off though and provided Anderson an assist for his first goal, his first assist in the Premier League. If he continues showing this ability regularly he will become a star for the Hammers and could catch the eye of Gareth Southgate very soon.
Burnley defence continues to crumble
Sean Dyche will want major changes made to his defensive cohort abilities quickly. The Clarets have already conceded 25 goals this season and have the second worst defence in the league. Compared to last season it took them until January to concede that many goals. West Ham were unlucky to only score four as they hit the post and had a clear penalty denied. Furthermore, Joe Hart did make some good saves during the game in order to keep the score as it was. If Dyche has any dreams of repeating what they did last season he will need to fix the defensive frailties and bring back the solidity they showed last season.
Man of the Match: Felipe Anderson
Anderson was brilliant on Saturday and was well deserving of his two goals. The Brazilian looked for the ball constantly and showed some impressive flashes of skill that were able to unlock the Burnley defence. Although a mention does go to youngster Grady Diangana; he was just as impressive as the Brazilian and even assisted him for his first goal.