Thursday, 15 December 2016

West Ham ride luck to beat Burnley 1-0


West Ham rode their luck to emerge the narrow winners of this keenly fought contest at the London Stadium.

A relieved West Ham manager, Slaven Bilic praised the “great character” of his players in holding on for the win.

He identified how recently the lack of confidence in the team made holding on for victory difficult. “We now go into Saturday’s game (against Hull) with more confidence,” said Bilic, who hoped the victory will provide the platform for his team to climb the table.

West Ham controlled much of the first half, going close with Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble both hitting the post with strikes from 25 yards. The home team were also denied a penalty when Michael Keane handled in his area.

However, the luck turned in injury time, with an Andy Carroll header being punched out by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton. In the resulting scramble, Winston Reid was unfairly wrestled to the ground, according to referee Bobby Madley. Mark Noble’s spot kick was saved by Heaton but following up the West Ham skipper rammed home.

Burnley took charge in the second half but wasted their chances. Sam Vokes saw his overhead kick, following a free kick, go narrowly wide. Another attack,  led by the dangerous Scott Arfield, saw a deflection bounce up invitingly for the onrushing Vokes who headed over.

Another freek kick effort was pushed aside by home keeper Darren Randloph.

A disappointed Burnley manager Sean Dyche rued “the three big chances” his team missed in the second half. “I was disappointed with the outcome, not so much the performance,” said Dyche, who regretted the ease with which so many players go down in the Premier League.

He recalled how if his team does not do it they get called na├»ve or old fashioned. “I’m happy to be old fashioned. The Premier League should do something about it, I’m seeing it week in week out,” said Dyche.  

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