Continuing my series on highlighting past home matches.
Despite a winless October West Ham put in a performance that Manuel Pellegrini described at the time as the best by the team since he took charge. Lead by man of the match Felipe Anderson, the Hammers we bold, thrilling but also showed a brittle side, superior against a struggling Burnley, but not convincing.
Sean Dyche’s team had been struggling to maintain the momentum of the previous season that saw them reach unexpected heights and with heavy losses to Manchester City and Chelsea were taken apart by the home sides’ adventurous play.
Anderson, who was poor against Tottenham Hotspur in the recent Carabao Cup defeat and substituted at half time for Robert Snodgrass, spearheaded a dominant display at the London Stadium as he sliced through the Burnley defence at will.
Arnautovic opened the scoring for the Hammers when he dispossessed James Tarkowski and raced clear to fire home. The Hammers could have run away with the match with Joe Hart making excellent saves from both Arnautovic and Pedro Obiang and Ben Mee rescuing his side with a goal line clearance. But Burnley managed to equalise against the run of play through Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s slotted home goal just before half time.
With the introduction of Javier Hernandez on the hour the Hammers went out for victory and despite Mee saving his team again to deny Hernandez a goal almost with is first kick, Burnley could not hold out much longer. Excellent work from both Arnautovic and Diangana in 68th minute set up Anderson who fired home between the advancing Hart’s legs from just 12 yards out.
With the introduction of both Robbie Brady and Chris Wood, Burnley we able to fashion an equaliser from a corner, with Brady delivering for Wood to head powerfully home for an equaliser.
But the Hammers were out for the win, and two opportunities for Anderson created with more wonderful interplay between Diangana and Arnautovic provided Felipe with a chance that the Brazilian took to find the net from a deflection off Mee, who was unable to save the team this time round.
Anderson, who had struggled to settle having scored only one goal since joining the team in July, showed his influence again when he delivered a sublime cross field pass that began an attack that lead to Hernandez scoring again from the bench. Anderson, who took more touches and played more passes than anyone else on the pitch, drew praise from Pellegrini, who said despite his poor performance against Spurs in the Carabao Cup, put in a massive performance.
“I said before the game that maybe some players need more time to adapt to the league, but his commitment has always been 100%,” said Pellegrini.
“I talked a lot with him, and there was never a chance of him not playing. He knew from the beginning that despite playing bad against Tottenham, he was going to play. It was a massive performance.”
Diangana also stood out with the 20 year old’s direct approach giving Charlie Taylor, Burnley’s left back, a difficult afternoon. His performance included 5 key passes and an assist for the second goal by Anderson.
The win kept West Ham in 13th place on just 11 points, with Burnley in 15th on just 8 points.
Hope everyone is safe and well.