Michail Antonio fires West Ham back into Champions League contention with double to down Burnley

Michail Antonio fires West Ham back into Champions League contention with double to down Burnley
West Ham United’s Michail Antonio celebrates scoring their second goal Credit: REUTERS

  • Wood gives Burnley early lead from the spot
  • Antonio returns from injury to score twice

If the Super League plotters could not kill West Ham’s Champions League dream, neither could Burnley. Real Madrid and Juventus may yet have to host the kind of deserving overachievers they hoped to shut out of their private club forever. David Moyes might only be four games from his greatest feat after West Ham beat Burnley, leapfrogged Tottenham and closed to three points behind Chelsea.

They also proved the difference a year can make. Last season, West Ham lost their 34th game to Burnley to leave them deep in relegation trouble. The equivalent fixture now puts them fifth. It has been a stunning turnaround and Moyes’ men showed a taste for comebacks.

After losing their previous two games, after going 1-0 down at Turf Moor, they responded in emphatic, excellent fashion. Michail Antonio marked his return from injury by scoring twice in nine minutes. “Michail Antonio made a great impact,” said Moyes. “He was very good last season as well, he probably kept us up.”

Now Antonio could take them to new heights as Moyes ended up drenched but delighted. “Four games to go, it’s great,” he said. “I want to smile about it. I’d love to be in Europe. It would be an incredible achievement. We’re not far away from the Champions League positions. It will probably need us to win all four games. We’ve got to keep believing.”

Antonio flicks in the second Credit: Gareth Copley/PA

Antonio epitomised West Ham’s irrepressible spirit. They kept on running and kept on shooting, clocking up 22 efforts at the Burnley goal. They wondered how they did not get a third goal. “We played very well,” added Moyes. “We had numerous opportunities to see the game out. The boys played smashing.”

They keep making light of adversity. Even as Angelo Ogbonna and Mark Noble joined their injury list, they found a way to win. Minus Noble and Declan Rice, Moyes looked as though he had borrowed a ploy from Pep Guardiola’s handbook, packing his team with attacking midfielders. It may have been caused by necessity, but they caused Burnley untold problems.

While Jesse Lingard played a lesser part in both goals, for once he was overshadowed by Said Benrahma, who made the most of his recall. Moyes’ reputation as a pragmatist looks increasingly outdated. Yet again, West Ham offered relentless entertainment. “Our appetite to score goals was great,” Moyes said. “We didn’t deserve to go 1-0 down but the players showed great resilience.”

Many of his teams have built from the back but West Ham have now gone seven games without a clean sheet. They conceded to a regular nemesis as Chris Wood scored his seventh goal in as many games. He converted a penalty after he was upended by Tomas Soucek. The initial culprit, however, was Issa Diop, who was beaten by Wood too easily as both chased Ashley Westwood’s long pass.

It was not Diop’s only difficult moment. He was exposed again when Matej Vydra lobbed Lukasz Fabianski and Craig Dawson recovered well to head off the line. But by then, Burnley were behind as Wood’s annual Turf Moor goal against West Ham was soon cancelled out. Moyes has not had anyone remotely resembling a specialist striker of late but a fit-again Antonio scored a classic centre-forward’s goal, rising above Matt Lowton to head in Vladimir Coufal’s cross after Dwight McNeil had been dispossessed in his own half. “We made a mistake by giving the ball away,” Sean Dyche rued. “The second one, we don’t react to a cross.”

Antonio did as he ghosted in behind a statuesque Burnley defence to apply a deft touch to Benrahma’s inviting centre. “This is a very tough place to come,” Antonio said. “You dread coming here.” But he made it look as though he relished a trip to Turf Moor.

His hat-trick hunt included an improvised shot with his right foot that then hit his left after he latched on to Pablo Fornals’ misdirected effort and a half-volley that thudded into the advertising hoardings while Nick Pope made a terrific save from Lingard.

“We are never a million miles away,” added Dyche. “They just had more ability tonight.” Burnley have gone eight top-flight home games without a win, the joint longest run in their history, and are still not mathematically safe but Dyche said: “I am not worried to much about all your stats and facts.”

His side almost equalised when Jay Rodriguez, who had just come on, blazed wastefully wide after Lukasz Fabianski made a superb save from Josh Brownhill’s half-volley but Moyes said: “We deserved to win.”

Full time Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham deserved that. They were fantastic going forward, creating all sorts of problems with their movement and passing and numerous chances. Always vulnerable to the set-piece but that apart they were dominant. For long spells Burnley just couldn’t get on the ball.

90+3 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham break from the corner, Pope is stranded on halfway and Bowen hits it straight to him rather than over him and 50 yards beyond.

90+2 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Antonio is named man of the match. Three minutes of injury time have been signalled and Burnley have a corner as Barnes chases a ball up the inside-left. Up goes Pope.

90 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Burnley defend Westwood’s shot from the corner, West Ham break and send Lingard down the inside-right. Mee slides in to block his shot which spins off his toe and Pope makes a smart save, changing his original direction.

89 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Cresswell bends the free-kick into the wall, Burnley break up the left, Taylor sends over a vicious cross with the outside of his left boot and Dawson makes the crucial intervention to flick it behind.

87 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Dawson is booked for wasting time before taking the free-kick. When he eventually takes it, Bowen has a driving run up the middle and Gudmundsson shoves him over. Free-kick, 28 yards out.

85 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Mee is booked for a trip on Lingard 10 yards inside the West Ham half. Burnley take off Wood and send on Barnes for the last five minutes plus stoppage time.

84 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Cresswell takes an age over a couple of throw-ins. Burnley win the second one and probe up the right before squaring to Taylor whose cross is hammered away by Dawson.

83 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham sweep it from left to right through Bowen on to Antonio and finally to Fornals. He takes a touch as he enters the box to put it on to his left foot but hooks his shot into Mee’s sliding block.

82 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Fonals is penalised for sliding in with his foot raised, skidding on his backside into Gudmundsson. Free-kick but no booking.

80 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

First West Ham sub: Bowen for Benrahma who, but for Antonio’s goals, would have been a good shout for man of the match.

79 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Dawson lunges ahead of Rodriguez to volley Gudmundsson’s cross away. Then Lowton whips one deep from the right and Gudmundsso steals in and shanks his volley into the seats.

77 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

After a brief Burnley rally it’s all West Ham again, probing constantly with slick passing and movement, particularly down the left.

75 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Second Burnley sub: Gudmundsson replaces McNeil.

74 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Cresswell’s turn to have a dig from distance and he drags a left-footer wide of the left post.

73 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Fantastic attacking move from West Ham with Benrahma again ending it by setting up a chance for Antonio with a fizzed pass from left to right. Antonio opens his body and tries to fade a right foot shot in at the right post but it whistles past it.

71 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Game knows game, as they say. Moyes recognises how dangerous Burnley are from the set-pieces he values and is miffed at Coufal. But Westwood’s cross is steered wide at the far post by Rodriguez.

69 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

It’s raining heavily now. Not quite the flood at the Hawthorns but not very pleasant.

Coufal makes his first mistake, overhitting a back pass and conceding a corner.

67 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

The replay of the miss shows Cork remonstrating with Rodriguez for not teeing him up for a right-foot shot after he rode Coufal’s tackle but had a wild swipe himself with his left instead.

65 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

What a chance! What a miss! Scramble in the West Ham box after a cross from the left. Brownhill thumps a half-volley at the far post which Fabianski saves but turns back towards the centre of goal. Rodriguez traps it, works the ball through an attempted block-tackle and has about 4ft of open goal inside the left post from three yards out. But it comes off the outside of his left foot and flies a good 2ft wide.

63 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham corner which they take short to Benrahma, out come the Burnley defence to catch Dawson offside. Even so his header is impressively saved by Pope.

62 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

First substitution of the night: exit Vydra, enter Rodriguez.

61 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

McNeil comes back to help Taylor when Coufal tries to bully his way past again, turns and then tries to slip in Lingard on the underlap. McNeil cuts it out but they hold on to the ball for no more than three passes.

58 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Burnley just can’t hold on to the ball for more than two passes. They need more grip in central midfield and for someone to sit on Lanzini.

56 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Soucek’s shot from 25 yards is deflected out for a corner. Cresswell picks out Benrahma with an arrowed cross to the left of the D. He meets it on the volley but scythes it over.

54 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Antonio has a tap-in for his hat-trick after Benrahma beats Taylor and Cork and dinks a diagonal towards the left-centre of the six-yard box. Antonio meets it with hsi right on the half-volley and steers it into his left shin and away from goal.

52 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Benrahma blazes a shot high and wide from about 20 yards.

50 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Another viciously whipped cross from Coufal on the right is thumped behind by Tarkowski, vitally. Had he not, that would have given Lingard a great opportunity.

Cresswell takes the corner that fizzes and dips and bounces over Antonio at the far post.

48 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham on the break again, Lanzini bringing it forward and working it up to Antonio who bombs down the right. Benrahma makes a great support run through the middle but the centre-forward’s pass is just behind him. Had he repaid the service for the second goal, that would have been a tap-in and game over for Benrahma.

46 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Burnley corner after Fornals gets a toe on to Taylor’s pass. Burnley flick it on but the ball doesn’t reach Mee, who had made a good back-post run.

Antonio at the double

Antonio heads in West Ham’s equaliser Credit: AP Photo/Gareth Copley/Pool via AP

Antonio flicks in his second Credit: Gareth Copley/PA

Half-time Burnley 1 West Ham 2

West Ham have been very impressive as an attacking force but Burnley are still in this and look incisive when they play the ball up to the front two. Benrahma has been sensational with all but one delivery.

45+1 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Soucek fouls McNeil. Good player Soucek but like Fernandinho he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake.

45 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Benrahma is getting an earful from his manager after a terrible cross that sails into touch.

43 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Burnley have had mores possession this past five minutes than at any other point but unable to penetrate so far and West Ham come back up the left with Lanzini pulling the strings of counter-attacking wave after wave. Benrahma ends the move with a shove on Tarkowski.

41 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Towering Diop header from Taylor’s outswinging cross on the left. Give him something to head and he’s been imperious tonight. Looks shaky whenever Wood and Vydra have run at him, though.

39 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

A pair of Coufal crosses from the right cause panic at the heart of the Burnley defence. Pope comes out to snatch the second one and allows his team-mates to take a breather. Burnley look dangerous when they go long up the right. West Ham look dangerous full stop.

37 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Benrahma makes the wrong decision after a quick break instigated by Antonio, opting to play in Lingard rather than taking on the shot but he loses his precision here.

35 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Dawson bails out Diop as Vydra diddles him chasing Lowton’s long ball up the inside-right into the box. Vydra wins the header, gives him the slip, pops it over Fabianski and was going to bomb past him to usher it in but Dawson was there to head it clear.

32 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Benrahma tries the same angled, curling cross/shot again with his right from the left and this time Antonio on the slide just can’t reach it. Another slick move between Lingard, Benrahma, Cresswell and Antonio. They’re a powerhouse down the left and Burnley can’t live with their pace and guile.

29 min Burnley 1 West Ham 2

Put on a plate for him by Benrahma. Lingard had hit the reverse pass down the left, Benrahma cuts back on to his right and spins a cross that would have crept in at the far post without an intervention but the merest brush from Antonio’s right foot made it impossible for Pope to reach.

GOOOOOOAL!!

Burnley 1 West Ham 2 (Antonio)

27 min Burnley 1 West Ham 1

Cork, McNeil and Taylor work a triangle to send the left-back past Coufal but his cross on the run is blocked by Diop and knocked behind for a corner, which Diop also clears.

24 min Burnley 1 West Ham 1

Lingard is causing Burnley’s defence untold problems with his movement. Ostensibly playing as a 10 he lurks on the right, left and wherever he feels there’s a vulnerability.

22 min Burnley 1 West Ham 1

Lingard and Coufal push Taylor deep and McNeil isn’t back to help when Lingard rolls it back to Coufal who whips over a brilliant cross towards the far third of the goal. Antonio pulls away from Tarkowski and buries the header from five yards.

GOOOOOAL!!!

Burnley 1-1 West Ham (Antonio)

20 min Burnley 1 West Ham 0

West Ham fly up the left with Benrahma and Cresswell working together and the captain goes deepest before zipping over an outswinging cross that Fornals meets on the half-volley and crashes into Antonio.

18 min Burnley 1 West Ham 0

Fabianski goes the right way but Wood spears it unstoppably in the bottom left corner.

GOOOOOOOAL!

Burnley 1-0 West Ham (Wood, pen)

VAR is checking

Wood cut in from the right, popping the ball over Diop and Wood gets the touch before Soucek bundles him over.

Burnley penalty!

For a foul on Wood by Soucek.

14 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Quick feet of Brownhill skitter down the inside-right and he tries to feed it into Wood’s feet but the centre-forward has Diop sticking to him like glue and he can’t turn in time to offload or shoot.

12 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Burnley make a mess of clearing after Antonio had dribbled into the area, found himself up a cul de sac by the byline and just stabbed it through the six-yard box. It pinballed around after Taylor shanked his clearance and landed at Lanzini’s feet 20 yards out. He attacked the shot with his instep to try to curl it but he couldn’t get it to dip quick enough and it shaved the bar.

10 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Excellent cross on the run from Taylor, whipped deep from the left, looking for Wood and Fabianski backpedals smartly to slap it away. Moments earlier Benrahma made 30 yards down the left, fed Cresswell who hooked over a menacing cross that Soucek, making a ghosting run into the box, nearly gets on the end of … but for Tarkowski.

7 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Benrahma, Coufal and Antonio break and Antonio bullocks down the inside-left channel. Coufal screams for him to square it but the centre-forward takes on the shot from 25 yards and bludgeons it miles wide.

5 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Lowton’s shallow cross into the box is met by Dawson just behind the 18-yard line. It’s all about finding Wood tonight.

3 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

Burnley play it across the back four then Mee knocks it up to Vydra down the left but the ball skips out of play. Burnley win back the ball from the West Ham throw-in. McNeil gets to the 18-yard line and whips over a low cross that West Ham knock clear.

1 min Burnley 0 West Ham 0

The players take a knee for about 10 seconds and then West Ham kick off, attacking from right to left and going long up the right. Charlie Taylor and Ben Mee combine to clear and go long themselves via Wood up to Fabianski.

The teams are out

Burnley in claret, blue and white. West Ham all in black.

During the Twitter blackout

We;re getting our team news not from the clubs but from the teamsheets at the ground which, unlike Uefa teamsheets do not lay out the formation. The Press Association feed suggested that Soucek would drop into a back three bit that seemed a bit crazy given Noble and Rice are out injured. Some questions later, it seems they will actually line up with a back four:

Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell (c); Souček; Fornals, Lanzini, Benrahma, Lingard; Antonio.

Your teams in black and white

Burnley Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Vydra, Wood.

Substitutes Peacock-Farrell, Pieters, Norris, Bardsley, Stephens, Dunne, Gudmundsson, Barnes, Rodriguez.

West Ham Fabianski; Diop, Dawson, Soucek; Coufal, Lanzini, Fornals, Cresswell; Benrahma, Antonio, Lingard. Substitutes Randolph, Odubeko, Balbuena, Alves, Bowen, Fredericks, Johnson, Trott, Coventry.

Referee Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Good evening

And welcome to live coverage of the meeting between the sides sitting in 16th and sixth in the Premier League at Turf Moor. The hosts, who have first dibs on the claret and blue tonight, come into the game on the back of that astonishing 4-0 victory away at Wolves following three defeats that had given Fulham renewed hope of escaping relegation, which now seems inevitable.

Your Irons have lost back-to-back games against Newcastle and Chelsea, missing Michail Antonio far more than Declan Rice. Selling Sebastien Haller to Ajax in January was a bold move given Antonio’s injury record and the lack of an experienced back-up. Obviously they thought the offer, even with a severe haircut from the fee they paid for him, was too good to turn down but should they miss out on the Europa League, it will be because of a lack of firepower. Playing with attacking midfielders and wide men up front works for Manchester City but it is dependent on a positional whirl through the front three with Kevin De Bruyne also heavily involved.

Antonio’s thigh problem makes him a major doubt for tonight and Rice, Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell have not travelled. Craig Dawson returns after serving a one-match ban following his red card during the defeat by Newcastle while Fabian Balbuena is also available following the decision to rescind the preposterous red card he was awarded in the 1-0 defeat by Chelsea.

Burnley have two longer-term absentees – Kevin Long and Robbie Brady but otherwise pick from a fill squad.

Antonio scored the only goal of the reverse fixture in January but they last beat Burnley in Lancashire on the final day of the 2016-17 season when Sofiane Feghouli and Andre Ayew scored in a 2-1 win. Burnley beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side 3-0 last season but such has been Moyes’ transformational work (and the treatment room) only three of that side are likely to start tonight while the Clarets could have eight.