West Ham go fourth in Premier League with superb victory at lowly Burnley
PUBLISHED: 16:56 18 October 2014 | UPDATED: 20:16 18 October 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
West Ham marksman Sakho on target again as the Hammers record another away win
Burnley 1 West Ham United 3
Three second-half goals swept aside lowly Burnley and moved into fourth place in the Premier League with a clinical win at Turf Moor.
It was the Clarets who had just about got the better of the first half, but the second half belonged to the happy Hammers as Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Carlton Cole grabbed the goals to secure a second precious away win of the Premier League campaign
Manager Sam Allardyce was forced to make two changes from the team that easily beat QPR at Upton Park two weeks ago, with Mark Noble and James Collins coming in for the injured James Tomkins and Mauro Zarate.
The first half was goalless, but it was certainly eventful with both sides hitting the woodwork and Burnley having a goal disallowed.
The winless Clarets started like an express train, desperate to record their first victory of the season and they almost grabbed the lead on five minutes.
Kieran Trippier’s ball from the right was deflected into the path of George Boyd on the edge of the box and the former Hull City man, chested it under control before letting fly with a thumping shot that clattered against the crossbar and away to safety with Adrian in the West Ham goal well beaten.
Three minutes later they had the ball in the net when the dangerous Danny Ings saw his shot palmed out by Adrian, only for Lukas Jutkiewicz to tap in from close range.
But as he turned to celebrate, the linesman’s flag stopped him in his tracks for an offside.
Burnley continued to press and first Jutkiewicz and then Michael Kightley went close, before West Ham finally had a chanxce of their own as Stewart Downing found Aaron Cresswell on the left and his cross was almost turned in at the near post by Sakho.
Downing went even closer on the half hour when he cut in from the right and curled a shot past Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal but against the far post, but it was Burnley who finished the half on top and a deflected shot from Scott Arfield went close, before Adrian grabbed it.
West Ham made the perfect start to the second half as they grabbed the lead. Cresswell delivered another superb cross from the left and that man Sakho was there again to head the ball home from close range.
It was his sixth goal in as many starts for the Senegal striker, who is on fire at the moment.
On 54 minutes they made it 2-0 with a superb goal. Sakho put Carl Jenkinson away down the right and his cross was met by a stunning header by Valencia who buried it past Heaton.
It was his fourth goal in just over a week after three in two games for Ecuador and it gave West Ham the breathing space they needed against a team short on confidence.
On the hour it was nearly three as James Collins header was headed off the line, but almost immediately Burnley were back into match when Adrian dropped a corner and after a scramble, Boyd thumped the ball home to m ake it 2-1.
Burnley had their tails up and just a couple of minutes later Trippier’s cross was met by the head of Ings whose effort flashed inches wide with Adrian beaten.
With 20 minutes to go, West Ham all but put the game to bed with a third goal. Noble’s corner picked out Sakho at the far post and his header back into the middle found substitute Carlton Cole there to direct his header in from close range.
The Hammers almost made it four on 74 minutes when Downing’s screamer flew inches wide of the mark, while there was still life in gallant Burnley yet as Ings got in another good position, only to fire over.
As Burnley pushed more men forward, the gaps opened at the other end and the excellent Cresswell almost scored his first goal as a Hammer after he latched on to Sakho’s pass, only to shoot straight at the keeper.
Burnley kept going and hit the woodwork for the second time in the game in the closing stages as Nathaniel Chalobah’s thump at the far post hit the bar.
But this was West Ham’s day once again and they will look for more when they take on champions Manchester City at Upton Park next Saturday lunchtime.
Team: Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Collins, Reid, Noble, Song (Nolan 84), Amalfitano, Downing, Valencia (Cole 59), Sakho. Unused subs: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Jarvis, Vaz Te, Burke.