Poor home run continues as West Ham take the points
West Ham United came from behind last night to beat us 2-1 and complete the double over us, a result which has extended our run without a win at home to eight games, our worst run in the Premier League.
It all started well enough. We took the lead with a Chris Wood penalty but ten minutes later found ourselves 2-1 down with Michail Antonio, back from injury, scoring both West Ham goals to add to the one he got when they beat us 1-0 at the London Stadium in January.
While a win would have taken us to a season high of 13th in the Premier League, we now sit in 16th place but with, I believe, a more than comfortable enough lead over both Fulham and West Brom.
It was no surprise to see Sean Dyche name the same team that had played in the 4-0 win at Wolves eight days earlier. It was also the same bench as we looked to record successive league victories for only the second time this season.
Unfortunately it wasn’t the sign of things to come. Within no more than two minutes we found ourselves level again. Vladimir Coufal robbed Dwight McNeil of the ball and his cross saw Antonio get between Matt Lowton and James Tarkowski to head home.
I’ve always considered Antonio to be a danger against us, that probably goes back to his performance for Sheffield Wednesday in 2012. He scored that day, getting their third and final equaliser in a 3-3 draw in which Charlie Austin had scored a hat trick for us.
He wasn’t done in this game either. Soon after he got his second and what proved to be the winning goal. This time Said Benrahma crossed from the left; Antonio this time got between Tarkowski and Charlie Taylor to get a touch on it and past Nick Pope.
I was pleased to get in at half time just one goal behind with the hope that we could change things in the second half. For some time we didn’t at all with West Ham very much on top and I’m sure Antonio will wonder how he missed a golden chance to complete his hat trick.
With the score 2-1 we were still in it and we really should have pulled level when Jay Rodriguez, on as a substitute for Vydra, fired wide. Fabianski saved well from Josh Brownhill but could only parry it in the direction of Jay Rod. His first effort was blocked but somehow he hit the second one wide of the goal and that, really, was the big chance to get something from the game.
Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson came on. He shinned a half chance and was then victim of a nasty challenge that incredibly didn’t even get the West Ham player a yellow card when it could so easily have been red. Maybe VAR man Stuart Attwell was too concerned at West Ham’s recent record of winning appeals. To rub salt in that particular wound, JBG was then carded for something and nothing as Taylor suddenly thought he’d better make use of his card with that the third in two minutes. It’s amazing that we were pulled up for fouls just four times in this game, none of them for anything serious at all, yet we get two yellow cards.
There is no doubt in my mind that the better team won the game and the words ‘better team’ are correct in my view with West Ham looking one of the best teams to have played on the Turf this season. We will play worse than that and win, of that I’m absolutely sure.
It’s left us still nine points clear of Fulham and ten points ahead of West Brom and we all have four games to play. I still think we might not need any more points but we do know that another win will end it all for sure.
We do need to arrest this run at home. Since we beat Aston Villa back in January we’ve drawn five and lost three of our eight home games and we can even add the defeat in the FA Cup to that. Eight home games without a win is our worst ever run in the Premier League and the worst run in any league since 2007.
I really do think the record would have been better had there been crowds inside the Turf. It really can’t help when we fall behind to have no support urging us on. But, likewise, would the two away wins on Merseyside have been different had they had their supporters to get behind their teams?
It’s another Monday night next week as we go to Fulham whose manager Scott Parker is confident they can win their final four games to stop up.
The teams last night were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil (Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson 74), Chris Wood (Ashley Barnes 85), Matěj Vydra (Jay Rodriguez 61). Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Will Norris, Phil Bardsley, Jimmy Dunne, Erik Pieters, Dale Stephens
Yellow Cards: Ben Mee, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson.
West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop, Aaron Cresswell, Tόmaš Souček, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals, Jesse Lingard, Said Benrahma (Jarrod Bowen 78), Michail Antonio. Subs not used: Darren Randolph, Nathan Trott, Fabián Balbuena, Frederik Alves, Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson, Ademipo Odubeko, Conor Coventry.
Yellow Card: Craig Dawson.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe).