Burnley beaten by West Ham
9:23am 20th October 2014
Burnley were undone by ruthless finishing from West Ham United on an action-packed afternoon at Turf Moor.
Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia gave the visitors a two-goal lead at the start of the second half after the Clarets had dominated the opening 45 minutes.
George Boyd gave hope of a fightback with his first goal for the Clarets on the hour mark.
But the Hammers had the final say when substitute Carlton Cole made sure of their victory on 70 minutes.
Danny Ings and David Jones were both back in the Burnley starting line-up after recovering from injuries, with the latter partnered by Scott Arfield in the centre of midfield.
Both teams were keen to start the game on the front foot, but it was Burnley who made nearly all the running.
Hammers centre back James Collins had to throw his body in the way of Ings’ shot on the turn after less than two minutes.
And on five minutes, the Clarets went desperately close to the opener.
The ball broke to Boyd on the edge of the box and the wide man controlled it well on his chest before unleashing a brilliant strike that came back off the underside of the crossbar.
Burnley put their opponents under severe pressure and soon thought they had taken the lead.
Ings, back at his impish best in the opening 45 minutes, danced his way merrily through three West Ham defenders and after Adrián managed to push his shot aside, Jutkiewicz tapped the ball in only to be denied by the linesman’s flag for offside.
The visitors were simply unable to cope with the Clarets’ energy and purpose in the initial quarter of an hour and Jutkiewicz couldn’t keep his header down following Kieran Trippier’s inviting cross to the far post.
In response, Valencia had a hopeful, long-range effort off target on 17 minutes.
It was still Burnley who were dominating though with Ings and Jutkiewicz combining nicely and only lacking the final touch.
The Hammers, however, started to show signs of getting into their rhythm when Downing produced a beautiful diagonal ball to find Aaron Cresswell in an advanced position on 26 minutes.
The left-back whipped it brilliantly into the dangerous area and Sakho did well to get in between Michael Duff and Jason Shackell, but couldn’t direct his close-range header goalwards.
On the half-hour mark, Downing threatened once more and when he cut inside Shackell to his left foot and unleashed a well-struck effort, the post came to Tom Heaton’s rescue in the Burnley goal.
The frantic tempo slowed down in the final 15 minutes before the break, but the Clarets still created another good chance.
Arfield sent Boyd through on the right side of the penalty area and the latter’s low ball across the face of goal just avoided Jutkiewicz on the stretch when Boyd could have perhaps pulled it back to Ings.
And Arfield had another two efforts at goal – one comfortably saved, one off target – as the two teams came off the pitch at half-time having been unable to break the deadlock.
Shortly after the restart, however, Burnley’s fears of not capitalising on their dominance were realised as West Ham went in front.
Cresswell sent in another superb ball into the box and Sakho jumped highest to this time put his header into the corner of the net beyond the reach of Heaton.
And five minutes later, the Hammers showed ruthlessness to double their lead on the counter-attack.
Another full-back, Carl Jenkinson, crossed the ball into the penalty area and another forward, Valencia, produced a good leap and quality headed-finish into the roof of the net in front of the visiting supporters.
West Ham could have then scored a third, only for Trippier to head Cole’s header off the line following a corner.
Burnley, however, showed their fighting spirit and got back into the game right on the hour-mark.
Michael Kightly’s inswinging corner wasn’t dealt with by Adrián, under pressure from Ings and the ball broke to Boyd who lashed it home from close range.
And shortly afterwards, Burnley were inches away from completing a rapid turnaround.
Trippier produced yet another fabulous ball into the box and Ings made a good connection with his head to beat the West Ham goalkeeper, but saw the ball flash agonisingly just wide of the post.
However, it was the visitors who scored the crucial next goal with 20 minutes remaining
Morgan Amalfitano’s corner to the far post was knocked back into the danger area by the unmarked Sakho and Cole was on hand to head it into the net from close range.
The Clarets still reacted immediately looking for a way back into the match one more time as substitute Ashley Barnes had a shot blocked.
Moments later, Downing’s piledriver missed the goal by a whisker at the other end.
Nathaniel Chalobah was introduced for his Turf Moor debut after recovering from injury for the final eight minutes.
Burnley then created one final goalscoring opportunity when Trippier again whipped a quality ball into the penalty area.
As Ings beforehand, Barnes made a good connection on his weaker foot, but the Clarets could only rue their luck once more when the ball came back off the underside of the crossbar.
And so, despite the host of chances, Burnley fell to their second defeat in the last six games and are still looking for their first Premier League win of the season.
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