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Burnley 2-0 West Ham United: Clarets end losing streak with comfortable win

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Dwight McNeil scores for Burnley
Dwight McNeil grabbed Burnley's second goal on his second ever start for the Clarets

Burnley manager Sean Dyche says a couple of "big decisions" in his team selection contributed to a vital win over West Ham at Turf Moor.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton excelled after being recalled at the expense of Joe Hart and 19-year-old Dwight McNeil, also included as one of five changes to the side thumped 5-1 by Everton on Boxing Day, scored the Clarets' second goal.

"Joe has been magnificent for us and credit to him because he was the first to jump up at the end when Tom makes a big save," said Dyche, who had seen his side lose their previous three league matches.

"I decided the time was right for Dwight, who is a clever player who has some quality and ability. His family should take some pride in what he's doing. He'll get stronger and fitter and we hope he'll continue growing with the team."

Chris Wood put Burnley in charge with a right-footed finish from the left of the penalty area to conclude a sweeping move involving Heaton, Ashley Westwood, McNeil and Ashley Barnes.

And with the hosts repeatedly carving through the visitors, they pressed home their advantage before the interval, when 19-year-old McNeil turned in Westwood's cross at the far post.

It was a disappointing end to a strong December for West Ham, who arrived in Lancashire on the back of five wins from six games.

Despite the return of Marko Arnautovic, playing for the first time since injuring his hamstring at Cardiff on 4 December, Manuel Pellegrini's side were sluggish throughout with their best chance, a header from substitute Andy Carroll, drawing a fine save from Heaton late on.

The only crumb of comfort for the Hammers was that both Wood and Barnes spurned several excellent opportunities after the break to make Burnley's win more emphatic.

The win lifts Burnley above Fulham into 18th and level on points with 17th-placed Southampton, who lost to Manchester City.

Dyche returns to tried and tested formula

A run of six defeats from their last seven games has raised question marks over Dyche's position for the first time in his six-year tenure.

While the club finished seventh in the Premier League last season, that success was largely built on a solid defensive base. In contrast, the defence has been porous this term - leaking 41 goals so far, two more than the entire 2017-18 campaign.

And with failed attempts to combat that problem including the deployment of five defenders in their last three matches - all ending in defeats - Dyche reverted to type with a 4-4-2 formation.

Burnley 2-0 West Ham: Sean Dyche looking for more consistency after win

Wood and Barnes offered physicality in a two-man attack and club captain Heaton's return to the line-up proved inspired.

Over 15 months had elapsed since Heaton dislocated his shoulder at Crystal Palace - the last time he featured in a league game for Burnley - but the 32-year-old exerted his influence on those in front of him, barking out instructions and providing organisation and leadership.

That contributed to West Ham managing just four shots on target and Heaton's understanding with his team-mates was evident as he raced out of his goal in the 15th minute to instigate the move that ended with Wood's goal.

Heaton positioned himself to calmly head the ball to Westwood under pressure from West Ham attackers, and he underscored a good day's work by superbly tipping Carroll's header on to the woodwork late on.

Hammers toil as Anderson fails to shine

A position just outside the top six felt like an implausible proposition for West Ham after they lost their opening four games but Pellegrini's side had the opportunity to move up to seventh at kick-off.

Instead this turned into a second blip in an otherwise fruitful December, their other defeat this month, against Watford, also a 2-0 reverse.

Burnley 2-0 West Ham: Lack of energy affected Hammers - Manuel Pellegrini

"It was frustrating because we wanted to win this game and had the chance to be seventh but we lacked energy to win it," Pellegrini said.

"We had a flight that arrived at 2am in the morning after playing Southampton. I was happy until two o'clock today. This was a game we were able to win - Burnley was in a bad moment but they played with intensity. Burnley recovered better because they had 30 or 35 hours' more [rest]."

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson has played a principal role in West Ham's upturn but he struggled to make an impact against well-drilled and determined opponents.

Anderson won just 31% of his duels and his passing accuracy was also below par at 64%. And with West Ham's most creative player on the periphery it allowed Burnley to assume control.

Anderson was far from the only visiting player to underwhelm, though. Lucas Perez and Robert Snodgrass were withdrawn at half-time after ineffective displays, which contributed to the visitors managing just one shot in the first period.

The introduction of Carroll did add power and presence but the Hammers were unable to provide the aerial service he thrives on until the closing minutes.

Man of the match - Ashley Westwood (Burnley)

Ashley Westwood
Westwood was involved in both goals and set the tempo in midfield, making more passes than any other home player (45)

Wood's hot streak against Hammers - the stats

  • Burnley have won two of their last three home league games, more than they had in their previous 10 at Turf Moor (W1 D2 L7).
  • West Ham have lost two of their last three Premier League games (W1), more than they had in their previous eight in the competition (W5 D2 L1).
  • Burnley's Tom Heaton kept a clean sheet on his first Premier League start in 476 days, last starting in the competition in September 2017 against Crystal Palace.
  • Aged 19 years and 38 days, Dwight McNeil became the first ever teenager to score a Premier League goal for Burnley.
  • Burnley striker Chris Wood has scored in all four of his Premier League appearances against West Ham, netting five goals in total.
  • Wood's five Premier League goals against West Ham account for 38% of his total strikes in the competition (5/13).
  • Second-half substitute Andy Carroll was responsible for 45% of West Ham's total shots in this match (5/11).

What's next?

Burnley travel to face fellow strugglers Huddersfield on Wednesday, 2 January (19:45 GMT) while West Ham host Brighton at the London Stadium on the same evening (19:45).



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Heaton
  • 26Bardsley
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Berg Gudmundsson
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 31McNeil
  • 10BarnesBooked at 38mins
  • 11WoodSubstituted forVokesat 90+1'minutes


  • 9Vokes
  • 13Hendrick
  • 14Gibson
  • 20Hart
  • 27Vydra
  • 28Long
  • 42Koiki

West Ham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Fabianski
  • 30Antonio
  • 23Diop
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 11SnodgrassBooked at 23minsSubstituted forDianganaat 45'minutes
  • 16NobleBooked at 29mins
  • 41RiceBooked at 61mins
  • 8Felipe Anderson
  • 7ArnautovicSubstituted forCosta Silvaat 73'minutes
  • 27PérezSubstituted forCarrollat 45'minutesBooked at 57mins


  • 9Carroll
  • 13Adrián
  • 14Obiang
  • 26Masuaku
  • 32Costa Silva
  • 45Diangana
  • 54Coventry
David Coote

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamWest Ham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Burnley 2, West Ham United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Burnley 2, West Ham United 0.

  3. Post update

    Felipe Anderson (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jack Cork (Burnley).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sam Vokes (Burnley) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Barnes following a set piece situation.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Andy Carroll (West Ham United).

  7. Post update

    James Tarkowski (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Sam Vokes replaces Chris Wood.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Heaton.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Xande Silva (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andy Carroll (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell.

  12. Post update

    Declan Rice (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Lukasz Fabianski.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Wood.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andy Carroll (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Grady Diangana with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Jack Cork.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Xande Silva (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Felipe Anderson.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Charlie Taylor (Burnley) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Felipe Anderson (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Xande Silva.


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