West Ham 'still fighting' for Premier League top four after win at Burnley

Win moves Hammers within three points of top four in Premier League

West Ham United's Michail Antonio shoots at goal. Reuters
West Ham United's Michail Antonio shoots at goal. Reuters

Michail Antonio caught even David Moyes by surprise as he fired West Ham to a 2-1 catch-up Premier League victory at Burnley, which reignited their push for Europe.

Antonio was playing his first game in a month after a hamstring problem but showed no signs of rust.

He scored twice within 10 minutes of Chris Wood's successful penalty for the hosts, with Moyes's only complaint being that he did not add more, as he missed several chances for a hat-trick.

"I've got to say I was a little bit surprised," Hammers boss Moyes said.

"He's come back in better condition than we thought. We never felt it was such a bad injury but he looked in super condition, he's been working really hard."

"He deserved his two goals tonight and on another day he should have had another two, so it's a bit of both. But to make the chances is really pleasing."

The win moved the Hammers to within three points of the top four as they recovered from two straight defeats against Newcastle and Chelsea, with a run of four defeats in eight before that threatening a promising season.

"All you ever get is three points so that's all we can take in that sense, but there are a lot of good things we can take away with our overall performance and our appetite to score goals," Moyes said.

"Our keeper's made a great save when he was called on as well so all in all it was a really good team performance.

"We're trying to stay around at the moment and keep up with the teams at the top.

"Whether we can make the top four I'm not really sure but we'll really try to get ourselves in a position where we can make Europe, and we're in there fighting with four games to go."

West Ham fell behind to Wood's 19th-minute penalty, the New Zealander's seventh goal in seven matches, but needed only two minutes for Antonio to level before he put them ahead with 29 minutes gone.

Moyes's side had several chances to add to their lead but by not taking them offered Burnley hope, with Josh Brownhill bringing an excellent save from Lukasz Fabianski before Jay Rodriguez flashed a shot wide.

But Burnley could not avoid matching an unwanted club record as they made it eight top-flight home games without a win.

"It was a strange one," manager Sean Dyche said. "I don't think we were a million miles off our marks.

"West Ham delivered a strong performance and they're chasing the Champions League spots for a reason. They're a good outfit and they've shown that so I wasn't overly critical of my players.

"We tried to make a game of it. Both teams played at a real tempo but they affected the game with a bit more quality on transition in particular.

"They've grown into a good unit and made good use of their purchases."

After Fulham and West Brom failed to win this weekend, Burnley look comfortable as they sit nine points above the drop zone with four left to play before next Monday's trip to Craven Cottage.

"It looks no more tasty than it did at the beginning of the season," Dyche said of the fixture. "Our mentality is the same whoever we play."

Updated: May 4, 2021 07:14 AM


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