|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Burnley's Jay Rodriguez keeps West Ham stuck in stormy waters
Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium
Date Published Wed 8 Jul 2020 20.23 BST
While West Ham remain in control of their destiny, this was a reminder that survival in the short-term will bring no guarantee of a brighter future. Even if David Moyes succeeds in steering them towards calmer waters over the next four games, realists will know that this leaky ship will still be in danger of sinking next season.
For now the smart money is on West Ham staying up, given that they are four points above the relegation zone, with games against Norwich, Watford and Aston Villa to come. In the long run, however, there is little cause for optimism. Uncertainty gripped West Ham when they had an opportunity to pull clear, and Burnley punished their frailties, making light of their injury crisis by moving three points behind sixth-placed Wolves thanks to Jay Rodriguez’s winner.
Burnley were solid and dangerous. They rode their luck at times, with Nick Pope inspired in goal and James Tarkowski fortunate not to be sent off for a lunge on Jarrod Bowen, but they are mounting a late push for Europe after four matches unbeaten. Sean Dyche’s side were tough to break down and West Ham ran out of ideas long before the end.
While Moyes questioned why VAR did not upgrade Tarkowski’s yellow card to red, he made few excuses about his side’s lethargy. West Ham were a disjointed mess, demonstrating why many supporters have not taken to Moyes as manager. After 15 minutes Declan Rice could be heard barking at his team-mates, urging them to raise their level. Under pressure to seize the initiative, West Ham froze.
At one stage the thought occurred that the bottom three must be very bad indeed if West Ham are on course to stay up. There have been signs of life in the past week but it will not be easy for Moyes to eradicate the flaws. Too many managers have built an unbalanced squad and while West Ham have spent heavily, they remain weak in the full-back positions, reliant on maverick forwards and without enough depth.
Burnley can never be accused of an identity crisis. They were missing so many players that Erik Pieters, a left-back by trade, started on the right flank. No problem: they dusted themselves down and frustrated West Ham until Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio forced Pope to make two good saves midway through the first half.
Moyes brought in Andriy Yarmolenko, who came off the bench to score the winner against Chelsea last week. Yet there is a reason why the winger had not started since 23 November. He is a highlights player who does not work hard enough, and Burnley knew that the Ukrainian would not track back to protect Ryan Fredericks. After 38 minutes Charlie Taylor attacked from left-back and crossed for Rodriguez, who exposed meek marking from Aaron Cresswell by directing a deft header beyond Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham, who are without a clean sheet in 14 games, stirred. Yarmolenko performed his one trick, cutting inside from the right and testing Pope, and Antonio hit the post after bursting clear. “Frustration is the word I would use because of the missed opportunities,” Moyes said.Moyes introduced Sébastien Haller for Yarmolenko just after the hour; Haller had a point to prove after four games out with a hip injury and the £45m striker almost scored with his first touch of Project Restart, only for Pope to save again.
Burnley refused to give in, and were denied a second when Chris Wood, on as a substitute, had a goal disallowed for offside. West Ham were ragged and aimless in the end. They are not out of the woods yet.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS
WEST HAM UNITED (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6; Fredericks 6, Diop 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Rice 5.5, Soucek 7; Yarmolenko 6 (Haller 62min, 5), Bowen 6, Fornals 5 (Ajeti 86); Antonio 7.
Subs not used: Randolph, Johnson, Balbuena, Masuaku, Noble, Lanzini, Wilshere.
Manager: David Moyes 5.
BURNLEY (4-4-2): Pope 9; Bardsley 8, Long 8, Tarkowski 8, Taylor 8; Pieters 7, Westwood 7.5, Brownhill 7.5, McNeil 7.5; Vydra 6.5 (Wood 58, 6), Rodriguez 7.5. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Gudmundsson, Brady, Thompson, Dunne, Benson, Goodridge, Glennon.
Scorer: Rodriguez 38. Booked: Tarkowski.
Manager: Sean Dyche 7.5.
Referee: Michael Oliver 7.