After scoring twice in a comeback victory over Burnley, West Ham forward Michail Antonio said the club would not give up on the Champions League dream.
Burnley 1-2 West Ham
21' 29'⚽- Antonio
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With four games left in the season, the Hammers have climbed to the fifth position in the table, just three points behind Chelsea in fourth. Burnley took the lead thanks to a penalty from Chris Wood, who was followed by Antonio, who headed in Vladimir Coufal’s enticing cross and poked in Said Benrahma’s delivery eight minutes later. “It would be unbelievable,” Antonio said after returning from a four-week layoff due to a hamstring injury. All aspire to be a part of the Champions League dream.
“I’ve been here a few years and there have been a lot of seasons where we’ve been struggling to remain in the table, and now we have a chance to finish in the top four.” We’re not going to give up without a fight. We’ll keep fighting and moving forward.”
West Ham United’s manager statement
“We’re going to wait until the last day to try to get in. We’ll almost certainly need to win all four games. “It will be an amazing accomplishment to bring Europe together. If we don’t get there now, I think I’ll be disappointed.”
After Antonio’s double, West Ham had multiple chances to extend their lead, but Burnley should have equalized when Jay Rodriguez’s close-range shot went wide. In the 16th spot, Burnley is nine points above the relegation zone.
In the early stages of the game, the game was evenly matched, but Wood’s penalty kick seemed to ignite West Ham’s imagination. After going behind, they responded brilliantly, with Antonio equalizing only 154 seconds later, capitalizing on a wicked Coufal cross.
Benrahma gave Matt Lowton nightmares on the other side as the full-back tried to deliver risky crosses. Benrahma’s excellent cross for Antonio’s second completed an outstanding individual performance. He should have scored himself in the first half, but he chose to play Jesse Lingard in and put too much weight on the through ball.
In the absence of Declan Rice and Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini shone in midfield, while Antonio delivered the decisive blows. In the second half, he struck Pablo Fornals’ scuffed shot against his standing leg as it dropped luckily for him at the back post just a yard from the line, and he should have had a hat-trick.
West Ham keeps the pressure on fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for a Champions League qualification spot with a win.
Burnley’s efforts for the game
Burnley has now gone eight games without a victory at home in the Premier League, which is the joint-longest streak in the club’s history.
However, despite remaining two spots above the relegation zone, they demonstrated the kind of character that would undoubtedly hold them up for the fifth season in a row. After winning the penalty, Wood crept in behind West Ham’s Issa Diop, flicked the ball over his head, and got a hand on the ball ahead of Tomas Soucek, who brought him down, and fired it into the bottom left corner.
Diop was West Ham’s poor link in defence, and Wood got the best of him a few times before Matej Vydra almost scrambled in an equaliser after Craig Dawson cleared off the line. Burnley stayed in the game in the second half, with Ben Mee stopping Fornals’ shots and goalkeeper Nick Pope denying Lingard.
Rodriguez’s close-range miss was the opportunity they needed, but Burnley pressed late on to gain a few corners, for which Pope was called upon. For the final five minutes, manager Sean Dyche brought on striker Ashley Barnes, who had returned from injury, but the hosts were unable to build a clear-cut chance.
When Burnley failed to deal with Antonio’s presence in the six-yard area, West Ham’s attacking intent in the first half did the damage which shows that the team is not going to give up on the Champions League dream.