Precision, pressing and passion: Plenty for Burnley to learn from West Ham
West Ham were fired up against Burnley (photo: Getty Images)

Precision, pressing and passion: Plenty for Burnley to learn from West Ham

The Clarets were hammered by the Hammers 4-2 and are now looking over their shoulders with concern.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Two wins and eight points apiece to begin the campaign, combined with a worryingly poor run of form, there was literally nothing to choose between West Ham and Burnley going into their contest on Saturday afternoon.

Yet an energised home side swarmed their visitors with an intensity that the London Stadium faithful are crying out to see each week as they strolled to a 4-2 victory.

Arnautovic set the tone

This was not a West Ham team short of confidence or ready to throw in the towel - this was one with a point to prove. In contrast, Burnley looked bereft of ideas in the middle of the park and all too content to lick their wounds.

The passion of the hosts was exemplified by Marko Arnautovic's explosive and vocal reaction in the face of James Tarkowski after he caught the defender out to open the scoring. Such intensity was reflected throughout the squad.

Sean Dyche told the BBC after the game about how is side "couldn't make the first pass when there were some good counter-attacking opportunities." Yet West Ham barely allowed Burnley to string any sort of passing sequence together - in their opponents' faces throughout the contest.

Down the other end, the visitors stood off the Hammers allowing them to play through the lines far too easily.

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One side showed they want to put things right

There were glimpses of what could have been done if Burnley utilised a higher press in the mould of West Ham. The hosts have looked shaky in defence throughout the season with only the form of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski keeping them above the drop zone.

When Burnley did venture forward, chances opened up. Chris Wood should have equalised at 3-2 with just a few minutes left on the clock, only for the ball to hit his face rather than his head when granted the freedom of the West Ham penalty box. This defence was undoubtedly nervy but Burnley did not put enough pressure on them.

In contrast, West Ham formulated 22 shots. No Burnley player has rekindled the same form they showed last season, bar Johann Berg Gudmundsson. Yet they showed very little passion to put things right - unlike West Ham's Felipe Anderson, who conjured a large chunk of those attempts.

The Brazilian's form has been so inconsistent that Manuel Pellegrini felt the need to defend him in the pre-match press conference. Yet Anderson played with a point to prove and was sensational alongside Arnautovic and youngster Grady Diangana.

The scoreline could have been worse

Although Burnley were unfortunate on occasions, they didn't do enough to warrant getting anything out of this contest. There was an argument for a foul in the build-up to West Ham's third goal with the score at 2-2, whilst Wood should have better with that opportunity to equalise at 3-2.

In truth, West Ham could have scored seven or eight - putting into perspective the contrasting performances by the two sides. Anderson hit the post, Ben Mee made a clearance off the line, West Ham should have been awarded a penalty and Joe Hart made a handful of smart stops.

Burnley must now look back at this match in detail but not just their performance. Playing as West Ham did on a regular basis will drive them out of trouble but more performances like this one could spell trouble for a side that did so well last season.

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