An early goal from Michail Antonio earned West Ham a narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley at the London Stadium.
The hosts got off to a quick start and after a fabulous slide rule ball from Said Benrahma found Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals was able to cross for Antonio to touch home at the back post after escaping Erik Pieters’ attention.
West Ham were in the lead throughout the game but were left to disparage their debauchery in front of goal, highlighted by Angelo Ogbonna’s point-blank header hitting the post.
Burnley never really got off the ground and struggled to bring Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood into the match, with a brief rally towards the end far too little and far too late against a West Ham side stoically curated by Ogbonna and the ‘impressive Craig Dawson.
Enough of all this, let’s do some evaluations, huh?
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 6/10 – I had very little to do, only making the two stops all afternoon.
Vladimir Coufal (RB) – 7/10 – Stable and confident in all facets of the game. It wasn’t as noticeable as it sometimes does, but it maybe shows how much West Ham was at the top.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 7/10 – Quickly establishing itself as Ogbonna’s premier partner. Kept Wood calm and well engaged in the physical duel, leaving a bit on the Kiwi when needed. Made some essential clearing headers.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 8/10 – Colossal in the air and demonstrated his silky footwork with wonderful skill in the second half. Hit the post with a point blank header that he should have scored. Reserve.
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 6/10 – I didn’t have to do a lot of defense to be honest, and it wasn’t that hard going forward. A calm afternoon equals a good afternoon.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 7/10 – Earn headers for days and work as a great link between midfielders. Another solid performance. Reserve.
Declan Rice (CM) – 7/10 – Wiped in front of all four when necessary, and sought to advance when the counterattack presented itself. Fizzed a sleek free kick just over the bar and showed a huge range of passes.
Said Benrahma (AM) – 7/10 – One of his best performances for West Ham to date. Took intelligent positions and displayed great intelligence and awareness of his surroundings while dribbling with the ball. Surprisingly taken off with over 20 minutes to go.
Jarrod Bowen (RW) – 7/10 – I think he should have scored with a right footed shot that hit the side net, but his luck control was superb. Full of running and a nuisance.
Michail Antonio (ST) – 8/10 – Gone are the days of whining about Sebastien Haller’s heist, as West Ham’s main man is back in town. Scored a smart poachers goal and improved everyone around him.
Pablo Fornals (LW) – 7/10 – Can be frustrating with his last ball at times, but the delivery was good for Antonio’s goal. A tireless runner who is worth his place only for the distance covered.
Manuel Lanzini (AM) – 6/10
Andriy Yarmolenko (RW) – N / A
Nick Pope (GK) – 6/10 – I couldn’t do anything for Antonio’s goal, otherwise a bit of a spectator.
Matthew Lowton (RB) – 5/10 – Had to overlap and give Burnley some breadth, which he did with little quality.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 6/10 – Sometimes sucked out of position by the deeply prone Benrahma, but overall decent. Definitely capable of playing at a higher level.
Ben Mee (CB) – 7/10 – Tarkowski inadvertently missed his clearance, allowing Antonio to stab at point blank range. Was otherwise Burnley’s best player, securing countless final blocks.
Erik Pieters (LB) – 6/10 – Sometimes a little narrow, which allows West Ham to descend on the right flank with Coufal and Bowen. It’s okay.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (RM) – 5/10 – Ineffective on the right side, had a docile effort on goal near half-time. Hanging on to the break.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 5/10 – Tidy in possession and does not really give the ball. Lacks the creative spark to make things happen.
Josh Brownhill (CM) – 5/10 – Like Westwood, struggled to influence in the game and really get his foot on the ball.
Robbie Brady (LM) – 6/10 – Has an excellent performance on him, and shaped some half chances with decent balls. A hard worker all afternoon, passing right after halftime.
Chris Wood (ST) – 5/10 – Normally likes a goal against West Ham, but barely had a snort. It’s hard to see how Burnley scores unless it’s crosses in the box.
Ashley Barnes (ST) – 5/10 – Did everything possible to destabilize Dawson and Ogbonna, but failed. Left a mark on Fabianski before signing just past the hour mark.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 5/10
Matej Vydra (ST) – 5/10
Jay Rodriguez – (ST) – N / A