Burnley 1-3 West Ham: 5 things we learned

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West Ham are sitting in a UEFA Champions League spot after eight games and are currently above the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in the league standings.

They continued to display their impressive form in the 3-1 victory over Burnley where goals from Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Carlton Cole ensured they gained the three points despite George Boyd pulling one back for the home side.

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Here we take a look at five things we learnt from the Hammers’ win.

1. West Ham will always score

Burnley pressed the visitors in the first-half and limited them to very few opportunities in the final third. However, after half-time West Ham came out of the traps flying with Sakho and Valencia both getting on the scoresheet with emphatic headers.

West Ham have scored the most set-piece goals (7) this campaign and that is mostly down to the menace of the front two – Sakho’s movement and awareness to head the ball back across goal from a looping corner to pick out Cole for the third epitomised this.

With Sakho and Valencia leading the line the Hammers are always going to be a threat and you would fancy at least one of them to pop up with a goal as long as the team keep carving out chances for them – West Ham had a total of 22 shots with six finding the target – if they continue in this vein they are bound to keep finding the net.

2. Full-backs hugely influential

Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson provided immaculate assists for the Sakho and Valencia goals, whipping in crosses from out wide and picking the strikers out with great accuracy.

The attacking thrust generated from having two flying full-backs in the side is a massive plus for the Hammers and they’re proving to be pivotal to the team. Not only do they get up and down the pitch at great speed but they put in extremely quality deliveries that the strikers thrive on.

The constant width they bring also provides a good outlet and helps the team to pass and retain the ball with more care, which West Ham done to great effect in the second-half.

3. Adrian is a weak link

The only blemish on what was another great day for West Ham was the goal which they conceded. Adrian looked like he was about to claim a routine corner but ended up making a terrible hash of it.

The Spaniard tried to make out like he was impeded but it was clear he had simply spilled the ball and handed Boyd the chance to reduce the deficit to 2-1. West Ham of old may then have crumbled and allowed the home side to get back into the game, but to their credit they managed to fend off Burnley’s fightback.

Adrian has only one clean sheet so far this term although he has at times not been helped by some sloppy defending, he will need to be at his best for the visit of Manchester City this week.

4. Impressive strength-in-depth

West Ham was still some way off of their strongest team with Andy Carroll, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate and James Tomkins all absent but their new found strength-in-depth helped see them claim their first back-to-back wins of the season.

James Collins was called into the side and was strong in dealing with Burnley’s aggressive attacks, while Amaliftano continues to look like a very shrewd piece of business. He’s no world beater, but his versatility and work rate provides a significant upgrade on the likes of Matthew Taylor.

5. Burnley are going down

The promoted outfit are still without a Premier League win and they have only managed four goals in their eight matches – the lowest total in the division, shared with Aston Villa.

They posed West Ham a few problems but it is hard to see where their goals are going to come from, there is a huge amount of pressure on Danny Ings to find the net and the club’s survival may depend on his fitness.

Along with QPR, Sean Dyche’s side have been the least impressive this season and West Ham looked relatively comfortable in beating both of them – a sure sign they are going down…

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