West Ham forward Michail Antonio said they won’t give up on their dream of securing Champions League football after he scored twice in a comeback win over Burnley.
The Hammers climbed to fifth place in the table, just three points behind Chelsea in fourth place, with four games of the season to be played.
Chris Wood scored a penalty to give Burnley the lead before Antonio headed off a mocking cross from Vladimir Coufal and hit Said Benrahma’s shot eight minutes later.
Antonio, who returned after four weeks off with a hamstring injury, said: “It would be amazing. Everybody wants to play the Champions League.
“I’ve been here for a few years and there have been so many seasons that we’ve struggled to stay in the league and now we have a chance to be in the top four.”
“We are not going to give up. We will continue fighting, we will continue to press ».
West Ham boss David Moyes said: “We want to take it to the last day and try to sneak in. He probably needs us to win all four games.
‘Europe would be an incredible achievement. I think I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get there now.
West Ham created numerous opportunities to extend their lead after Antonio’s double, but Burnley could have made it 2-2 when Jay Rodriguez fired a deflected shot from close range.
Burnley remains nine points above the relegation zone at 16th.
Benrahma impresses as Antonio chases Burnley
The game was finely balanced in the early stages, but Wood’s pitch seemed to spark West Ham’s creativity.
His response to falling behind was excellent: Antonio’s draw came just 154 seconds later, taking advantage of an evil center from Coufal.
The winger continued to put up dangerous crosses, while Benrahma gave Matt Lowton nightmares on the opposite side.
Benrahma’s magnificent center for Antonio’s second capped off an impressive solo show. He could have scored himself, but he selflessly chose to play Jesse Lingard in the first half and put too much weight on the pass.
Manuel Lanzini shone in midfield in the absence of Declan Rice and Mark Noble, while Antonio finally landed the crucial shots.
The forward should have had a hat-trick too: in the second half, he hit Pablo Fornals’ scraped shot against his supporting leg when, thankfully, it landed for him on the back post just a yard from the line.
The victory ensures West Ham keeps the pressure on fourth-ranked Chelsea as they battle for a Champions League qualifying spot.
Fight from the Burnley show but undone in the first half
Burnley is now winless in their last eight league games at home, their longest streak in history at the top flight.
But while remaining two places above the drop zone, they displayed the kind of character that will no doubt keep them for the fifth consecutive season.
Wood took his goal well, tossing it into the lower left corner after winning the penalty when he scuttled behind West Ham’s Issa Diop, threw it over his head and touched the ball in front of Tomas Soucek, who knocked him down.
Diop was the weak link in West Ham’s defense and Wood edged him out on a few occasions, before Matej Vydra nearly pulled the tie when Craig Dawson cleared the line.
Burnley stayed in the game: Ben Mee blocked Fornals goals and goalkeeper Nick Pope denied Lingard in the second half.
Rodriguez’s error from close range was the opportunity they needed to convert, but Burnley pushed late to win a few corners, so Pope stepped in.
Coach Sean Dyche threw on forward Ashley Barnes, who was returning from injury, during the final five minutes, but the hosts failed to create a clear opportunity.
Ultimately, West Ham’s attacking intent in the first half did the damage when Burnley couldn’t deal with Antonio’s presence in the six-yard box.
‘We are not far from Europe’ – what they said
Burnley boss Sean Dyche said: «They are a good team. They are chasing Champions League football and it looked like it. They have rhythm and play well in transition.
“We have not been very wrong. Two soft goals, especially the second, but a lot to be happy about. The first is a getaway. The second we do not read the cross. I don’t want to be too critical. «
West Ham boss David Moyes said: «The team played very well. We won 2-1, but I felt like it was so much more than that. We were lucky in the end, but we should have been out of sight.
«I would love to be in Europe. It would be an incredible achievement. We are not far from the Champions League standings. We have to keep believing.
West Ham’s Michail Antonio on silent celebrations: «I have had a couple of goals canceled by VAR. I thought ‘I don’t want to be there dancing and the goal is canceled’. I have toned down my celebrations. A couple of times I’ve been about to do one and I had a handball or whatever … VAR has killed him «.
A threat in the air: the best of the statistics
- West Ham have scored more than 2 goals in 11 Premier League games in 2021, a figure that only Manchester City (15) can surpass.
- West Ham have scored and conceded in 20 different Premier League games this season, more than any other team.
- Wood has scored more Premier League goals against West Ham than against any other team in the competition (seven goals in eight games)
- Since his Premier League debut in September 2015, Antonio has scored 19 header goals in the competition, with no player achieving more in that time (level with Olivier Giroud and Harry Kane).
- Coufal provided his sixth assist of the season in the Premier League; Among defenders, only his teammate Aaron Cresswell (seven) and Lucas Digne (seven) of Everton have registered more.
Burnley will travel to Craven Cottage to play Fulham on Monday May 10 (start at 20:00 BST), while West Ham will host Everton on Sunday May 9 (16:30 BST).
West Ham United
- 6AlongReserved at 85 minutes
- 11McNeilReplaced forGudmundssona 74 ‘minutesBooked in 87mins
- 27OtterReplaced forRodrigueza 61 ‘minutes
- 9WoodReplaced forBarnesa 85 ‘minutes
- 15DawsonBooked in 86 minutes
- 9BenrahmaReplaced forBowena 78 ‘minutes
End of the match, Burnley 1, West Ham United 2.
Final second half, Burnley 1, West Ham United 2.
Offside, West Ham United. Jesse Lingard tried a through ball, but Pablo Fornals was caught offside.
Corner, Burnley. Corner committed by Craig Dawson.
Foul by Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United).
Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner in favor of West Ham United. Corner committed by Nick Pope.
Shot stopped brushing the left square. Jesse Lingard (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Pablo Fornals.
Auction rejected. Attempt blocked. Ashley Westwood (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Burnley. Corner committed by Craig Dawson.
Auction rejected. Attempt blocked. Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Jóhann Gudmundsson (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Falta by Jóhann Gudmundsson (Burnley).
Craig Dawson (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card.
Cambio, Burnley. Ashley Barnes reemplaza a Chris Wood.
Ben Mee (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jesse Lingard (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Falta de Ben Mee (Burnley).
Auction rejected. Attempt blocked. Pablo Fornals (West Ham United) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Michail Antonio.