Burnley Hold Hammers to Stalemate
West Ham United couldn’t quite build on last weekend’s home victory against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon after being held to a goalless draw by Burnley.
David Moyes made two changes from the team that faced the Blues eight days ago, as he was without both Kurt Zouma and Ben Johnson due to hamstring injuries, meaning that Arthur Masuaku and Saïd Benrahma came into the starting line-up. Aaron Cresswell was given more time to recover from his back injury so Issa Diop and Vladimír Coufal retained their places.
Pablo Fornals started against GNK Dinamo Zagreb but was back on the bench here, while three of the youngsters who started the club’s first UEFA Europa League defeat on Thursday night were in the matchday squad here, as Harrison Ashby, Ajibola Alese and Jamal Baptiste were amongst the substitutes.
The Clarets wanted to bounce back following the defeat at Newcastle United last weekend and Chris Wood had a chance to open the scoring early on from a deep corner sent in by Dwight McNeil but fortunately for the visitors, the New Zealander failed to trouble goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański.
The Hammers then began to dominate proceedings and were the better of the two sides for the rest of the first-half.
On twenty six minutes, Diop almost headed in from Jarrod Bowen’s free-kick, only to be denied by a great save from home stopper Nick Pope.
Eleven minutes later, West Ham thought that referee Graham Scott should have awarded them a penalty for a challenge on Craig Dawson, as he attempted to see the ball out for a corner but a VAR check agreed with Scott’s decision,
Moyes saw his men create further chances before the break but at the end of the first-half, there was nothing to separate the two teams.
Sean Dyche’s men were quickest out of the blocks when the action resumed and could have gone ahead when Jay Rodriguez was inches away from diverting Matthew Lowton’s cross past Fabiański. Luckily though, Dawson saw the danger and got a crucial block in.
The game had a more competitive edge to it in the second forty five minutes and after that chance, Benrahma tested Pope after the ball had deflected to him, following a cross from Captain Declan Rice.
Moyes sent on Nikola Vlašić in place of Benrahma with seventy minutes gone, while the home side made a change of their own as Josh Brownhill took the place of Ashley Westwood.
The East Londoners hadn’t tasted victory on the road since the trip to Villa Park back on 31 October and while they were searching for a winner here, the home side’s defence were standing firm and determined not to let anything pass them by.
Moyes made his second change with ten minutes to play, as Fornals replaced Manuel Lanzini.
Rice had one more chance to try and claim all three points for his side with six minutes left of play when he sent a powerful effort towards goal but instead of beating Pope, it went over the bar.
It wasn’t the result the visitors would have wanted, given the position of the Clarets in the Premier League table but at least they came away with a point. They are on the road again on Wednesday night when they face another London derby against Arsenal.