Hammers Grab Late Burnley Point

West Ham United would have expected to beat Burnley in Stratford on Sunday afternoon but, I suppose when the team come from two goals down to earn a late point in a 2-2 draw with Burnley, then they go into a must-win UEFA Europa League encounter with SC Freiburg in better spirits than they would’ve done if they’d lost.

David Moyes made four changes to his starting line-up for this game, as Alphonse Areola, Aaron Cresswell, Nayef Aguerd and Kalvin Phillips replaced Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma and Edson Álvarez who all dropped to the bench, while Emmerson Palmieri was unavailable due to a groin injury sustained in Germany on Thursday night. Tomáš Souček was given the captaincy for the afternoon.

George Earthy was again included on the bench, as was Divin Mubama.

Vincent Kompany’s side were still waiting for their first win of the year and after dominating the early stages, they went in front through David Datro Fofana’s blockbuster which gave Areola no chance with only eleven minutes gone!!!

West Ham needed a quick response but were unable to get one, as attempts from Jarrod Bowen, James Ward-Prowse, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mohammed Kudus all missed the target.

The Clarets had a chance to go further ahead before the break but Areola did well to prevent Jacob Bruun Larsen’s long-range free-kick from making the afternoon worse for the home side.

Three minutes of stoppage time were signalled at the end of the half and it did get worse for the majority inside the stadium. Souček tried to clear the danger, following a cross from former Hammer Josh Cullen but failed to do so and Mavropanos ended up putting the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net. The Hammers really had a mountain to climb now!!!

The home fans hadn’t experienced a losing feeling at half-time since February 17 at Nottingham Forest and they certainly let them know what they thought of their first-half performance that day. They did the same here, as loud boos greeted them when referee Darren England blew the whistle.

They came back from a goal down in the reverse fixture back on 25 November and needed a comeback of that ilk if they were going to get any sort of result here!!!

Moyes had to react to what he’d seen from his team in the first-half and he duly did. He made two changes by introducing Michail Antonio and Álvarez for Ward-Prowse and Phillips.

Whatever was said during the break fired the home side up, as just seconds after the match had restarted, the Hammers had pulled a goal back. Lucas Paquetá had stole possession from Maxime Estève and slotted the ball past James Trafford. They had forty five minutes left of the match to draw themselves level!!!

Several chances quickly came and went as the hosts looked to get the better of Trafford for a second time. Unfortunately, they were unable to do so.

After Kompany’s men and survived that particular spell of pressure, they then went about exerting some of their own up the other end. Datro Fofana tried to get the better of Areola once more, while Vitinho also got in on the act but thankfully, his effort went wide via the help of Aguerd.

More West Ham chances followed but they were still unable to get the ball past Trafford.

With eighty two minutes gone, Moyes made a final change when he threw Danny Ings into the fray in place of Aguerd.

That change seemed to have the desired impact as the former Burnley man scored against his former club immediately after coming on. The only trouble was that VAR intervened and ruled Antonio offside as he set the striker up.

It was disappointment for Ings on that occasion but eight minutes of stoppage time were then signalled and just one minute into the allotted period, he did get his goal. Kudus delivered a cross into the area and Ings turned and sent a shot flying past Trafford to the delight of the home fans.

If his first effort hadn’t been ruled out, Ings might have had a hat-trick, had his next shot hit the back of the net, rather than thudding against the crossbar.

After all of that, the Hammers should have had a penalty after a Sander Berge handball. Unfortunately, referee England gave nothing and, to add to that, it wasn’t even checked by VAR.

Areola had to make one more save from Josh Brownhill to preserve the point.

After such an enthralling end to the game, who knows what Thursday evening will serve up?