Burnley beats West Ham as Rodriguez, Pope keep Clarets in UEL race
Nick Pope made several big saves and Jay Rodriguez scored again as Burnley moved ninth with a 1-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday in London.
The Clarets’ 49 points are three back of sixth-place Wolves and can still dream of a return to the Europa League.
West Ham remains four points clear of the drop zone, though Aston Villa and Bouremouth have a match-in-hand on the Irons.
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Three things we learned
1. West Ham fails to seize the day: David Moyes’ men couldn’t find their finishing boosts after scoring five goals over two matches in beating Chelsea and drawing Newcastle. The Irons have a very forgiving run into safety, but if they fail to deliver goals they might just be caught. Still to come are three teams in-and-around the relegation mix with Norwich City, Watford, and Aston Villa on the docket (Manchester United at Old Trafford completing the set).
2. Pope stays golden: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is almost certainly the best English goalkeeper right now, and took the lead from Alisson Becker in the Golden Glove chase with another clean sheet. Pope made four saves, at least two of them very good in a win Burnley might not have deserved.
3. J-Rod delivers again: Rodriguez’s seventh goal of the season might not’ve been pretty, but the Englishman has a goal or an assist in each of his last three outings. It’s a 10-goal season for Rodriguez including cup matches, and a tie for his best PL output since 2013-14 with Southampton (though he scored 22 for West Brom in the Championship last year). It’s nice to see the soon-to-be 31-year-old back amongst the goals on a regular basis after a frustrating time with injuries derailed his rise.
Man of the Match:
Pope, though a tip of the cap goes to Taylor for a fine assist and very decent day at left back against a lively West Ham right side.
West Ham - Burnley recap
Burnley’s Dwight McNeil put the ball into the hands of Lukasz Fabianski early after West Ham opened the day with the better of play.
Nick Pope made a solid reaction save before the half hour mark when Tomas Soucek turned a cross on goal, and Michail Antonio was also soon denied by the Burnley keeper.
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Rodriguez put Burnley in front off a Charlie Taylor cross, the English striker redirecting home for a 39th-minute opener.
Haller came off the bench and nearly equalized in the 62nd minute, Pope making a fine leg save to deny the Frenchman.
Chris Wood had a goal taken off the board for offside in the 76th minute, keeping West Ham alive in London.