Carroll Off As Wood Header Earns Clarets Point

Match Report West Ham United

A first-half red card for Hammers forward Andy Carroll marred what would have been a respectable victory at Turf Moor on Saturday as Chris Wood netted a late header to rescue the hosts Burnley.

Slaven Bilic’s Boys had seized an early lead through Michail Antonio before Carroll saw red and Wood converted an 85th-minute leveller to save the home side from what would have been a second defeat of the campaign.

The point sees Sean Dyche’s men fall from sixth to seventh in The Premier League Table, whereas, we remain in 15th position with pressure still mounting on the shoulders of Slaven Bilic.

Heading into the clash, Dyche again set out an unchanged side from the one that shocked Everton at Goodison Park before The International Break, consistency has been a feature of Burnley’s new-found success.

Meanwhile, Bilic opted for two switches from the starting Xl that he fielded for the home victory over Swansea City in late September.

The main surprise was the dropping of skipper Mark Noble as he was replaced by the returning Manuel Lanzini, elsewhere, Marko Arnautovic replaced Andre Ayew on his return from illness.

Another eye-opener in Bilic’s selections was the inclusion of a fatigued Javier Hernandez, who trained only on Thursday after returning from Mexico, meanwhile, Carroll kept his place over Swans match-winner Diafra Sakho.

Our Hammer stars would dominate from the start on a sunny afternoon at Turf Moor, and it wouldn’t be long before we were fired ahead.

Joe Hart’s optimistic long-punt managed to beat Ben Mee thanks to some poor defending, giving the England winner a chance to nudge the ball past Pope and finish easily.

Antonio celebrated in typical dancing style but no one in Claret & Blue would be dancing just minutes later after two moments of pure madness from Carroll.

The tall forward leaped to head the ball down from a Hart goal-kick, but in doing so, caught defender James Tarkowski and was booked by Referee Stuart Attwell.

Under a minute later, Carroll stormed in again with a flying elbow on Ben Mee, leaving Attwell with little option to produce another yellow card, to the fury of Bilic on the touchline.

The type of game it was going to be soon became clear and things could have got a lot worse for The Claret & Blue Army as Chris Wood stormed through and was suspiciously brought down by Hart.

However, Attwell waved away appeals for a penalty, replays showed that his decision wasn’t necessarily the correct one.

Ironically, the England No1 was involved in a similar incident with the same outcome against Slovenia at Wembley, over The International Break.

Bilic opted for preservation at the break as Pedro Obiang replaced Arnautovic but there would be nothing defensive about the beautiful play that led to Michail Antonio’s shot being saved by Nick Pope.

Meanwhile, Matt Lowton came within inches of getting on the end of a Robbie Brady free-kick as the hosts piled the pressure on our stretched defensive.

Despite a fantastic display from the back four, they could no longer hold on and the home side finally had their leveller.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson did excellently to beat Aaron Cresswell down the right and unleash a superb cross to the head of Kiwi Chris Wood, whose precise header left Hart with no chance and bulged the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

The scoreline would stay the same after the strike and we left Lancashire empty-handed despite leading for over an hour.

Nevertheless, we are now unbeaten since late August on the road and have edged further away from early danger.
There are no such issues for The Clarets and they will look to get back to winning ways at The Etihad next week.

Meanwhile, Brighton & Hove Albion will be the visitors to The London Stadium next time out, can we make it three wins in four home games under the Friday night lights?

Man of the Match: Michail Antonio.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.