Burnley vs West Ham match report: Sam Allardyce's Hammers all present and correct in fourth

Burnley 1 West Ham 3: Strong start to the season begins to pay off as Hammers rise up the table

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The Independent Football

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce wasn’t too thrilled at turning 60 but will wake up to a happy birthday today after a third win in four games lifted his side into the top four.

Allardyce was planning to stay in the north last night for a few drinks and goals from Diafra Sakho, his sixth in six games, Enner Valencia and Carlton Cole, made sure they tasted good.

George Boyd scored Burnley’s first goal at Turf Moor since their opening game when he made it  2-1. But West Ham’s response was emphatic enough to secure successive league wins for the first time since March.

Burnley’s goal-scoring problems have been well documented but they could hardly have done more to end their long wait in a flying start which saw Boyd hit the underside of the bar after just five minutes with a left-foot half volley from 18 yards after he had controlled a deflected cross from Kieran Trippier on his chest.

 

That set the tone for a highly impressive opening 45 minutes from Boyd, who epitomised the Clarets’ intent with a series of probing runs and neat exchanges which opened up the visitors’ defence at regular intervals.

Lukas Jutkiewicz and fit-again strike partner Danny Ings also caused West Ham problems, Ings going past Alex Song and James Collins to test Adrian with a low shot which he parried to the feet of Jutkiewicz. The striker tapped in but was off-side and was out of luck again when he headed over from another Trippier cross. Jutkiewicz then almost played in Ings, who was just beaten to his through-ball by Adrian.

But the fear that Burnley would pay for failing to press home their advantage was nearly borne out when Sakho headed an Aaron Cresswell cross just wide at the near post and Stewart Downing curled a shot against a post with half an hour gone.

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Just after half time West Ham scored two goals in five minutes. Sakho got the first to continue his remarkable run and become the first West Ham player since Carlton Cole at the start of 2009 to score in five successive Premier League games, heading home a superb cross from Cresswell.

And Valencia then quickly made it 2-0 with an even better header, this time from a Carl Jenkinson cross which he bulleted into the top corner.

Valencia scored for Ecuador midweek and earned the rest he was given moments after, being replaced by Cole, who, seeing a header cleared off the line by Trippier, scored from virtually his first touch.

And his goal 20 minutes from the end made sure of things after Boyd had given Burnley renewed hope, driving the ball home after Adrian had spilled a corner.

Ings then headed just wide but any fightback was nipped in the bud when Sackho nodded back a Mark Noble corner for Cole to stoop and nod in and start the birthday celebrations.

Line-ups:

Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Kightly (Chalobah, 83); Ings  (Sordell, 83), Jutkiewicz (Barnes, 65).

West Ham (4-4-2): Adrian; Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell; Downing, Noble, Song (Nolan, 83), Amalfitano; Sakho, Valencia (Cole, 59).

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Man of the match: Sakho (West Ham)

Match rating: 8/10

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