Hammers Finish With A Flourish
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 22 May 2017 12:05:00
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West Ham United picked up their first final day win since 2013 on Sunday afternoon as they came from behind to beat newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor.

In the absence of Winston Reid, James Collins captained a side that showed three changes to the team that were heavily beaten by Liverpool last time out.

Angelo Ogbonna was a surprise inclusion to fill in for Reid, while Havard Nordtveit missed out due to a back complaint, so Sofiane Feghouli took his place and Robert Snodgrass replaced Jonathan Calleri, who was left out of the squad completely.

The Hammers were desperate to do the double over Sean Dyche's men and claim their first victory on the road since they came from behind to win 3-1 away at Southampton in February.

West Ham could have gone ahead as early as the sixth minute when Feghouli tested Clarets' goalkeeper Tom Heaton with a volley, but the stopper was equal to the challenge.

The start of the game was fairly open and minutes later, the hosts launched a counter-attack and Stephen Ward sent in a good-looking cross but fortunately for the Irons, it was too high for Sam Vokes to get a good enough connection on.

Burnley piled on the pressure as James Tarkowski's header went just over before they finally made the breakthrough on 23 minutes.

Dyche's side hadn't won in front of their own fans since April, so they were delighted when Vokes put them ahead.

Andre Gray raced down the right wing and via a deflection from Scott Arfield, the ball fell into the path of the striker who was presented with an easy tap-in, giving Adrian no chance.

Within four minutes of going behind, Bilic's men were back on level terms when great play from both Edimilson Fernandes and André Ayew set up the midfielder to put the ball beyond Heaton and send the travelling support into raptures.

Having got the equaliser, Feghouli didn't exactly cover himself in glory when another chance came his way five minutes later, as he fired over from 18 yards, wasting a guilt-edged opportunity.

It was the home side who tried their best to regain the advantage before the break, but Gray sent his effort wide before referee Robert Madley blew the half-time whistle with the teams once again all square.

In contrast to the first 45 minutes, the second-half was not as action packed but the visitors were trying their best to claim maximum points, as they earned a succession of corners and created some good chances.

Although Sam Byram looked dangerous down the right, Burnley were proving difficult to break down.

However, West Ham kept going and the winner eventually arrived on 72 minutes through Ayew when he followed up after Fernandes had seen his powerful shot tipped onto the bar by Heaton and the former Swansea City man sent the away end wild again as he headed in the rebound.

On 84 minutes, the East Londoners made their first change, as Ashley Fletcher replaced Snodgrass.

Manuel Lanzini went close to adding a third as the clock ticked down towards full-time but his curling freekick went inches wide.

Four minutes of stoppage time were added on and a minute of that had passed before Bilic decided to give a debut to Development Squad captain Declan Rice in place of Fernandes.

The victory meant that the Hammers ended the campaign eleventh in the Premier League table, on 45 points.

As always, this site will keep its readers up to date with everything that happens around West Ham this summer with details of next season's fixtures, as well as all the latest transfer news as soon as it is announced.

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