West Ham’s Prince Felipe is the new star of the London Stadium
PUBLISHED: 12:31 05 November 2018
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The Hammers finaly found their form as they blasted Burnley away in fine style
The memories of last season’s nightmare day against Burnley were not only forgotten, they were rewritten as a day of glory for the Hammers on Saturday.
It was the first time that West Ham had scored four in a league game since they moved to the London Stadium and it should have been a lot more.
There were some calling for Felipe Anderson to be left on the bench, others saying he needed a huge kick up the backside.
But on Saturday he proved us all wrong with a magnificent performance which tormented the Burnley defence and earned West Ham a vital three points.
It was a display that got better the longer it went on. He scored two goals, could have had five and had a hand in one of the others.
How much of it was down to a change of attitude and how much was down to a stern word from manager Manuel Pellegrini is difficult to know, but it worked.
“Felipe scored two goals and made an assist and missed and missed two goals more!” said a delighted Pellegrini.
“I said when you asked me about him before the game that nobody was happy with his performances, but the first one who wasn’t happy was him.
“He knew what he must do and he has 100 per cent commitment, so I was absolutely sure he was going to produce this display. He never had any chance not to be in the starting XI.”
When you have splashed out over £40million on a player then you are always reluctant to leave him out and that worked in the Brazilian’s favour – the same courtesy would not have been given to some of the others.
This win wasn’t all about Anderson though. The return of Marko Arnautovic was every bit as important – he was superb.
Having been hurt by a nasty foul by James Tarkowski early on, he gained full revenge by robbing the Burnley defender and racing through to score the vital first goal – shouting in the face of the Clarets man in his celebration.
But despite all West Ham’s attacking flair and creation of a fistful of chances, it was not all plain sailing.
Inexplicably, Grady Diangana was denied an obvious penalty, while Anderson saw an effort magnificently cleared off the line by the head of Ben Mee.
And then right on half time, Burnley levelled completely against the run of play through Joey Gudmundsson.
It was a timely reminder, but West Ham did not heed the warning. After making it 2-1 through Anderson’s strike, Burnley levelled once again, Chris Wood heading in a corner.
But in the end, West Ham were irresistible. Anderson’s deflected shot restored the lead and substitute Javier Hernandez rounded things off with a neat finish for the fourth.
“We needed to win because we have had a lot of games where we were playing well and creating chances, but not winning,” said the relieved boss.
“In this game we played well and we also won”
It was as simple as that. The West Ham front three were immense, Declan Rice was dominant once again, while the evergreen Pablo Zabaleta was also excellent.
It wasn’t perfect by any means, those two Burnley goals plus another effort which hit the bar illustrated that.
But it seems that against the lesser sides, and Burnley were certainly one of those, then this team is more than capable of scoring goals and picking up victories. It was a treat to see.