West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said we “need to change” after a dispiriting 3-0 defeat at Burnley left us two places above the Premier League relegation zone. We are now without a win in six league games following a poor performance that included a bizarre own goal by goalkeeper Roberto.
“When you concede so many easy goals it does not help,” said Pellegrini. “I am concerned at the easy goals we are conceding.”
The Clarets were leading 1-0 through Ashley Barnes’ close-range effort when a Chris Wood header was chalked off by the video assistant referee, with the New Zealand striker shown to be just offside. But Wood doubled Burnley’s lead just before half-time with a first-time shot, and the hosts were out of sight when Roberto turned the ball into his own net from an Ashley Westwood corner early in the second half.
“We need to change. We need to work hard and reverse this situation,” Pellegrini added.
Burnley’s opener came from a corner, but our defenders were convinced that they should have had a goal-kick, claiming that the last touch before the ball went over the byeline had come off Barnes. And the hosts were celebrating what appeared to be a goal for Wood when referee Kevin Friend paused the game before overturning the effort.
We had just one touch in the Burnley box before half-time, but seemed to be improving after the break when Roberto, who had often looked uncertain under the high ball, turned Westwood’s corner behind him for the third.
The Spanish keeper did make some excellent saves following his error, but a bad day saw us end the game with 10 men after substitute Manuel Lanzini was carried off with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
More than a bad day at the office for West Ham
Our promising start to the season, which saw us lie in fifth in late September following a fine 2-0 win over Manchester United, is a distant memory after a day to forget.
Much went against us, with the disputed corner that led to the first goal followed by an injury to captain Mark Noble, forced off after 20 minutes. Lanzini’s serious-looking injury continued their misfortune, but we were architects of their own problems before then.
Roberto’s slack throw out caught Balbuena off guard, with the defender then allowing McNeil in to set up Wood for Burnley’s second. It was a truly bizarre display by Roberto, with that throw, uncertainty at crosses and his dreadful own goal contrasted with excellent saves to deny Wood, Bardsley, Jeff Hendrick and Jack Cork to keep the score just within the bounds of respectability.
Burnley keeper Nick Pope did not have a save to make in the first half, with us failing to score in the league for the fourth time this season. The international break appears to offer Pellegrini some respite, but it is followed by difficult looking fixtures against Tottenham, Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal within 16 days.