West Ham striker Michail Antonio has said he will not give up on his dream of winning the Champions League. After scoring two goals in a win over Burnley.
The Hammers moved up to fifth on the table, just three points behind Chelsea in the fourth, with four games left in the season.
Antonio, who returned four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, said: “It’s unbelievable. Everyone wants to play in the Champions League.
“I have been here for a few years, and there have always been so many seasons we have struggled to stay in the league, and now we have a chance for four top players.
“We will not give up. And we will continue to fight. We will continue to push.”
The manager of the team, West Ham David Moyes, said: “We surely want to bring it down on the last day and try to get in secret. We will have to win all four games.
“Europe could be an outstanding success. I think I would be disappointed if we didn’t get there now.”
West Ham created plenty of chances to extend their lead after Antonio’s double. But Burnley could have made it 2-2 when Jay Rodriguez fired a shot from a distance away.
Burnley is nine points adrift of the 16th-place finish.
Benrahma impresses as Antonio attacks Burnley.
The game is well-balanced in the early stages. But Wood’s free-kick seems to be fueling West Ham’s ingenuity.
Their back-to-back response was very positive. Antonio’s equalizer came 154 seconds later, doing well with a nasty cross from Coufal.
The defender has continued to put on dangerous crosses. At the same time, Benrahma has caused Matt Lowton‘s nightmares on the far side.
Benrahma’s second beautiful cross of Antonio’s close to the individual show. He could have scored himself but voluntarily chose to play for Jesse Lingard in the first half. And put lots of weight on the ball.
Manuel Lanzini shone in the middle of the pitch when Declan Rice and Mark Noble were absent. And then Antonio finally scored vital goals.
The striker should also have had a hat-trick in the second half. He hit Pablo Fornals’s goal from his paralyzed leg. When it accidentally fell on him just behind the line.
The victory ensures West Ham keeps pressure on fourth-placed Chelsea as they battle for a place in the Champions League qualifiers.
Burnley’s game was a fight.
Burnley’s game was a fight. But Burnley played the serious game in the first half.
Burnley has now never won eight home league games. And the longest run in their senior flight history.
But while occupying two locations above the drop zone. They have shown the type of character that will undoubtedly last the fifth season in action.
Wood took his goal well, shot it into the lower-left corner after winning a penalty when he stepped behind West Ham’s Issa Diop.
He blew it over his head and touched the ball in front of Thomas Soucek, who knocked him down.
Diop was a weak link in West Ham’s defense, and Wood had begged him several occasions. Before Matej, Vydra almost collapsed in the equalizer when Craig Dawson cleared the line.
Burnley kept himself in the game. Ben Mee blocked strikes from the Forces with goalkeeper Nick Pope denying Lingard in the second half.
Rodriguez’s loss of a close-range was an opportunity they needed to change. But Burnley headed too late to win a few corners, which Pope came up with.
Manager Sean Dyche threw striker Ashley Barnes, returning from injury, five minutes ago. But the hosts could not create a clear chance.
In the end, West Ham’s attacking goal in the first half was devastating when Burnley failed to cope with Antonio’s presence within six yards.
‘We’re not too far from Europe’ – they say
The manager of the team, Burnley Sean Dyche, said: “They are a great outfit. They are chasing Champions League football, and they look like that. They are fast and play well in change.
“We never went too far. Two goals are soft, especially the second but a lot to enjoy. The first is a split. The second is not to read the cross. I don’t want to be overly critical.”
On the other hand, the West Ham manager David Moyes said: “The team played very well. We won 2-1, but I could see that it was much more than that. We rode our luck in the end, but we should not have been seen.
“I would love to be in Europe. It would be an amazing success. We are not far from the Champions League. We must continue to believe.”
Michail Antonio of West Ham for the muted celebrations: “I have a few goals that the VAR has approved. I thought, ‘I don’t want to be there when the dance is not allowed.’