Sunday, October 19
Champions League? We're having a laugh…
We’ve just come out of Electra at the Old Vic (a sort of ancient Greek version of EastEnders) when my mobile tells me that West Ham have won at Burnley and gone into fourth place. “Looks like it’s between West Ham and Southampton for the title,” I text to Nigel, who replies, “More relevantly, it’s 13 points towards avoiding relegation.”
Still, when we were last in the top four? Match of the Day reveals an early scare when Burnley’s Boyd hits the bar. The Clarets have more of the play in the first half, although Downing also hits the post after a great run inside from the right wing.
West Ham go two up in the second half with both goals coming from crosses from our new young energetic overlapping full-backs. Cresswell crosses from the left for Sakho to head home his sixth in sixth games. Then Jenkinson crosses from the right for Valencia to bullet home a tremendous header. He’s scored three for Equador during the break and it’s another quality finish for WHU.
Substitute Carlton Cole has a header cleared off the line but disappointingly West Ham then let Burnley back into the game as Adrian makes a complete mess of gathering a corner and the ball spills to a grateful Boyd to scoop home. Ings then sees a good header fly just wide of Adrian’s post. (Ings can only get better?)
But West Ham produce some character to clinch the game. Downing wins a corner and from the set piece Sakho heads across goal for Carlton Cole to head home from a yard out. Nice moment for Carlton who never complains about being a sub but is now our joint second top scorer. And ironically we’ve scored three headers with Andy Carroll out injured…
There’s still time for Burnley to hit the bar, but it's been an entertaining game and we’re fourth (at least until Man United play). A fine 60th birthday present for Big Sam. Yes, Burnley are winless and our defence looked wobbly at times, but it’s another great win. What can we complain about now?