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Premier League: Michael Antonio's goal sees West Ham beat Burnley; West Brom, Brighton win

FP Sports
·5-min read

London: Michail Antonio scored in his first English Premier League start for West Ham since November in a 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Antonio side-footed home from close range in the ninth minute after a left-wing cross from Pablo Fornals flicked off the top of Burnley defender Ben Mee's head and into the path of the West Ham forward, who was free at the back post.

West Ham have missed the mobility and presence upfront of Antonio, who was sidelined before Christmas with a hamstring injury and has been eased back into action by manager David Moyes given his importance to the team. He came on as a substitute against Southampton and Everton over the festive period, and played in the win over Rochdale in the FA Cup on Monday.

Moyes has few other alternatives for the striker role, especially with Sebastien Haller recently leaving to join Ajax in the Netherlands, so keeping Antonio fit is particularly important if West Ham are to finish in the top half of the standings.

Burnley thought they equalized before halftime when a cross by Chris Wood was turned into his own net by West Ham defender Aaron Cresswell, but the goal was disallowed because Wood was offside in the buildup.

While West Ham are unbeaten in their last four league games, keeping three straight clean sheets in the process, Burnley have lost three of their last four games and dropped to fourth-to-last place, one above the relegation zone.

Scoring is their biggest problem €" Sean Dyche's team has just nine goals in 17 games, tied for the fewest in the league with last-placed Sheffield United. Relegation is a distinct possibility for the northwest club, who became the latest league team to be owned by Americans when ALK Capital's sports investment arm, Velocity Sports Partners, bought an 84% stake in December.

Brighton get rare win

Brighton notched their first English Premier League win in nearly two months thanks to Neal Maupay's first-half goal in a 1-0 victory at Leeds on Saturday.

The French striker applied the finishing touch at the far post following a flowing team move in the 17th minute for his seventh goal of the season.

Brighton halted a 10-game winless run in all competitions. Their last triumph was on 21 November at Aston Villa.

It was a successful return to Elland Road for Brighton's Ben White, who helped Leeds win promotion to the top-flight during a loan spell last season. His former club slipped to a third straight loss for the first time in 12 months.

Marcelo Bielsa's side was bidding to bounce back from last week's embarrassing FA Cup defeat at fourth-tier Crawley and sorely missed suspended midfielder Kalvin Philiips.

Leeds rarely got close to producing the form which has won the team so many admirers since their return to the Premier League.

Rodrigo was inches away from converting Ezgjan Alioski's low cross, however, and Mateusz Klich blazed off target after neat buildup play.

At the other end, referee Kevin Friend was unimpressed when Maupay went to ground in the penalty area with Luke Ayling in hot pursuit, but the Frenchman gave Brighton the lead soon after.

Leandro Trossard's and Alexis MacAllister's neat exchange carved Leeds open in the area and Maupay, unmarked at the back post, turned home the latter's low cross.

 

West Brom complete comeback

West Bromwich Albion won for the first time under new boss Sam Allardyce as Matheus Pereira's penalty double clinched a 3-2 Premier League victory at local rivals Wolves on Saturday.

Allardyce had failed to win any of his first five matches since replacing the sacked Slaven Bilic.

But the former England manager was finally able to celebrate after a pulsating Black Country derby at Molineux.

Pereira put Albion ahead from the spot before goals from Fabio Silva and Willy Boly put Wolves in the driving seat at half-time.

Semi Ajayi equalised after the interval and Pereira's second penalty sealed West Brom's first win in eight league games.

Albion remain second bottom of the table after their second league victory this term, but are now just three points from safety.

Wolves are winless in six league games and have not beaten the Baggies in 10 years.

It was the first time these two local rivals had met since 2012 when West Brom won 5-1 at Molineux and this was an equally memorable success for the visitors.

West Brom were hit by COVID-19 this week, forcing keeper Sam Johnstone and winger Matt Phillips into self-isolation after positive tests.

David Button replaced Johnstone in goal, while new signing Robert Snodgrass made his Albion debut in Phillips' absence.

Wolves had won just one of their eight league games since Mexico striker Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull against Arsenal in November.

They fell behind in the eighth minute with a self-inflicted wound.

Boly caught Callum Robinson with a rash challenge and, after a VAR review confirmed the foul was just inside the area, Pereira stepped up to convert the penalty.

That made it nine consecutive league games in which Wolves had fallen behind.

Silva's leveller came in the 38th minute when Albion failed to clear a Romain Saiss cross and Boly's deft backheel found the teenage forward, who slotted home from close-range.

Sloppy defending was Albion's downfall again as Wolves went in front five minutes later.

Joao Moutinho's corner wasn't cleared by Jake Livermore and Boly slammed his shot past Button from seven yards.

Boly was the first Wolves player to concede a penalty, assist a goal and score a goal in the same Premier League game since Adlene Guedioura in 2011 €" also against West Brom at Molineux.

Albion equalised in the 52nd minute when a long throw was flicked on by Kyle Bartley and Ajayi looped his header over Wolves keeper Rui Patricio into the far corner.

A dramatic game took another turn when Conor Coady conceded a penalty with a trip on Robinson and Pereira stepped up to score from the spot again.

Wolves should have finished with a point, but Silva miscued after Moutinho set up a potential equaliser before the unmarked Patrick Cutrone shot over from close-range.

With inputs from AFP and AP.

Also See: Chinese Super League: Slaven Bilic named Beijing Guoan boss after West Brom sacking

Premier League: Managers hit back over virus celebration fears while Frank Lampard plans training ban

Former England international Karen Carney deletes Twitter account after backlash over Leeds comments

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