Ayew nods West Ham to victory at Burnley


Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Andre Ayew scored a second-half winner and made the other with a backheel as West Ham finished a disappointing Premier League season with a 2-1 victory at Burnley on Sunday.

Sam Vokes scored his 10th goal of the campaign to hand Burnley the lead at Turf Moor on 23 minutes, but Sofiane Feghouli responded with a swift equaliser for the Hammers.

Ghana international Ayew then headed home on 72 minutes to secure victory for West Ham with Slaven Bilic’s men ending the season in 11th place, four spots ahead of Burnley.

Expectations were high at West Ham after last year’s seventh-place finish achieved with a club-record 62 points, but the acrimonious departure of Dimitri Payet and the team’s struggles at the London Stadium undermined their aspirations.

Burnley’s strong home form has served as the foundation of a successful first season back in the top flight, but the hosts were again without England defender Michael Keane through injury.

West Ham threatened inside the first five minutes as Feghouli’s low volley forced a decent save out of Tom Heaton, while Vokes and James Tarkowski went close with headers for Burnley. 

Andre Gray has been a key performer for the Clarets this term and his industrious work down the left-hand side resulted in Burnley’s opener, his low cross finding Vokes, who steered beyond Adrian.

The Wales international became just the second Burnley player to hit double figures in the Premier League, after Danny Ings in 2014-15.

But the lead lasted just four minutes as a quick West Ham free-kick allowed Edmilson Fernandes to run at the home defence before picking out Ayew, whose tidy backheel released Feghouli to slot past Heaton.

Gray guided a deft flick just wide before the break, while Vokes glanced wide from a Matt Lowton delivery early in the second half.

But Ayew ensured West Ham returned to London with all three points, following up the rebound with a close-range header after Heaton superbly tipped a shot from Fernandes on to the crossbar.

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