Burnley 0 West Ham 0: Hammers lose ground in Champions League spot race after Nick Pope shines in goal for Clarets
BURNLEY keeper Nick Pope gave watching Gareth Southgate something to think about by saving his team a point.
The Clarets number one lost his place in the Three Lions squad in the autumn with Aaron Ramsdale seemingly above him in the pecking order now.
But he made super saves here to keep out headers from Issa Diop and Said Benrahma and remind everyone of his quality.
Deep into stoppage time he also pushed an effort from Jarrod Bowen round the post to deny the Hammers a late winner.
The big talking point of a forgettable first half once again involved the VAR as Craig Dawson chased a ball down as it was heading out of play.
Dwight McNeil swung a leg and connected with the Hammers centre back – who may have thrown himself in looking for contact.
It would have been no surprise to see the spot-kick given but the verdict was to back ref Graham Scott’s initial decision and give no penalty.
Otherwise the best opportunity fell to the visitors with Issa Diop getting his head on Jarrod Bowen’s whipped in free-kick but Nick Pope was equal to it.
Burnley had an opening soon after the break as Matt Lowton’s cross found Jay Rodriguez at the front post but his goalbound effort was blocked by Craig Dawson.
But back at the other end, the home side needed Pope again to claw away a header from Said Benrahma after Declan Rice’s shot was deflected.
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As well as the goalkeeper’s performance, Southgate would no doubt have approved of Rice’s lung busting display.
A trademark surging run from the midfielder required a perfect last ditch tackle from Clarets skipper Ben Mee to deny him.
And with the minutes ticking down, he tried his luck with a long range effort which beat Pope’s outstretched hand but also just cleared the bar.
Rodriguez couldn’t quite connect with a Charlie Taylor cross as the game livened up in the closing stages.
But the goal a disappointing game desperately needed never materialised and a draw does neither side any huge favours.
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