WEST HAM UNITED v BURNLEY
FA CUP SPONSORED BY EON FIFTH ROUND
MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2011
Final score - West Ham United 5-1 Burnley
93 mins - The final whistle is blown and West Ham are through to the last-eight. That was a very entertaining night and a welcome victory - West Ham's biggest of the season. Being the Hammers' 13th debutant of the season did not prove unlucky for Hitzlsperger, who marked his first appearance with a trademark goal from 25 yards. Cole netted twice in three minutes, while Reid bagged his first goal in West Ham colours and Sears netted in added time. Don't forget, exclusive reaction and interviews will appear on whufc.com and West Ham TV soon.
92 mins - GOAL! Piquionne can't control, but Sears takes advantage of a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area to race clear and slot an assured finish high past Grant's right hand.
91 mins - Unbelievable. Iwelumo out-jumps Jacobsen and beats Green with a header. It's going in until Reid heads the ball up against the underside of the crossbar and inside of the post before it bounces into the arms of the grateful Green.
90 mins - Noble leads a break but he delays his pass for Sears too long. The youngster is offside but Parker isn't as he chases the ball, but Grant is alert and collects. We're going to have at least three more minutes.
88 mins - So, West Ham will travel to Stoke City over the weekend of March 12-13 for an FA Cup quarter-final and are again 90 minutes from a trip to Wembley. Before then, Liverpool and Stoke both visit the Boleyn Ground for important Barclays Premier League fixtures.
85 mins - Barrera brings the ball forward again before playing it wide right to Piquionne. The No30 tries to pick out the advancing Parker in the middle, but his cross goes wide of the far post.
84 mins - Barrera spins around, beating a couple of Burnley players before being brought down inside the Clarets' half. The break in play sees Eagles replaced by Steven Thompson.
82 mins - Ba didn't score tonight but he did more than enough to secure a standing ovation as he trots to the touchline to be replaced by Frederic Piquionne.
80 mins - Parker does better this time, chipping a delightful pass over the top for Ba. The Senegal striker shoots powerfully first-time but Grant thrusts out his right arm to divert the ball over the top. The corner is cleared.
78 mins - West Ham have two half-chances to score a fifth. First, Ba holds the ball up on the by-line before cutting it back for Barrera, but the Mexican's cross finds nobody. A moment later, Parker breaks the offside trap but over-hits his cross for Sears.
75 mins - Elliott is booked for tugging back Noble.
73 mins - Burnley make a double change. Alexander and Iwelumo are on for Marney and Wallace, while Grant replaces two-goal Cole with Jonathan Spector.
71 mins - GOAL! Rodriguez has his goal in bizarre circumstances. Bridge passes back to Green, whose clearance slams into Mears and drops to Rodriguez, who scores from six yards.
70 mins - Rodriguez has a great chance to pull a goal back for the Clarets as he collects a pass 25 yards out. He has time and space to pick his spot but curls his shot over the top.
67 mins - A foul on Sears earns Rodriguez a booking and also allows Grant to replace Hitzlsperger with Pablo Barrera for the final 25 minutes. That was a thoroughly decent debut from the German, capped by a sublime goal.
61 mins - West Ham are on the verge of scoring a fifth as Ba gets on to Sears' clever pass and forces a fine save from Grant. From the resulting corner. Parker takes a pass from Noble and cuts on to his right foot before working Grant again from 20 yards. The goalkeeper holds on.
58 mins - GOAL! Reid scored an own-goal at West Brom but now he's scored his first West Ham goal at the right end. The Kiwi makes a fine run to the near post to glance Hitzlsperger's in-swinging corner past Grant.
56 mins - Sears cuts inside Fox and shoots left-footed, but it's too close to Grant and the goalkeeper clutches the ball to his chest.
50 mins - GOAL! Noble lofts another pass over the top and Cole controls perfectly this time before lofting a ball over Grant and high into the net. After what happened at West Brom, I'm not going to tempt fate, but...!
48 mins - GOAL! Cole scores but it's pure comedy. Noble lofts a pass over and the striker looks offside. He has ages to take on Grant but mis-controls and has to challenge the goalkeeper. He then half-falls on the ball before stabbing it past Duff and into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
47 mins - A lofted ball over the top bounces towards the corner of the penalty area and Rodriguez gets there first. He's on his own, though, is the England U21 forward, and his low cross rolls harmlessly into the arms of Green.
46 mins - West Ham kick-off the second half as the supporters sing 'Bubbles' in time-honoured fashion.
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Burnley 46 mins - Mears and Wallace combine down the right before the former crosses dangerously. Green comes for the ball and he combines with his defenders to scramble the ball away. Seconds later, the half-time whistle is blown.
45 mins - Wallace is back on the pitch. We're going to have at least one added minute as Parker and Sears work an opening before the latter shoots low across the face of goal and the ball goes behind for a Burnley goal kick.
44 mins - Wallace has the physio on after he makes a strong challenge on Bridge. He rolls around for a bit before receiving some treatment, getting to his feet and gingerly walking off the pitch.
41 mins - Eagles and Mears combine again. Wallace crosses and Reid does well to get in ahead of Rodriguez to clear. Seconds later Reid does well again and Sears crosses for Cole before Ba wins a corner. Noble delivers and Carlisle heads the ball clear.
39 mins - Eagles is at the heart of everything good about Burnley's play. He finds Mears, who passes on to Wallace and the Scot wins a corner. Wallace takes the kick himself and Cole heads powerfully clear from inside his own six-yard box.
37 mins - Hitzlsperger spreads play wide right to Noble who turns and tries to loft a ball over Fox to Sears. The pass is JUST too strong and eludes Sears' toe by a yard and bounces through to Grant.
34 mins - Eagles is a player, you know. Reid gives away a needless throw and Burnley work the ball inside to the No33 who lets fly from 25 yards. Green flies to his left to keep the ball out.
32 mins - Eagles plays a superb one-two but Mears races onto the through ball from an offside position. If he had left it for Eagles, the former Manchester United man would have been in on goal.
28 mins - The goal has given everyone in the ground - apart from the Burnley players, staff and fans - a real lift. The Hammers are knocking the ball around confidently and have twice come close to finding a way through. Ba tries to play in Sears but Fox is quick and gets back to clear.
23 mins - GOAL! West Ham keep the ball for about a minute, probing from one side of the pitch to the other before Hitzlsperger cuts on to his trusty left foot and belts a swerving shot into the top corner. Replays show Grant maybe should have done better with that, but who cares?!
23 mins - I should have explained this earlier but West Ham are lined-up in a 4-3-3 formation. Cole is through the middle, with Ba wide left and Sears wide right.
20 mins - Hitzlsperger breaks and slides a fine ball through to Sears. Unfortunately for the youngster, his touch takes him inside towards the challenge of a defender, who tackles him about 25 yards from goal and the chance is lost.
15 mins - Even closer for Burnley. Reid is off the pitch as Wallace cuts inside and shoots left-footed. Green parries and Rodriguez heads goalwards, but the goalkeeper is there again to save! Amazing action.
14 mins - Oooh that was a let-off. A hopeful punt into the box is allowed to bounce by Reid as the No2 believes Green is coming to claim. Rodriguez shoots and Green does well to tip over.
13 mins - West Ham break through Hitzlsperger and Ba again. The German plays the ball inside to Parker, who makes ten yards before poking a shot a few yards wide.
11 mins - West Ham are painting some pretty pictures with their passing, as too are Burnley, to be fair to the visitors. Hitzlsperger and Ba have been heavily involved, but the home side just can't fashion a clear shooting chance as yet.
7 mins - Eagles fires a speculative shot well over the top before West Ham break again and Ba wins a corner. Noble's delivery is cleared but the resulting throw leads to a crossing chance for Bridge, but it's cleared away.
6 mins - West Ham clear after a period of Burnley pressure as Noble wins a challenge on the right and Cole streaks away. The striker cuts back on to his left foot and crosses. The ball finds it's way to Hitzlsperger, who mis-hits his right-footed effort and Grant gathers.
5 mins - Mears wins a corner off Tomkins but the No5 makes amends by heading Wallace's left-footed delivery powerfully out for a throw.
3 mins - Hitzlsperger has a few neat touches before racing on to a pass and winning a left-wing corner. The set piece is played short but when Hitzlsperger plays a pass back into the penalty area, it is cut out.
2 mins - West Ham counter quickly and Sears tries to pick out Ba with a right-wing cross, but goalkeeper Grant is out quickly to gather.
1 min - Burnley come forward and Eagles clips over a cross that Reid heads to Elliott. The winger chooses to volley first-time from about 25 yards and the ball flies wide of the left-hand post. Well wide.
8.01pm - Parker and Carlisle exchange pleasantries and it's going to be the visitors who kick-off, shooting towards the Bobby Moore Stand.
7.56pm - Clarke Carlisle and Scott Parker lead out the two teams to the strains of 'Bubbles'. West Ham are in their home kit, while Burnley are in white shirts, sky blue shorts and sky blue socks. Demba Ba has obviously had a big impression on one of the mascots as both are wearing bright orange boots!
7.55pm - The giant FA Cup Sponsored by EON tarpaulin that was covering the centre circle is now being folded away neatly by two members of the groundstaff. The two teams are gathering in the tunnel and nearly ready to enter a fairly full Boleyn Ground.
7.50pm - Thomas Hitzlsperger's name gets a loud cheer as it is read out over the PA system, as does that of two-goal hero Demba Ba. Freddie Sears is interviewed on the big screen, discussing the mid-week reserve-team defeat at Chelsea and his eagerness to return to regular first-team action.
7.45pm - Captain Matthew Upson has appeared as a special guest in the Legends Lounge here at the Boleyn Ground, where he was asked by Tony Cottee about newspaper speculation over the extent of his achilles injury. The skipper told the Hammers great: "Honestly, my Mum rang me this morning and said 'Thanks for telling me you're out'. I said 'I've got no idea what you're talking about' and said that she'd read in the papers that I was out for the rest of the season. I said 'That's news to me'. I've had a problem and it's been a bit complicated. I've had several different diagnoses which is always frustrating because, as an athlete, you have to choose what is right or wrong which is not easy. We're in the process of sorting it out and I personally feel like I could be training very soon - possibly the end of the week. That's a lot different to being out for the rest of the season."
West Ham United attempt to take the next step on the road to Wembley when they host Championship promotion-chasers Burnley in the FA Cup Sponsored by EON fifth round this evening.
The big news from the Boleyn Ground is that Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger makes his first-team debut for the Hammers after six months on the sidelines with a thigh injury.The 28-year-old has successfully come through two outings in the reserve team and is named in Avram Grant's starting XI for the first time.
Hitzlsperger will line-up in a four-man midfield alongside Freddie Sears, Mark Noble and captain Scott Parker. Robert Green will start in goal, with Lars Jacobsen, Winston Reid, James Tomkins and Wayne Bridge making up the back four. Carlton Cole will partner Demba Ba up front as Grant makes three changes to the side that drew 3-3 at West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League nine days ago.
In come Reid, Hitzlsperger and Sears, with Manuel da Costa, the cup-tied Gary O'Neil and Luis Boa Morte dropping out of the side.
West Ham have been in goal-happy form of late, netting three times in three of their last four matches. However, the Hammers will need to tighten up at the back against the Clarets, having not kept a clean sheet in eight games.
The Hammers reached the fifth-round stage by virtue of a 2-0 win against Barnsley in the third round and a 3-2 defeat of Nottingham Forest in the fourth round, while Burnley recorded 4-2 and 3-1 home wins against League Two pair Port Vale and Burton Albion respectively.
Tonight's winners will travel to Stoke City in the quarter-finals over the weekend commencing Saturday 12 March.
The last Boleyn Ground meeting between the two sides finished in a thrilling 5-3 Barclays Premier League win by the Hammers on Saturday 28 November 2009. West Ham raced into a 5-0 goal lead just after the hour, with Cole among the scorers, only for their visitors to score three goals in the final 22 minutes.
West Ham United: Green, Jacobsen, Reid, Tomkins, Bridge, Sears, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Noble, Ba, Cole
Subs: Boffin, Spector, Da Costa, Boa Morte, Hines, Piquionne
Burnley: Grant, Mears, Carlisle, Duff, Fox, Elliott, Cork, Marney, Wallace, Eagles, Rodriguez
Subs: Jensen, Easton, Edgar, Bikey, Alexander, Iwelumo, Thompson