Hart’s brave Burnley display rightly wins recognition

Joe Hart


‘England’s Number One’ sang the Claret and Blue Army following the final whistle at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Joe Hart had just produced his best performance in a West Ham United jersey, helping his ten-man side secure a deserved point at Burnley.

With the Hammers playing without Andy Carroll, who was sent-off, for more than an hour, Hart stood tall and repelled almost everything the Clarets threw at him.

The goalkeeper was brave, strong, committed, organised and faultless with his handling, while it was his long clearance that provided the assist for Michail Antonio’s first-half goal.

No West Ham player on the pitch made more touches of the ball than Hart’s 55, including the one key pass he completed for Antonio’s 19th-minute opener, which flew over Burnley defender Ben Mee to provide the perfect through ball for his teammate.

Defensively, Hart was almost unstoppable, and had absolutely no chance when it came to keeping out Chris Wood’s frustrating late leveller, which came in the shape of a close-range header from Johan Berg Gudmundsson’s pinpoint right-wing cross.

The 30-year-old made three clearances and a successful tackle – albeit with his arms – to prevent Wood levelling matters moments after Carroll’s 27th-minute dismissal.


Joe Hart


Burnley unleashed 20 shots on goal, but just five of them were on target, and Hart saved four of them.

The first two came in the opening 15 minutes, when he held a low shot from Scott Arfield and a strong header from Wood.

Those stops came after his first of those three brave clearances, which saw Hart came off his line to punch Robbie Brady’s teasing cross clear of danger. The second was a similar punch as Burnley upped the pressure in the moments before half-time, when the England international launched himself into a crowd of bodies to repel Stephen Ward’s delivery.

Hart’s next meaningful action came just after the hour-mark, when he was beaten by substitute Gudmundsson’s long-range effort, but was alert enough to grab the loose ball after it had hit the base of the post and the goalkeeper’s own back!

Moments later, he showed reliable handling to hold onto Steven Defour’s shot from outside the penalty area.

With Burnley flinging cross after cross into the box aimed for the tall pair of Wood and Sam Vokes, Hart and his centre-backs Jose Fonte and Winston Reid were organised and resilient.

With seven minutes remaining, Hart again put his body on the line to punch the ball clear of danger, before being clattered by his opponents.

The ball went behind for a corner, but the No25 was courageous enough to come from his line again and push Brady’s dangerous delivery to safety.

Yes, Hart was finally beaten with five minutes remaining, but his overall performance was one to be immensely proud of.

That much was recognised by the travelling fans, who sang his name, and one of whom was rewarded with the goalkeeper’s bright yellow West Ham United jersey.