Burnley Earn Spurs in Last Hurrah
Sunday 9th May 2010 @4pm Kick-Off
The Clarets finished on a high note in their last game of the season against high-flying Spurs at Turf Moor on Sunday coming from two goals down to win 4-2.
Spurs already assured of a 4th place spot and qualification for the Champions League still had a chance of finishing 3rd if their North London rivals, Arsenal failed to defeat Fulham at home and they could beat the Clarets. It was perhaps a long shot especially with Fulham fielding a weakened team against the Gunners ahead of their Europa Cup final with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night this week. It was still something to fight for though and Spurs seemed to be up for it taking the lead after just three minutes thanks to a Gareth Bale drive. Spurs continued to dominate and it looked like curtains for the Clarets when Luka Modric let rip with a spectacular shot on 32 minutes to make it 2-0. Somehow though we 'pulled ourselves together` (I`ll get my coat!) and with four minutes of the first-half remaining pulled a goal back when Elliott side footed home to make it 2-1 at half-time. The second half performance by the Clarets was simply stunning as we embarked on what could only be described as a demolition job on Harry Redknapp`s men. It was somewhat satisfying to see the likes of Defoe, Crouch, King, Lennon and Pavlyuchenko squirm in front of the Mighty Clarets.
Jack Cork scored his first Burnley goal after heading an equaliser on 54 minutes and then the lively Martin Paterson amazingly put the Clarets ahead after 71 minutes after clinically shooting home following some nice link work with Fletcher. We had not done yet though, striker Steven Thompson has had the knack of coming on from the bench and scoring in recent games and so it would prove again with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Wade Elliott got in a low cross that found Thompson ideally placed to touch the ball home. So it was 4-2 to the Clarets at full-time, a shock result but one that ensured the Clarets had the last hurrah in their swansong game in the top flight.
The scale of the win also ensured we managed to get a little bit of revenge for that earlier 5-0 tonking at White Hart Lane back in September not to mention the little matter of the Carling Cup last season. Arsenal duly won their game 4-0 in the end and maybe the half-time score line of 3-0 had filtered through to the Spurs dressing room denting their enthusiasm. Well maybe but that still wouldn`t explain Burnley`s performance which in the second half was simply stunning
It was nice to leave the Premier League with something to cheer about as well as get our first win at Turf Moor on the board since we beat West Ham back in February. The result was also good news financially for the club. Hull could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool which was enough for the Clarets to leapfrog the Tigers into the third from bottom spot and earn the club about an extra £800,000. It was a close run thing in the end with both clubs finishing on 30 points but with the Clarets having a one goal advantage finishing with a goal difference of minus 40 compared to Hull`s minus 41! Phew!
This was also though a time for reflection with a lot of Clarets fans saying 'if only` as they pondered the disappointment of relegation! If only we could have got two extra wins from somewhere we would have stayed up. West Ham in 17th spot avoided relegation on 35 points, just five measly points more than the Clarets! Thoughts of those defeats against Portsmouth, Wolves and Blackburn at home came flooding back not to mention that last second sickener of a goal away to Wigan but it wasn`t to be and so we have to accept our fate and move on. Let`s bounce back at the first attempt! Up the Clarets!
The Clarets Team Sheet
The Clarets had to make one enforced change with news that Leon Cort had picked up an injury. Andre Bikey therefore made a welcome return to the back four partnering Steven Caldwell. Sadly Chris McCann did not make the eighteen completing a miserable season for him having had to endure a cruciate and medial ligament injury earlier in the season only to pick up another knee injury after returning in January. McCann managed just eight appearances this season which will be hugely disappointing for him. We certainly missed him in the team too! Clarke Carlisle was also still sidelined with the ankle injury that he picked up in training before the Liverpool game at Turf Moor a few weeks back.
Laws also showed faith in the players likely to leave Turf Moor in the summer with Nugent in the starting eleven and Eagles returning to the bench. On loan midfielder, Jack Cork also retained his place after some impressive performances of late.
We lined-up in summary as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Caldwell, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Elliott, Cork, Paterson, Nugent, Fletcher
Subs: Weaver, Duff, Jordan, McDonald, Eagles, Blake, Thompson
The Full Match Report
On a bright sunny spring day, Wirral referee, Mike Dean got the game underway. Hopefully this time the referee would not repeat his penalty that wasn`t decision he made when we lost 1-0 to Rovers at Turf Moor, nor indeed scratch off a perfectly good goal that was like he did against Arsenal at home when Fletcher was ruled offside.
With the match underway it was Spurs who stormed out of the blocks first quite clearly intent on finishing above Arsenal. There was only 3 minutes on the clock when Younes Kaboul put over a long ball to find the pacy Lennon. Getting the better of Danny Fox his square ball found Bale who thumped a left footed shot home with Fox now on the line unable to block it. 1-0 Spurs and it looked like another grim day at the office for the Clarets!
The Clarets first real attempt came in response to the Spurs goal. Ben Alnwick was forced to save from Cork when the on-loan Chelsea midfielder got in a shot on the turn after Nugent headed down a cross from Paterson.
Spurs though continued to press enjoying most of the possession. A corner taken by Bale found Crouch who headed over the bar but it was only a matter of time before Spurs doubled their lead and that came on 32 minutes.
Luca Modric showed his speed and class by charging into the penalty area and bamboozling Caldwell letting rip with a left footed shot that whizzed into the top corner of the net. It was a spectacular goal that even had some of the Clarets fans applauding but at 2-0 down in just over 30 minutes there were fears that another tonking at home was on the cards following our 6-1 drubbing by Man City and a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in our last two games at Turf Moor.
Somehow though the Clarets dug deep and gradually started to contain a rampant Spurs and show some grit and determination of their own. It paid off with three minutes of the half remaining when they got a goal back to make it 2-1 at the break.
A superb pass from Alexander to Fox out wide started the move with both of them then linking well with Cork. Alexander then found Fletcher who got the better of the Spurs defence through a clever flick that allowed Elliott to pounce. Charging into the box our Wembley hero steered the ball past Alnwick to give the Clarets some hope of a comeback.
Graham Alexander started the decisive move with an excellent pass out wide to Fox and when the ball was worked back via Fox and Cork to Alexander, the midfielder, who outshone his opposite numbers in the Tottenham ranks, slipped a pass into the feet of Steven Fletcher.
Brian Laws made no changes for the start of the second half and once again it was Spurs who got off to a better start. The Clarets got caught out on the break with under a minute played when Modric pounced after robbing the ball off Fletcher following a Burnley attack. Modric found Defoe who then charged at a Clarets defence desperately needing numbers to get back. The England international striker then released the ball to his England compatriot Aaron Lennon who let rip with a shot which looked certain to restore Spurs two goal advantage. Thankfully though the woodwork came to our rescue and the ball rattled off the far post.
That near miss seemed to stir the Clarets into action and they gradually began to take control of the game following a number of attacking moves.
Ledley King got in a vital tackle to block a surging run through the middle by Nugent but the ball fell nicely to Paterson who thumped a low shot on target which Alnwick had to save with his feet.
Fletcher then had two attempts which nearly led to an equaliser. Alnwick saved the first one but could only watch as the Scottish international`s second attempt, a volley flew just over the bar following a good cross by the industrious Paterson on the wing.
Paterson was on fire in this game and with 54 minutes on the clock he set up the equaliser for the Clarets after his superb cross found Cork who firmly headed home giving Alnwick no chance. Cork was clearly delighted to have scored his first goal for the Clarets and of course the Clarets fans were ecstatic but little did we know what further joy was to come.
The equaliser seemed to galvanise the Clarets and we started to play the sort of football we were used to in the first part of the season when we were still extolling the virtues of Fortress Turf Moor. The free-flowing football and possession by the Clarets was a joy to watch and at this stage you would not have believed Spurs were playing in the Champions League next season. We were going all out to take the lead. Nugent passed the ball out to Paterson and once more he put over a delightful, testing cross this time to the far post. Fletcher was about to pounce but a last ditch effort by King cleared the danger.
On 71 minutes, the Clarets amazingly did get the lead they so richly deserved
Fletcher was the playmaker this time cleverly skipping past the Spurs defence to get in a pass to the far post with Paterson ideally placed to clinically thump the ball home. It was a well-deserved goal considering the effort that Pato had put in all afternoon.
Spurs were clearly miffed at losing their two goal advantage and it briefly stirred them into action. King got in a header from a Lennon corner but the ball once more hit the woodwork this time coming off the bar.
Blake and Thompson were now on having replaced Nugent and Fletcher and the fresh legs gave new impetus to the Clarets. With three minutes to go Elliott let rip with a shot that Thompson cleverly got a touch to beating the keeper to put the Clarets 4-2 up.
So a superb victory that ended the season on a high but if we had played like that more often at home we would have secured those extra six points we needed to avoid the drop. Oh well, we will be back!
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Caldwell, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Elliott, Cork, Paterson (Eagles 90), Nugent (Blake 79), Fletcher (Thompson 86)
Subs not used: Weaver, Duff, Jordan, McDonald
Goals: Elliott (42 mins), Cork (54 mins), Paterson (71 mins), Thompson (88 mins)
Tottenham Hotspur: Alnwick, Bale, Kaboul, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone (Palacios 64), Lennon, Modric, Crouch (Gudjonssen 85), Defoe (Pavlyuchenko 62),
Subs not used: Bentley, Jenas, Bassong, Walker.
Goals: Bale (3 mins), Modric (32 mins)
Possession: 50% Burnley, 50% Spurs (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
One player stood out though and that was Martin Paterson. His eagerness and determination never fails to impress even though some would argue he is wasted out on the wing. Against Spurs he was at the top of his game with his energy levels knowing no bounds. The icing on the cake came when he scored our third goal with clinical finishing to put us ahead after being 2-0 down
Pato picked up the Man of the Match award and also takes our Star Player award