Burnley Too Wily for Foxes
Saturday 21st August 2010 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets continued their unbeaten run this season after defeating Leicester City 3-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday. With three games of the 2010-11 season now played, the Clarets have seven points out of nine with two home wins and one away draw. They sit nicely in third place behind Cardiff City on goal difference. QPR are the early leaders with a maximum 9 points and three wins out of their three games. Defeat for Leicester sadly means the Foxes currently prop up the Championship table.
It has to be said that the Clarets are still not firing on all cylinders yet and Brian Laws still has some work to do to tighten up certain areas of weakness. It is comforting to know though that despite this we are still managing to win and pick up points. At times yesterday Burnley looked slow and laboured in the build up and there were also the typical dodgy moments at times in the defence. Tyrone Mears in particular looked lacklustre but perhaps he had still not fully recovered from his injury.
Leicester by contrast at times looked fluid playing an attractive passing game. The Foxes problems were in the final third; if the strikers had not been so wayward in their heading and shooting we could have been behind and struggling. We could have been 2-0 down in the first half had they taken their chances.
Brian Laws had selected an eighteen that was widely expected following news that Tyrone Mears had recovered from an injury that had kept him sidelined for the previous Ipswich game at Portman Road last week. David Edgar had stepped-in at right back against the Blues but picked up a red card in that match following two bookable offences so he was not in contention due to his automatic one-match ban. Michael Duff was also still sidelined with a calf injury and of course Chris McCann was out of contention for six months following surgery to fix his cruciate ligament.
There was only therefore one change to the eighteen selected for the Ipswich match with Mears replacing Edgar at right back. In summary we lined up as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Marney, Elliott, Wallace, Iwelumo, Paterson
Subs: Grant, Cort, Cork, McDonald, Eagles, Rodriguez, Thompson
Novice referee, Geoff Eltringham in only his second season and second Championship match got the game underway on a predominantly sunny afternoon.
This was an early warning for the Clarets in the first minute when Brian Jensen had to come to the rescue and deal with a shot from Danny N'Guessan saving with his left hand. The Foxes winger had tricked his way into the box catching the Burnley defence off guard.
Clarets fans thought Burnley had taken the lead though in the fifth minute. Bikey`s header into the net from a Wallace delivery looked a perfectly good goal from where I was sitting in the Bob Lord Stand. It was chalked off however by the referee although it is still not sure why.
It could be that the referee spotted Clarke Carlisle pulling Moreno's shirt in the build-up or possibly Paterson was penalised for making contact and impeding Foxes keeper, Chris Weale. The decision certainly didn`t endear the referee to the home crowd and it has to be said he did seem to make a number of odd decisions that were not in the Clarets best interests as the game unfolded.
Martin Paterson came close with a header before DJ Campbell having a bit of an off-day blasted just over at the other end.
It was a stroke of fortune for the Clarets that broke the deadlock and it was a body blow to Leicester with the goal coming two minutes into added time in the first half. A Wallace strike took a wicked deflection from Joao Moreno. Substitute Foxes keeper Logan had only just come on to replace the injured Weale and virtually his first task was to pick the ball out of the net.
1-0 at half-time then and a perfect time to score! No changes were made by Laws for the start of the second half and it was Leicester who started the more brightly determined to try and get the equaliser. It was Burnley though who were creating the better chances and Iwelumo came close with a header from close range.
Just after the hour mark, the Clarets doubled their lead. Wallace got in a cross that hung perfectly for Iwelumo to head home after 62 minutes and clock up his 100th career goal. Even at 2-0 up Leicester continued to look threatening at times on the break and we could not afford to take our foot off the accelerator.
Some fresh legs though in the form of Chris Eagles and Jack Cork gave us some additional impetus. They came on replacing Wallace and Marney (who had both been yellow carded) on 66 minutes with Cork making his second debut for the Clarets since re-signing from Chelsea on loan earlier this month. The Clarets boosted by Iwelumo`s goal now began to play their best football of the match.
Another goal for the Clarets though would still relieve some of the tensions and it came in the 74th minute when Lamey brought down Eagles in the area. Every time I see Alexander step up to take a penalty I think to myself surely he is going to miss one of these days! Well yesterday, certainly wasn`t the day and Grezza coolly side-footed home from the spot to make it 3-0 Clarets. Just reward for someone making his 900th club career start.
The Clarets then continue to march on and you can`t help thinking there is more in reserve still to come yet! We have the second round Carling Cup tie away to Morecambe on Tuesday night before we return to our League campaign with a juicy away trip to the Liberty Stadium to play Swansea City on Saturday 28th August. So far, so good!!
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Marney (Cork 66), Elliott, Wallace (Eagles 66), Iwelumo (Thompson 76), Paterson
Subs Not Used: Grant, Cort, McDonald, Rodriguez.
Booked: Yellow cards for Marney (30) and Wallace (41)
Goals: Wallace 45 + 2, Iwelumo 62, Alexander (pen) 74
Leicester: Weale (Logan 43), Neilson (Lamey 57), Berner, Hobbs, Moreno, Oakley (Moussa 80), King, Wellens, Howard, N'Guessan, Campbell
Subs Not Used: Morrison, Kennedy, Gallagher, Leon Crncic
Possession: 55% Burnley 45% Leicester (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland)