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Burnley 0 - Bristol City 0

Turf Moor

Saturday 25th September 2010 @3pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 14,540

0-0 And Grezza Even Missed a Penalty...


The Clarets came away with a very disappointing draw in a goalless affair against Bristol City at Turf Moor on Saturday. A point was good enough to keep us in eighth spot though and we now have 12 points from 8 games but we really should have won this match against a struggling side and this result was definitely two points lost rather than a point gained.

In the first half we looked very poor and seemed to be suffering from the after effects of the Bolton game. It was a dull first 45 minutes against a side that clearly had a gameplan to frustrate the Clarets with the Robins defending in numbers for most of the match. The scene was set within the first 30 seconds when Rodriguez found himself already being yellow carded for what looked like a ridiculous booking so early in the game and most Clarets fans sensed this was not going to be our day when Graham Alexander even missed a penalty midway through the first half! Yes, that`s right MISSED a penalty, his first in a Claret & Blue shirt!

We can look for excuses if we like. Robins` keeper, David James was in top form and the word 'Calamity` never crossed his lips. There was the inevitable bit of woodwork getting in the way on more than one occasion and we had 56 % of the possession. Remarkably we also had 28 attempts on goal during this match, 15 of them on target but still we could not get that breakthrough goal despite a much better second half performance. Chris Eagles once more was having a great game and was a continual threat to the Robins defence whilst looking the most likely to break the deadlock. In the end though, we had to settle for a point.

It was so disappointing not to keep more in touch with the leaders with QPR winning yet again and now moving 10 points clear of the Clarets in top spot. Cardiff too in second place have now moved four points ahead of Burnley. Clarets fans will be hoping we can get back on track with another home game coming up against Hull City on Tuesday night (28th Sept) but we really have to learn how to kill games off and be more ruthless and consistent if we are to get automatic promotion.

After a stunning performance against Premier League, Bolton in midweek, hopes were high that we could repeat that excellent team effort and take the Robins to the cleaners. It was not to be though despite Brian Laws showing faith in virtually the same starting eleven that lined up against Owen Coyle`s mob. Brian Jensen was the only change, he returned to the side as expected replacing Lee Grant who returned to the bench. Ross Wallace also returned being given a place on the bench. He was rested against Bolton despite having recovered from a hamstring injury picked up in the previous game away to Palace. The eighteen named by Laws in summary therefore was as follows:

Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Alexander, Cork, Elliott, Eagles, Rodriguez, Iwelumo

Subs: Grant, Duff, Cort, Marney, Wallace, Paterson, Thompson

It was a sunny but bitterly cold day for the start of this game as Stockport referee, Scott Mathieson got the match underway in front of a disappointing 14,540 set of fans. Bristol City`s contingent had probably come in a mini-bus! The atmosphere at the game was pretty dire after the intensity of the Bolton match but the Clarets soon had chance to shout in anger and liven things up a bit following the ridiculous booking of Jay Rodriguez for a foul in the first 30 seconds of the game. It may have been a foul but it seemed so inappropriate to book a player so early. It seemed to set the scene though for a very frustrating afternoon for Clarets fans.

Burnley had a couple of early chances when Rodriguez got in a header that forced a save from David James and Jack Cork thumped a well-taken volley over the bar but we looked too hesitant on occasions especially in defence. Even Andre Bikey was having a bit of an off day despite some stunning back-four performances recently.

Bristol City though were pretty much devoid of attacking ideas and when they did get their chances on the break seemed to mishit their attempts on goal with Jensen having little to do all afternoon. It was a case of welly it up to Stead and hope for the best!

In the 26th minute all Clarets fans thought it was a foregone conclusion we would be 1-0 up after being awarded a penalty. Tyrone Mears had latched on to Chris Eagles` sublime chip but as he went through on goal he was hauled down in the area by Danny Haynes.

The referee had no hesitation pointing immediately to the spot so up stepped Graham Alexander to take his 19th penalty since joining the Clarets having put away all the previous eighteen. Clarets fans may well remember the two penalties he scored against Bristol City at Turf Moor in the last match of the 2008-9 seasons. Those goals contributed to our 4-0 win, a victory that ensured we would be in the play-offs with even greater glory to come. Could Grezza now make it a third against the Robins? Believe or not, no! He put his shot agonisingly wide and all Clarets fans will now be hoping he doesn`t suffer any psychological angst the next time he lines up to take a penalty.

There was a sort of stunned silence when he missed with Clarets fans trying to get over the shock but I guess all good things come to an end sometime so let`s hope this is just a one-off blip!

Alexander nearly made amends ten minutes later direct from a free-kick. James for once made a mistake spilling the ball. Cork pounced on the loose ball and looked certain to score with a short-range effort before James somehow recovered getting a left-hand to save Cork`s attempt and ensure the half-time score remained goalless.

It was perhaps surprising, Brian Laws made no changes for the start of the second half. It was clear we needed something different to break the Robins down but if there was a Plan B we would have to wait for it!

The Clarets though to their credit seemed to buck up in the second half putting together a number of attacks. Carlisle came close with an early attempted header from a Fox corner but he failed to make contact. Despite our possession and pressure though Bristol City whilst holding the Clarets advance clearly grew more confident in attack and had some chances of their own on the break. A cross by Adomah set up a shooting chance for Marvin Elliott but the ball hit his team mate, Danny Rose who was in an offside position. McAllister then floated over a free-kick which Fontaine could only head wide. Bristol City though were then let off the hook from a quickly taken free kick by Alexander with Rodriguez trying his best to get on the end of it. The ball though fell to Skuse who must have been relieved to see his poked attempted clearance hit his own bar!

It was the Clarets now though who would turn up the heat particularly from Chris Eagles engine room!

Eagles first set up Iwelumo who forced a save from James at full stretch. He then got in a curler of a shot that went agonisingly wide. The Clarets were now going for broke in an all out attack to break the deadlock. Fresh legs in the form of first Thompson and then Wallace were brought on to bolster our attacking options but we just could not get that elusive goal.

Ten minutes from time and Fox let rip with a thunderous shot from distance but James again was equal to it flying through the air to pull off a stunning save.

With the clock ticking down there was always the fear that the Robins would get the winner. It would have been a travesty of justice had they done so but they had a chance to break the deadlock when Stead brought out a save from Jensen with his shot looking to be heading for the bottom corner of the net.

In the last minute of the game, Burnley nearly secured all three points before the woodwork once more came to the opposition`s rescue. How many times has the woodwork got in the way these last few games? This time a superb cross from Wallace found the head of Elliott but the ball stubbornly refused to go in after hitting the bar. Summed up our day really, one of many missed chances after a poor start. We lose our 100% home record for the season too but let`s get back on track against Hull City on Tuesday night and put this disappointment behind us.

Match Stats

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Alexander (Marney 62), Cork, Elliott, Rodriguez (Wallace 79), Eagles, Iwelumo (Thompson 74)

Subs Not Used: Grant, Duff, Cort, Paterson

Booked: Rodriguez, Bikey, Thompson

Bristol City:James,McAllister,Fontaine, Carey,Ribeiro,Elliott,Skuse, Adomah,Rose,Haynes(Campbell-Ryce 55),Stead

Subs Not Used: Gerken, Stewart, Johnson, Sproul, Clarkson, Pitman

Booked: McAllister, Campbell-Ryce

Possession: 56% Burnley with 15 shots on target/ 13 off target, 44% Bristol City with 4 shots on target/5 off target(Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Stockport)

Star Player

Chris Eagles again for me and he also picked up the Fans Texted Man of the Match award so who am I to argue? A lot of mediocre performances though in this match especially in the first half although Eagles was certainly not one of them.




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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 26 2010

Time: 5:25PM

Your Comments

Such a disappointing, frustrating game! This is typically Burnley, flying high, playing well, great chance to keep up the pressure for an automatic place, two home games on the trot in which to do it against lowly,struggling opposition and what do we do? Mess up. We can find excuses yes, but that's what we did, mess up!
turfmanphil
Got to agree TMP, no doubt we have the quality but we have to put these games to bed otherwise we are definitely going to lose out. I am now worried about Hull, a good away win will have got their tails up.
cornwallclaret
Yes two points lost BL has got to get away from this mind set of 4-5-1 when we are on top of a poor side, second half tactics should have been changed to 4-4-2. Making subs like for like makes no difference? taking Iwelumo off i expected Jrod up front with Pato alongside him but he carried on Tommo the loan striker. I'm also worried about the Hull game, no doubt Hull had there man at the game knowing who are the danger men and how to defend the same formation BL uses home and away.
Fedupclaret
Hi Guys first time writing on this site would just like to ask if anyone has an opinion on why BL's insists on playing Wade Elliott as a central midfielder when he has no real physical presence when we have the likes of kevmac warming the bench? Agree with fedup we need to go 442 at home and maybe should have brought wallace on a bit earlier when big chris was still on the pitch
andy1882
I would hazard a guess that Kev McD has lost his way a bit and needs time to refocus. The God that is/was Owen Coyle put Wade into the central midfield I am not sure BL knows he was our player of the season on the wing a couple of seasons ago! I also thought Coyle had flipped his lid playing Wade in that position.....when Sicknote Chris is fit we will have in midfield Wide Boy Chris, Sicknote Chris, Jack Chelski Cork, Wallace/Wade/Grezza/Marney/Pato/JayRod/Big Chris/Thomo to fill the other 3 places......happy days....which 5 do you then leave out?
vinrogue
Welcome Andy to VB! I am a 4-4-2 advocate and also think Wado better on the wing,it's just accommodating them all and getting the midfield right! Who would be Laws? I think we are top heavy in midfield now..and we got McCann waiting in wings!
turfmanphil
I've been thinking about the 4-4-2 V 4-5-1 situation as well. BL came in at a bad time and faced some diabolical pressures. Is he afraid of another Man City type debacle. As long as we are winning a few and not suffering big defeats he is relatvely safe from the fans compared to the situation in March. With Eagles loose on the pitch it would certainly make sense to maximise the number of "targets" for him up front and there is no shortage in that department. Iwelumo and Thommo maybe.
AndyHo
4-4-2 is the way to go. I'd love to see Patto play off Iwelumo or even Thommo, and there's definitely a case of seeing how Rodriguez would play in the same role, either with Big Chris or Thommo. At the moment I think it'd be J Rod, but when Patto's on song it's a treat to watch. This woodwork problem is getting ridiculous, how many times do we need to hit it before one goes in ? Let's hope lady luck is with us on Tuesday, and we start the scoring spree that surely must come.
WelshClaret
Sounds a frustrating game! I'm back of my holiday and I'm a bit dissapointed with the results, seems were playing well but just not scoring. Need to start winning!
skutter169
Posted this elsewhere in the forum but it seems relevant here too-Trouble is you can at look at this from two angles. We might still be in touch with the top six spots but we are also have only 2 points more than 18th placed Sheffield United. It is a tight division, we know that, anybody can beat anybody else (apart from maybe QPR at the moment). The point is you simply cant drop points at home to lowly opposition if you are going to be up there come May in terms of automatic promotion. I hate to say it we are told 'we have gone down stronger' that means to me we should be challenging along the lines that QPR are doing. I fear too that if we are not careful we will be returning to midtable mediocrity. The Premier League should have been our saviour, we should still at least become the next version of 'Boing,Boing' Have we got the quality we need in all departments to do a QPR? The answer to that so far would have to be no. After a season in the Prem the answer should be yes. So far it only seems to be yes in one game in three, the consistency is not there!
turfmanphil
Think you're right AndyH i don't think its the Man City game its more of not losing at home why BL is playing the 4-5-1. The pressure will always be there because being one of the favs to get promotion and the comments of Bazzer K on tv during the preston game saying we expect at least the playoffs this season.
Fedupclaret
I am not quite sure what to think. Have heard various comments saying we werent very good, but we had 28 attempts on goal, surely we must have been pretty good to do that??? As for Grezza, it did have to end sometime but ( I know this is unreasonable) I feel a bit annoyed. It was great having ' the man who doesnt miss' as our penalty taker! Still, I have every confidence that his next penalty will probably go through the net! Out of interest, if Grezza wasnt in the team, who would have taken it? Jay Rod?
Claretdale
We played some good football dale and if grezza had scored we would have got a few more? whether grezza will be in the team tomorrow night i think he will be on the bench. Who ever takes the penalty its going to be a hard act to follow 1 miss in three years thats some goin.
Fedupclaret
Totally agree Fedup - I dont blame Grezza at all for the lack of victory on Saturday and his record is absolutely incredible ( Makes it practically impossible to criticise his technique which I am sure would not be encouraged to any youngsters. If Grezza is scoring at better than an average of 9 out of 10, I wonder what the football league average would be. 7.5?8?
Claretdale
 

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