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Eagles Soars and Thommo Scores!

Cardiff City
1 - 1

The Cardiff City Stadium

Tuesday 15th February 2011 @ 7:45pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 21,307


It was a great night for the Clarets against Cardiff City yesterday. Not many clubs come away with anything from the Cardiff City Stadium so to get a point against the second-placed Bluebirds in a 1-1 draw was some achievement and it keeps our promotion hopes alive. After this result we stay in 8th spot now just five points behind 6th placed Leeds. It was not just the result but the performance too that was particularly pleasing with the Clarets dominating possession (57%) and taking the game to the Bluebirds especially in the second half.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged starting eleven for this clash but Charlie Austin having recovered from his bout of illness returned to the eighteen on the bench.

We therefore lined up as follows:

Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney, Wallace, Eagles, Iwelumo, Rodriguez

Subs: Jensen, Bikey, Alexander, Elliott, Bartley, Austin, Thompson

Salisbury referee, Roger East got the game underway and Burnley certainly had to weather the storm in the first few minutes of the match with Cardiff rampant and keen to move within touching distance of League leaders QPR. They were just five points behind them at the start of this game with a game in hand.

Chopra came close in the seventh-minute after getting in a shot from the edge of the penalty area which hit the crossbar. Former Clarets` loan Peter Whittingham then soon after let rip with a left-footed curling shot that had Grant diving at full stretch to keep out the danger.

The Clarets though kept their composure and gradually got more and more into the game with Chris Eagles in particular the driving force leading the counter-attack from about the 20th minute. He shot just wide of the post after 21 minutes and then had two attempts to score on the half-hour mark but was thwarted in his case by Heaton after unleashing first a 30-yard thunderbolt and then an angled drive from inside the area. Eagles then had another attempt blocked by Cardiff defender Mark Hudson with the Clarets now beginning to dominate proceedings. It was perhaps a cruel blow when against the run of play and in first-half added time Cardiff took the lead to go in at half-time 1-0 up.

Bothroyd in the clear and charging down the right flank put the ball over across the six-yard area and there was Chopra to thump home the ball into the top corner. What a cruel blow but Burnley now have a new found resilience under Howe on the road and they were certainly not going to give up without a fight. They nearly even bounced back immediately after the goal with that man, Eagles again in the thick of things. His shot following a Wallace corner was blocked by Bothroyd in the dying seconds of the first half.

Howe made no changes for the start of the second half and Burnley now certainly had the bit between their teeth looking for an equaliser.

Eagles continued as he had left off causing all sorts of problems for the Cardiff back four. He had one effort saved by Heaton before Wallace then got into the action thumping a 25-yard drive wide.

Charlie Austin now fully recovered from his illness last week came on from the bench after 67 minutes to make his third appearance for the Clarets. Iwelumo was the player he replaced.

Cardiff not to be outdone then brought on the high-profile, Craig Bellamy to replace goal-scorer, Chopra but it was the Clarets who continued to dominate

Former Bluebirds striker, Steve Thompson then came on for Jay Rodriguez in the 74th minute to a round of applause from the Cardiff fans. Their appreciation of their former player though turned sour when he scored an equaliser with just seven minutes of the game remaining! First though it was now Cardiff`s turn to soak up the pressure and they came close to doubling their lead after Bothroyd pounced in the area to force Grant into a great save from close range.

Burnley though were not going to be denied at least something from their first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium and their equalising goal came from a Wallace corner to the near-post. Thompson who had timed his run to perfection glanced in a header with the ball sailing past Heaton and into the far corner via a deflection. They don`t come sweeter than that against your former club and Thommo will have been delighted to have scored his third goal of the season for the Clarets. 1-1 then the final score and a great point!

Eddie Howe`s Claret & Blue Army go marching on and the new gaffer has now only lost one game in seven matches since arriving from Bournemouth. That was the final game in hand we had over the other clubs above us. All the teams above us and Burnley have now played 31 games with the exception of Nottingham Forest in 4th who have only played 29. We have an interesting period coming up now with two postponed home games having to be rearranged to a later month because of the FA Cup match against West Ham next Monday night. We should therefore have games in hand again soon but it is probably better to have points in the bag than games in hand for all sorts of psychological reasons. With no home game now until Saturday March 5th we shall have to hope for victory against bottom-club Preston at Deepdale a week on Saturday to keep the momentum going

Match Stats

Cardiff: Heaton, McNaughton, Hudson, Keinan, Quinn (Blake 67), Whittingham, Burke (Koumas 78), Olofinjana, Ramsey, Chopra (Bellamy 67), Bothroyd

Subs Not Used: Marshall, McPhail, Emmanuel-Thomas, Parkin

Goal: Chopra 45+1

Booked: Yellow card for McNaughton

Burnley: Grant, Mears, Duff, Carlisle, Fox, Cork, Marney (Alexander 90), Wallace, Eagles, Iwelumo (Austin 67), Rodriguez (Thompson 74)

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Bikey, Elliott, Bartley

Goal: Thompson 83

Booked: Yellow cards for Fox, Marney

Possession: 43% Cardiff, 57% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)

Ref: Roger East (Salisbury)

Star Player

Without question Chris Eagles is enjoying his best run of form at the moment. He was our star player in the Watford game at Vicarage Road on Saturday and last night he even went one better to become our star player again but putting in an even better performance. He basically tore the Cardiff defence to shreds and was involved virtually in all our dangerous attacking moves. I pray that somehow if we don`t get promoted we can hold onto him in the summer with so many Premier clubs likely to be sniffing around in the close season.

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Date:Wednesday February 16 2011
Time: 8:42AM

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Hard luck Burnley we could have won this.Still a damn good point though!
16/02/2011 08:49:00
Good point shame we couldn't win. However things are looking up. I just wish we didn't have the FA cup this weekend! Were going to drop down the table with two games in hand.
16/02/2011 10:24:00
Good point agree. You may be right about the FA Cup Skutter and us droppign down the league.
16/02/2011 12:17:00
A really good team performance and we should have taken 3 points on the balance of play . Dave Jones warned his players about Burnley's 'premiership qualityí and it was evident last night. I havenít seen the Bluebirds play that deep for a long time, and there wasnít much room in midfield for Eagles or Cork to work their magic, with 2 or 3 players instantly on to them. This was the best team performance for the whole 90 minutes that Iíve seen this season, with Carlisle and Duff solid in the centre, Fox looking the part like Iíve never seen before and Mears worth his weight in gold, not only in defence but on the right wing as well. Marney has an incredible engine that sends him endlessly from one end of the pitch to the other , and apart from one blip which let Chopra score against the run of play the whole team played superbly. Cork could do no wrong and his ball winning and distribution were immaculate. If we continue to play like this, we wonít have to worry about cancelled games and games in hand. Weíre on our way back to the top on this showing.
16/02/2011 12:52:00
Great result and shows that we can definitely put together that late run to promotion, the other teams in the race are certain to drop points for us to take advantage of.
16/02/2011 13:52:00
Pleased you saw the Clarets at their best Welsh.
Grimsby Claret
16/02/2011 22:34:00
17/02/2011 18:11:00
Sounded like a good match to be at. Wish we could have been there. With the team playing the way they are at the moment, I wouldn't be surprised to see us in the play-offs before too long.
17/02/2011 18:31:00
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