Burnley Slip in Fox Poo!
Tuesday 1st November 2011 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets went down 3-1 at home to manager-less, Leicester City on Tuesday night in a hugely, disappointing and frustrating game. Things didn`t look too bad in the first half despite going behind after just 20 minutes when Konchesky latched onto a poor defensive header to put the Foxes 1-0 up. To be honest they had deserved the lead but the Clarets reacted magnificently taking just three minutes to equalise. A defensive blunder from Foxes keeper, Kasper Schmeichel trying to punch clear allowed Wallace to head home the loose ball into an empty net.
Burnley to be honest looked the stronger side by the time the half-time whistle went but it all turned sour in the second half when the team suddenly looked jaded and out-of-their-depth. A resurgent Leicester began to impress and to justify at long last the heavy investment ploughed into the club on players during the summer. It was perhaps typical that former loan striker, David Nugent would score against us, he always does and Tuesday night was no exception. A Gallagher cross to the back post was inch-perfect finding Nugent ideally placed to head home and put Leicester 2-1 up in the 54th minute.
The Foxes then made the mountain even harder to climb for the Clarets after being awarded a dubious penalty just after the hour mark when Amougou was alleged to have obstructed Richie Wellens. It was somewhat harsh considering Amougou just seemed to stand his ground whilst Wellens ran into him having already released the ball. Clarets fans had a low opinion already about the referee after some odd decisions. This only fuelled the criticism but there was nothing we could about it and Gallagher made no mistake from the spot.
The Clarets never really looked like recovering and although they had their moments, the second-half petered out with a bit of a whimper. The final whistle brought to an end a miserable night for Clarets fans and it was perhaps inevitable that the game would end in defeat after crowing we had gone 28 night matches at home without defeat stretching back to 2007!
Once again we just can`t seem to find the consistency we need, one step forward, two steps back appears to be our fate this season on the pitch and perhaps that is reflected in our league position. We are 17th in the Championship table with 18 points from 14 games remaining six points behind 6th placed club, Hull City who we play later this month at the KC Stadium. More worryingly though we are only six points also away from the drop zone although we do have a game in hand over all the clubs below us.
As expected, Ben Mee kept his place at left-back with Brian Easton still suffering from the hip injury that he picked up in the previous game at home to Blackpool. That was the only change to the starting eleven and that also meant there was one place left on the bench to fill. It was great therefore to see Michael Duff return after being named in the sixteen. Duff had been sidelined with a knee injury since the Barnet game in the Carling Cup back in August.
With no further changes to the sixteen we lined up as follows:
Grant, Trippier, Amougou, Edgar, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Bartley, Stanislas, Rodriguez, Austin
Subs: Stewart, Duff, Marney, Treacy, Hines
Full Match Report
Sunderland referee, Geoff Eltringham got the game underway and there was an early indication of things to come when the Foxes almost took an early lead. David Edgar misjudged the situation allowing David Nugent to thump a ball towards the top corner of the net only for Grant at full stretch to turn the ball around the post.
Grant came to our rescue again from the resulting corner. The ball ricocheted off Chris McCann and was heading into the back of the net before Grant reacted quickly to block the danger.
The Clarets first chance came when Sol Bamba slipped in defence allowing Rodriguez to get in a shot. It was a pretty weak effort though and former Leeds keeper, Kasper Schmeichel had no problem mopping up the attempt.
Leicester City had not won away from home since the opening game of the season but the dual attacking threat of Steve Howard and David Nugent was beginning to look likely to change that statistic. Howard got in a flick to find Nugent but once again our former loan striker could only despair with his shot this time sailing over the top of the bar.
On 20 minutes though the Foxes took a deserved lead with our defence once again called into question. A clearance from Edgar was a little too short for Stanislas and Foxes defender, Konchesky pounced thumping home a curler into the top corner of the net from about 25 yards out.
Burnley could not have any complaints but they quickly reacted and were soon back on level terms equalising just three minutes later. It was a strange goal really and a keeper error at that! Schmeichel attempted to punch away the ball from a Trippier throw in. It was a weak effort by the keeper and Wallace was literally on the ball to head home into an empty net and make it 1-1. The Clarets now looked to be the stronger of the two teams and the most likely to get their noses in front. It nearly came too when Bartley stormed down the middle to unleash a shot which Schmeichel did well to save.
Rodriguez then released Austin to shoot on target. The ball took a deflection after hitting Bamba and flew agonisingly just wide of the post. It was certainly the Clarets who finished the stronger of the two sides in the first half and it was no surprise when Howe decided not to make any changes for the start of the second half.
The Clarets once again looked up for taking the lead when after just three minutes from the restart, Amougou met a Wallace corner to head on target only for Wellens to clear the danger on the line.
Leicester though were not going to settle for a point and defend deep. Instead they started pressing forward with the Clarets now looking weary and under pressure. After just 54 minutes they had retaken the lead. It was Gallagher on a charge from the half-way line who put over a telling cross to find Nugent at the far post. He headed the ball back across Grant and into the empty net. Guess it was inevitable, Nugent would score against us and so it proved.
Amougou shortly after once again came close to scoring after shooting on the turn but it wasn`t to be and the Clarets chances of taking anything from the game virtually evaporated just on the hour mark when Leicester were awarded a penalty to score from the spot and make it 3-1. The penalty decision was controversial to say the least. Wellens after releasing the ball seemed to run into Amougou but the referee adjudged it to be a foul and awarded a spot-kick. It was very harsh on Amougou but it made no odds! Gallagher slotted home to make it virtually game over for the Clarets.
Both Austin and Rodriguez came close to reducing the arrears but there was only ever one ending to this game, namely three points for Leicester City.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Amougou, Mee, Wallace (Hines 78), McCann, Bartley (Duff 90), Stanislas (Treacy 68), Rodriguez, Austin
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Marney
Goal: Wallace 23
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Mills, Bamba (St. Ledger 83), King, Wellens, Danns (Johnson 81), Gallagher (Schlupp 88), Howard, Nugent
Subs Not Used: Dyer, Beckford
Goals: Konchesky 20, Nugent 54, Gallagher (pen) 62
Possession: Burnley 54%, Leicester 46% (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Geoff Eltringham (Sunderland)