Burnley Take their Winn-Ings in Style!
Tuesday 17th September 2013 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets came back from the disappointment of the draw against Rovers at Turf Moor last Saturday in style last night. They easily defeated Birmingham 3-0 at Turf Moor and moved up one place to fourth in the table. Burnley now have 14 points from 7 games just two points behind Leicester and second placed QPR. This was such a convincing performance; Birmingham hardly got a look in with Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal a virtual spectator for the whole of the ninety minutes. It was a bad night for former Clarets winger, Wade Elliott after he was made captain for the night on his return to Turf Moor and he could do little to motivate his team into action with the Clarets in such sparkling form. The Blues have had the better of Burnley in recent times having won four of the last six games at Turf Moor but it wasn`t to be this time and the win not to mention clean sheet was particularly pleasing since we had not beaten Birmingham at this level amazingly since 1947 when Clem Atlee was PM and King George VI was on the throne! A goal after just 3 minutes by Danny Ings set Burnley on their way and for a time they looked set to get a pan full but the game in the first half deteriorated into a pretty sloppy affair. Lee Clark`s men though never really looked like getting the equaliser and they created few chances. Just 18 seconds into second-half Burnley doubled their lead and it was pleasing to see Scott Arfield get on the score sheet after his faux pas last Saturday. The goal fully justified Sean Dyche`s faith in the winger and it made Birmingham`s task to get something from the game even less likely with the Clarets now in such dominant form. One man though really had the bit between his teeth though and that man was Ings. The former Bournemouth striker was wreaking havoc. His second goal in the 54th minute came as no surprise and his brace for the night notched up his season total to seven goals and it could so easily have been more. Burnley were now in complete control but they had to settle in the end for the 3-0 score line despite Ings best efforts to get his hat-trick. You can`t take anything away from Sean Dyche and his men. Despite the obvious problems in relation to the small squad which every commentator now seems to mention, Burnley have made their best start for thirteen seasons so let`s hope the form can continue and we have a strategy in place for when the inevitable injuries and suspensions kick-in and begin to take effect.
The big debate ahead of the game revolved around the wingers and who would be selected with Stanislas, Treacy, Arfield and Kightly all competing for the two places on the flanks. Stanislas scored a stunning goal after coming on from the bench to replace Kightly in the derby against Rovers on Saturday and some thought it was good enough to earn him a starting eleven place. Meanwhile his opposite number, Scott Arfield made a terrible blunder after an attempted back pass fell short allowing Rhodes to score following a lucky bounce of Duff`s shin. Could Arfield be dropped and pay the ultimate price? In the end Sean Dyche decided to show faith in the same starting eleven and indeed he made no changes at all to the eighteen so we lined up once again as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Kightly, Jones, Marney, Arfield, Vokes, Ings
Subs: Cisak, Long, Lafferty, Edgar, Stock, Stanislas, Treacy
Full Match Report
East Yorkshire referee, Mark Brown got the game underway and the Clarets came storming out of the blocks taking the lead after just three minutes thanks to some sterling work from Sam Vokes. Vokes showed excellent control before his half volley with slide-rule accuracy put Ings in the clear. Ings in an almost arrogant finish made no mistake coolly chipping the ball over Brum`s advancing keeper Darren Randolph. Burnley nearly doubled their lead just two minutes later and this time perhaps Ings should have done better after some good approach work by David Jones and Michael Kightly. It was Jones who played the ball out wide to Kightly who put over the perfect cross to find Ings. Ings this time attempted a side-footed shot from eight yards out only to see his effort somehow go wide of target with the keeper motionless on his spot. The visitors had not created any chances up to now but in the 17th minute in their first attack of the game, winger Chris Burke came close to an equaliser. He managed to weave his way into the danger area before unleashing a shot-cum-cross from the right. Lee Novak rushing in though was just a few inches away from making contact and the danger passed. Burnley though were soon putting the Blues back under pressure with Ings once again coming close to doubling the lead in the 25th minute. Duff with a diagonal pass found Kightly on the left and the on-loan Stoke winger put over yet another testing cross. Both Burnley strikers were attempting to get on the end of it but it was Ings who got their first to put his header just over the bar. Vokes then nearly scored himself after latching onto an Ings pass but his drilled shot flew wide of target. The remainder of the half became a little sloppy as far as the Clarets were concerned but although Brum had their moments during this spell, they rarely looked like getting an equaliser. Both sides too were struggling to keep their footing on the slippery surface but Sean Dyche would certainly be the happier of the two managers as the half came to a close
Dyche was forced into making a substitution for the start of the second half with left back Daniel Lafferty coming on to replace the injured Ben Mee. The Clarets though came out with all guns blazing and just 18 seconds from the restart Burnley had doubled their lead to further dent Birmingham`s waning confidence. Another accurate cross from Kightly on the right was met by a Scott Arfield header and the ball flew across Randolph and over the line just inside the post to make it 2-0 Burnley. Birmingham now had no answer and virtually capitulated. Brum were playing 4-3-3 although Novak was alone up front supported by the wingmen and their game plan was to break in numbers to try and target the lone striker. They were failing miserably! The Clarets were in rampant form and Marney nearly made it 3-0 before his shot in the area was blocked. Randolph was now a busy keeper and had to block an attempt by Jones. Arfield on the by-line then cleverly set himself up before over-running the ball before he could let rip. It was soon 3-0 though and game over for a very poor Birmingham side. In the 54th minute an Arfield header released Ings and in cool, confident style the in-form striker charged into the area before clinically scoring his seventh goal of the season. The Clarets continued the onslaught and Vokes nearly made it 4-0 after latching onto a Trippier cross only to head just wide. Birmingham were shell-shocked and looked woeful in defence with Ings running rings round the back four desperate for his hat-trick. He nearly got it too after charging into the area only to fire over the angle. It was now a relentless attack on the Birmingham goal and another Ings attempt went begging when he glanced another Trippier cross just wide of target. Ings though would have to wait another day for his first Burnley hat-trick when he was replaced by Treacy in the 77th minute. Job done, Dyche was clearly saving him for the next battle against Leeds at Elland Road this Saturday. The final whistle brought an end to a very convincing win by the Clarets albeit against a very poor, struggling side and their victory means we have now only lost one game at home in twelve matches in all competitions.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee (Lafferty-46), Kightly (Stanislas-67), Jones, Marney, Arfield, Vokes, Ings (Treacy-77)
Subs Not Used: Cisak, Long, Edgar, Stock
Goals: Ings (3, 54) Arfield (46)
Birmingham City: Randolph, Caddis, Bartley, Burn, Ferguson (Hancox - 49), Spector, Adeyemi, Elliott, Burke, Novak (Green-77), Ambrose (Brown - 51)
Subs Not Used: Doyle, Reilly, Shinnie, Lovenkrands
Possession: 53% Burnley, 47% Birmingham City (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)