Proud Point for Burnley against Moneybags United!
Saturday 30th August 2014 @12:45pm Kick-Off
Burnley have their first point on the board after holding Manchester United in a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor on Saturday. All Clarets fans can be extra proud of their team this weekend...and some! Manchester United might be struggling at the moment and sill looking for their first win of the season but nobody was giving 'ickle old Burnley a chance in the match preamble and build up. The talk was all about new United signing, Angel Di Maria who arrived at Old Trafford earlier in the week for a mere £59.7 million, the fifth most expensive transfer of all time and the highest fee ever paid by a British club! You can see what we were up against when you consider that Burnley have spent according to BT Sport just £45 million by all accounts in the whole of their history! Yep, everyone was writing us off as the likes of Rooney, Di Maria, van Persie, Mata and Valencia strolled onto the pitch. The pundits and commentators on BT Sport a lot of them with former United connections were giving us no chance and talking about the Red Devils putting 3-4 goals past us. Well hahaha!!
The Clarets dug deep and their game plan was soon frustrating the visitors especially in the first-half when we could easily have even taken the lead. United put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and with their wealth of talent and experience you would expect that but our brave defence stood tall and mopped up most of the danger to hold on for a valuable point. This was an excellent performance and a superb point make no mistake about that and I wish the Premier League gurus would talk more about our performance than United`s! It was all about how poor United are this season and not how well Burnley kept them at bay. Typical really and you can expect nothing less in this division sadly where underdogs always play second fiddle to the big boys. Burnley were an afterthought in commentary terms all afternoon so it was so pleasing to see them all eating their words after the final whistle went. Sadly having suffered a pulmonary embolism this week, I couldn`t get to the game live so had to be content with very biased reporting on BT Sport but at least I got to see the game and I was so pleased for the lads in the end.
We might be propping up the foot of the table at the moment in joint bottom place with Crystal Palace (who we play next at Selhurst Park after the international break) but after three Premier League games we are now off and running! The fixtures are a bit kinder to us over the next few games and we have a real chance to get more points on the board and climb up the table. Our next six games all involve clubs currently in the bottom half of the division including the four just above us namely Palace, Leicester, West Brom and surprisingly Everton! The other two are Sunderland and West Ham and both those are failing to impress to date. Indeed at the moment none of those clubs are more than two points clear of the Clarets. Once again it is likely our survival could be dependent on our home performances and 'Fortress Turf Moor` could once again become the mantra. It didn`t quite work last time under Coyle and then Laws in 2009-10 mainly because our away form was so poor so if we can improve our results on the road we are in with a fighting chance especially if we can supplement the squad before the summer transfer window closes tomorrow (11pm Monday 1st Sept)
Sean Dyche reverted back to a familiar line-up after experimenting with seven starting eleven changes for the midweek Capital One game against Sheffield Wednesday at Turf Moor. Once again Burnley opted for 4-4-2 hoping to put the United defence under pressure and lined-up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Ings, Jutkiewicz
Subs: Gilks, Long, Ward, Reid, Wallace, Barnes, Sordell
Full Match Report
It was an exciting day at Turf Moor as both sides marched onto the pitch in front of a sell-out crowd and the live BT Sport cameras for this early 12:45 pm early kick-off. The Underdogs versus the Premier League darlings was about to get underway with Clarets fans hoping to repeat their 2009-10 performance and 1-0 victory. Could Ings or Jutkiewicz be about to become the new Robbie Blake following his goal that night that led to the famous 1-0 win over United at Turf Moor the last time we were playing in the top flight? We would soon find out as Merseyside referee, Chris Foy blew his whistle for the start of this intriguing encounter with both sides still looking for their first win of the season. The expectations though were certainly widely different with United gaffer, Louis van Gaal under significantly more pressure to get a result. Burnley looked calm, well-organised and determined in these early exchanges and certainly held their own against the not-now-so- mighty but still scary Red Devils! The Clarets looked the brighter of the two teams despite the visitors` big names and wealth on display and nearly rocked the Premier League footballing world by coming close to opening the scoring thanks to an effort from David Jones with less than three minutes on the clock. It came from a free-kick just outside the box. Up stepped Jones to fancy his chances! It nearly paid off too as he unleashed his attempt on goal but the ball stubbornly hit the crossbar with the keeper well-beaten sparing United`s blushes. Burnley were then nearly presented with another opportunity moments later following a defensive blunder and short back-pass by Jonny Evans that allowed Jutkiewicz to pounce and shoot on target. The United keeper though was quick to react and blocked the attempt with his leg. United definitely looked slow and plodding in these early stages and almost seemed to lack confidence. The longer Burnley could keep them at bay the more that lack of confidence could take effect! The visitors` first real chance to open the scoring did not materialize until the 15th minute. New boy, Di María picked the ball up inside his own half before putting van Persie clear on goal with a well-taken measured pass over the top. The former Arsenal striker controlling the ball well and charging towards goal with only the keeper to beat looked certain to score but Heaton made himself big and pulled off a great save to keep the scores level at 0-0. That seemed to give United the impetus they needed and a spell of pressure ensued. Di María was proving his worth in midfield and after finding himself out left pulled the ball back into the path of Juan Mata inside the penalty area. Burnley fans hearts were in their mouths but thankfully Mata slipped just as he was about to shoot and the Clarets luckily survived. United were beginning to have the lions` share of possession now but Burnley had the resilience and determination to keep them at bay in a superb defensive display and then the hosts created a chance of their own in the 26th minute. A cross from Jutkiewicz on the left found Scott Arfield at the far post but he couldn`t direct his header on target. Seconds later the ball broke to Jones who unleashed a shot from 25 yards out. It would certainly test the busy United keeper, de Gea but he was equal to it and just managed to turn the ball behind. The game was now certainly becoming entertaining for the neutral in perhaps a way that wasn`t expected. Burnley were holding their own and it certainly wasn`t one-way traffic. United in the form of Di María, Wayne Rooney and van Persie looked to create a chance but Jason Shackell was alert to the danger and thwarted their efforts with a superb challenge. Back came the Clarets! Arfield got past Tyler Blackett and into the box on 34 minutes to unleash a left-footed shot. The United defence though got back quick enough to block the attempt and the score remained goalless at half-time ensuring Sean Dyche would be the happier of the two managers at the break.
Burnley continued to frustrate United after the break forcing them into making mistakes during their midfield surges. The Clarets continued to look comfortable and it was only just before the hour mark before United created their first real chance to break the deadlock. There was a bit of a scamble in the box that eventually led to van Persie getting in a volley that looked to be on target until Marney on the line managed to clear the danger. The United striker had another effort shortly afterwards but his header was off-target and well-covered by the keeper anyway. Burnley pressed forward again refusing to capitulate despite United beginning to take control of possession. Arfield found Matt Taylor on the edge of the penalty area but de Gea was able to comfortably save the former West Ham winger`s first-time effort. The final 20 minutes of the game approached and Burnley were holding their own with not much between the two teams. United continued to be frustrated by their determined hosts and simply could not find the breakthrough they needed which let`s face it would not have been deserved after our spirited performance against all the odds! Debutant, Di Maria, their best player so far was now tiring so on came Anderson for the visitors in the 70th minute. It made little difference although Burnley were now under somewhat more pressure with United now beginning to look dangerous and take control. In the 74th minute, Trippier prevented van Persie unleashing a shot and that was virtually the Dutchman`s last action of the day with Welbeck coming on to replace him. At the other end, Taylor could only steer his effort from a free-kick into the roof of the net. Back came United! Valencia thumped the ball across the face of goal but thankfully it was turned behind by Shackell and from the resulting corner, Rooney could only get a tame header on the ball to put it wide of target. In the end neither team could break the deadlock but there was no doubt that the day belonged to the Clarets who could now hold their heads high having held one of the Premier League big boys and frustrated all the pundits and betting organizations. The post-match analysis on BT Sport was all about the failings of United rather than how well Burnley had performed and they all sounded a bit miffed that two penalty claims by United had not been given! I guess we were lucky in that department and on another day one (especially the Trippier push), if not both penalties could have been given but hey ho how many times have we not been given penalties and how many times have United been given dubious ones? The day belonged to Burnley, live with it!
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Taylor (Reid 88), Ings (Barnes 78), Jutkiewicz
Subs not used: Gilks, Long, Ward, Wallace, Sordell
Booked: Yellow Cards for Marney (76 mins) and Reid (89 mins)
Man United: de Gea, Evans, Jones, Blackett, Valencia, Mata (Januzaj 87), Fletcher, Di María (Anderson 70), Young, Rooney, van Persie (Welbeck 73)
Subs not used: Amos, Keane, James, Hernández
Booked: Yellow Cards for Fletcher (38 mins) and Blackett (67 mins)
Possession: 36% Burnley, 64% Manchester United (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)