Burnley Do Not Score But Also Do Not Concede!
Saturday 20th September 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets notched up their third consecutive 0-0 draw on Saturday this time against Sunderland at Turf Moor. The result still leaves Burnley looking for their first win of the season but at this level a point is a point and once again there were encouraging signs that we are beginning to hold our own in the top flight. Our first win must surely come soon. After five league games now Burnley are back in the drop zone following all the weekend results and are second from bottom on three points. These are still very much early days though and a win could easily propel the Clarets up the table! Manchester United in 12th spot are only two points ahead of Burnley and the highest club on six points three points more than Burnley are Hull City in 10th spot. The results though generally went against us over the weekend with Leicester, West Brom and Crystal Palace all winning. Our next two games are both away to West Brom and Leicester and they are now looking a little trickier in terms of picking up our first win of the season. It seems we are very good in defence at the moment and teams are certainly struggling to break us down. Our problem though is at the other end with just one goal now in six games if you also include the 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. The goal by Arfield against Chelsea at Turf Moor on the opening day of the season is the only one so far that Clarets fans have been able to celebrate. It is certainly frustrating and somehow we have to find the firepower if we are to start winning again. I am not convinced it`s the strikers fault for the lack of goals more probably the service to them. It is particularly noticeable that Trippier is not getting forward as much and putting over those trademark crosses and assists. Sean Dyche I believe is playing a cautious defensive game at the moment and has restricted both full backs from charging forward and running the risk of being caught out on the break. Something will have to change soon after three consecutive goalless draws and a win is becoming vital to boost confidence. Better a point than defeat, I suppose but we do need to start getting more points on the table if we are to have any hope of avoiding the drop especially against other sides struggling at the wrong end of the table. Sunderland were one such team and they too remain looking for their first league win of the season after Saturday`s result and are still just one point above the Clarets and now two places above them in 17th spot
The team selection was very much as expected with Marvin Sordell making his first league start of the season in place of the injured Danny Ings. Matty Taylor was also still sidelined with an Achilles problem so George Boyd on his home debut once again stepped up to the plate following his start at Palace last week. On the bench there was still no sign of Chelsea loan signing, Nathaniel Chalobah but Michael Keane on loan from Manchester United was named in the eighteen. In summary then the team lined up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Boyd, Sordell, Jutkiewicz
Subs: Gilks, Keane, Ward, Reid, Wallace, Kightly, Barnes
Full Match Report
Referee Anthony Taylor got the game underway and it was the hosts who came storming out of the blocks first. With just seconds on the clock, Boyd put over a dangerous looking cross that flew across the face of goal. It required John O`Shea to stretch out a leg and clear the ball for a corner. Soon after that the Black Cats keeper was tested by a well-struck long-range effort from Trippier. There was just five minutes on the clock when Lukas Jutkiewicz picked up a loose ball inside the penalty area before pulling it back to Sordell. The former Watford and Bolton striker should perhaps have scored but John O Shea had other ideas and put him under enough pressure to prevent him shooting. It was all Burnley at this stage with Sunderland looking vulnerable in defence. Jones dispossessed Rodwell before setting up Jutkiewicz to unleash a shot. The ball took a deflection off Wes Brown though and fell kindly into the arms of Mannone. At the other end it was time for Heaton to save the day after comfortably preventing Giaccherini`s dangerous shot putting the visitors ahead. Burnley kept up the pressure though when David Jones combined well with Boyd on the edge of the box. Jones shot though lacked direction and it flew straight at the keeper. It had been a frantic start by the Clarets but now things calmed down a bit with the visitors getting a lot of the possession but without really threatening or troubling our defence. Burnley looked a bit vulnerable on the break though and Wickham should perhaps have done better with his effort but Heaton once again made a pretty routine save. Back came the Clarets though when Jutkiewicz found space outside the box before unleashing a right-footed effort that once more tested the keeper. Both teams though would have to accept the stalemate at half-time.
It was a much more sedate start to the second-half and it wasn`t until the 53rd minute that either team came close to breaking the deadlock. It was the visitors in the shape of Jack Rodwell who came close to opening the scoring. The former Everton player, unleashed a threatening shot that eventually needed Heaton to deal with the danger. Adam Johnson and Giaccherini then combined well on the counter-attack three minutes later before Jason Shackell came to the rescue clearing the ball after the Italian`s cross looked ominously to be heading towards Wickham who was about to pounce. Wickham came close again on the hour mark but after turning could only drag his effort wide of the post. Back came Burnley in the 68th minute after Jutkiewicz combined well with Scott Arfield but the alert Mannone once again saved at his near post. Claims for a Burnley penalty were then raised after Jutkiewicz appeared to have been brought down in the box. The referee though waved play on. There were just 13 minutes left to play when Jutkiewicz got the better of O`Shea and charged into the penalty area. O Shea after being turned looked to attempt to bring him down but the former Boro striker this time stayed on his feet before unleashing a shot from a tight angle only to be denied by Mannone again. In the 81st minute Burnley had another chance after Jutkiewicz linked well with substitute striker, Ashley Barnes but this time 'The Juke 'couldn`t direct his shot on target. Clarets fans knew it wasn`t going to be their day when a deflected cross from Barnes bounced off the top of the crossbar with full-time fast approaching. It was the visitors too that nearly had the last laugh in stoppage time. Heaton though somehow managed to keep out a rasping shot from van Aanholt with the ball then hitting the post. Both sides in the end had to accept the stalemate. It was perhaps disappointing and frustrating not to win this one but at least once again it was a solid display with lots of positive signs for Clarets fans to dwell on as they headed for home .
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones (Wallace 85), Boyd (Reid 90), Sordell (Barnes 62), Jutkiewicz
Subs not used: Gilks, Keane, Ward, Kightly
Bookings: Yellow Cards for Marney (89) and Reid (90 + 4)
Sunderland: Mannone, Vergini, O`Shea, Brown, van Aanholt, Rodwell, Cattermole, Giaccherini (Buckley 72), Larsson (Jordi Gómez 67), Wickham, Johnson (Altidore 67)
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Jones, Bridcutt, Graham.
Bookings: Yellow Cards for Rodwell (61) and O`Shea (78)
Possession: 44% Burnley, 56% Sunderland (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
It`s a tough one to call this! We will also give our 'Star Player` award to Lukas Jutkiewicz. He might not have scored but he looked threatening all afternoon and held the ball up very well. The Juke certainly gave former United players, John O`Shea and Wes Brown the runaround