Point Gained or Two Points Lost at Home to Villa?
Saturday 29th November 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley salvaged a point at home to Aston Villa on Saturday and could have gone on to win the game had the post not got in the way in stoppage time to deny Danny Ings a brace. The match finished 1-1 but with just three minutes of normal time remaining it looked like a Joe Cole goal for Aston Villa in the 38th minute was going to be enough to secure all three points for the visitors and give them their first win in nine games. Thankfully though Burnley were awarded a penalty in the 87th minute after substitute Lukas Jutkiewicz went to ground following a challenge from Okore just inside the area. A confident Danny Ings stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball home to notch up his fourth league goal of the season and give Burnley a valuable point. It is difficult to know whether this strange game was a disappointment or more of a relief in the end but thankfully other results went our way and a draw was probably a fair result for both struggling Claret & Blue teams.
We couldn`t quite win our third game on the trot but at least we now remain unbeaten in three games and crucially have another home game on Tuesday night to try and escape the drop zone. Burnley remain second from bottom with eleven points from 13 games and after QPR`s 3-2 win at home against Leicester, all three of last season`s promoted clubs now occupy the bottom three places. QPR climb two places and are now just ahead of Burnley on goal difference (by one goal only!) whilst the Foxes now prop up the league on just ten points. Other results also went the Clarets way and there is now all to play for in the battle to avoid the drop. Only three points separate Burnley from Sunderland in 13th position effectively that`s eight clubs now trying to pull clear of the drop zone and others could well be drawn into the battle! It is so tight in this league and it is quite an eye opener to realise that Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton only have six more points than the Clarets. It is amazing what a couple of wins can do for your league position so let`s hope we can keep this unbeaten run going with Newcastle at home up next this Tuesday night. Newcastle were in resurgent form recently climbing to fifth in the table and giving Toon fans a dilemma whether to continue to diss manager Alan Pardew or eat humble pie. On Saturday though Newcastle suffered a 1-0 defeat away to West Ham ending the Magpies' run of five successive league wins. Perhaps more importantly for Burnley`s chances they also had captain Moussa Sissoko sent off after being shown two yellows in the space of 46 seconds. He will now pick up an automatic ban and miss the game at Turf Moor. A win against the Toons on Tuesday night could see the Clarets climb out of the bottom three and boost confidence ahead of the bottom-of-the-table clash against QPR at Loftus Road the following Saturday.
Scott Arfield having recovered from a calf injury that kept him sidelined for the previous Stoke game at the Britannia last week was perhaps surprisingly only a substitute, with Sean Dyche making just one forced change to the starting eleven. Michael Duff was injured in the Stoke game and was not fit enough to play against Villa so in came on loan Manchester United defender Michael Keane to make his first start for the Clarets. Our line up therefore was follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Ward, Boyd, Marney, Jones, Kightly, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Long, Mee, Wallace, Arfield, Jutkiewicz, Sordell
Full Match Report
Oxfordshire referee Graham Scott got this battle of the Claret&Blue underway and it was the visitors who started the brighter of the two teams. The early stages of the game were played at a frantic pace. England international, Gabriel Agbonlahor combined will with Joe Cole who had been given a rare start by Villa gaffer, Paul Lambert. Agbonlahor though saw his well-taken effort blocked and from the resulting corner a goalmouth scramble needed Marney to clear the ball off the line following a touch by his team mate, Michael Keane. After 11 minutes Marney came to the rescue again getting his head in the way of a Ciaran Clark towering header to concede yet another corner. Villa though were not having everything their own way. Michael Kightly crafted a way past his marker inside the box but could only drag his left-footed shot just wide of the post. A few moments later from a David Jones free kick, George Boyd just narrowly failed to make contact at the far post. Back came Villa once again, this time Agbonlahor playing a one-two with Cole to charge forward on a one-on-one with the keeper. Tom Heaton though guessed the right way to deny Villa taking the lead. Tom Cleverley then tried an ambitious attempt from outside the penalty area but in the end it was a routine save from Heaton. Brad Guzan then also denied George Boyd in a similar attempt at the other end on the half hour mark. The game had now settled down a bit after a frantic start but on 38 minutes the deadlock was finally broken when the visitors took the lead. Andreas Weimann broke free on the right wing to deliver a low ball which was slotted into the back of the net at the near post by Joe Cole. Burnley nearly got back on level terms almost immediately when Ings cleverly controlled the ball just outside the box to unleash a well-struck effort that Guzan managed to push away. The Clarets though went into the break 1-0 down knowing they had played somewhat under par compared to recent games.
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half. This time it was the Clarets who looked the sharpest and they nearly equalised just moments from the restart. Ings made a good run into the channel and pulled the ball back to Boyd The former Hull City winger`s right-footed shot though was blocked in a timely intervention by Alan Hutton. It looked certain that we would equalise though on 55 minutes. It was the impressive Ings who started the move knocking the ball down into the path of Kightly. Kightly`s first touch saw him on a one-on-one against the keeper but somehow Guzan pulled off a remarkable save after spreading himself wide to deny the former Stoke winger. Clark then cleared the ball out of the danger area. A deflected shot from Ashley Westwood on the counter attack nearly put Villa further ahead but Heaton was alert enough to save well and push the ball away to keep the score at 1-0 to the visitors. Sean Dyche needed to freshen things up so on came Jutkiewicz and Arfield after 65 minutes replacing Barnes and Kightly. The Juke almost immediately put Burnley level from a superb, cross from a Trippier free-kick. He was just inches away from making contact in front of goal. The final ten minutes approached and Burnley still had it all to do with Villa looking comfortable defending deep and hoping to catch the hosts out on the break. Finally though on 87 minutes, Burnley got the breakthrough they were looking for after being awarded a penalty. Jutkiewicz powering his way through inside the box was then brought down by Jores Okore and the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped a confident looking Danny Ings to calmly send Guzan the wrong way and get that all important equaliser and score his fourth goal of the season. Burnley now had their hackles up and almost made it 2-1 in injury time. This time Ross Wallace who had come on to replace Jones in the 83rd minute found Ings in the penalty area. The in-form striker sensing a brace then let rip with a shot that frustratingly hit the foot of the post. The Clarets were piling on the pressure now and deep into added time, Wallace lofted the ball into the danger are only for Jutkiewicz to head it agonisingly wide of the post. In the end Burnley had to be content with a point but they fought back well to equalise and almost sneaked a win in the end.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Ward, Boyd, Marney, Jones (Wallace 83), Kightly (Arfield 65), Ings, Barnes (Jutkiewicz 65)
Subs not used: Gilks, Long, Mee, Sordell
Goal: Ings 87 pen
Booked: Yellow Cards for Kightly (28), Marney (37)and Barnes (45+1)
Aston Villa:, Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Clark (Lowton 90+5), Cissokho, Westwood, Sánchez, Weimann (Richardson 78), Cole (Grealish 67), Cleverley, Agbonlahor
Subs not used: Given, Bacuna, N`Zogbia, Robinson
Goal: Cole 38
Booked: Yellow Cards for Cleverley (40), Hutton (45), Okore (86) and Clark (after final whistle)
Possession: 47% Burnley, 53% Aston Villa (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)
'We are learning, we are developing and there were really good signs of that today. It was a really good reaction from the players.
'We stayed on the front foot, we kept working on our shape and believed the chances would come.
'The game was pretty even, but on the quality of the chances we created, you wonder how we haven't won it in the end.'