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Burnley lack Clinical Touch in Loftus Road Defeat

Queens Park Rangers
2 - 0
Burnley

Loftus Road

Saturday 6th December 2014 @3pm Kick-Off

Attendance: 17,785

Referee:

The Clarets unbeaten run of four games came to an end against QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday. Burnley lost 2-0 thanks to two second half goals scored by Fer just six minutes after the re-start and then by former Clarets striker, Charlie Austin in the 74th minute. QPR were reduced to ten men when Austin picked up a second yellow card in the 77th minute but by then Burnley had a mountain to climb and they struggled to get to base camp. This was a strange old game and one really where Burnley should have punished the R`s in the first half in a story of missed chances. They were also denied by what can only be described as a save of the season by Rob Green. QPR did not really appear to create many opportunities to be honest and it seemed like they had two real chances and clinically scored from them both but then I am biased. The result was bad news for the Clarets against a relegation-threatened rival in the bottom three ahead of kick-off. The defeat meant that QPR climb out of the relegation zone at the expense of the Clarets who drop one place to second from bottom remaining on 12 points. Thankfully bottom club, Leicester could not take advantage in their game on Sunday at Villa going down 2-1 to remain two points behind Burnley. A number of clubs also remain within a one game catching distance up to Sunderland in 14th spot with 15 points so there is still certainly all to play for despite Saturday`s disappointment. It`s a toughie next though with high flying Southampton the visitors to Turf Moor this Saturday

Team Sheet

With Michael Duff and Stephen Ward sidelined, Michael Keane made his third start for the Clarets and Ben Mee returned to the starting eleven at left back. We lined up as follows :

Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Marney, Boyd, Barnes, Ings

Subs: Gilks, Long, Reid, Kightly, Wallace, Jutkiewicz, Sordell

Full Match Report


Jonathan Moss got the match underway in front of an away following of 1,583 Clarets fans who were all packed tight in this somewhat small intimidating ground with little seating legroom! It took the Clarets only seven minutes to make their mark and get the Burnley fans knees chaffing. A diagonal ball from Ings allowed Ashley Barnes to pounce and play a quick one-two with Scott Arfield before skying his effort from 18 yards out. Former England international keeper Rob Green then made a mistake after dropping a lofted ball from Marney heading towards Ings. He would soon make amends though after Arfield 12 yards from goal unleashed a shot. The QPR keeper instinctively got his face in the way though to deny Burnley getting their noses in front. The Clarets were in command at this stage and taking the game to the hosts. Green came to the hosts` rescue again just before the half hour mark after flinging himself to the left to get a fingertip on a thunderbolt of a shot from Boyd and pushing the ball against the post. QPR had created few chances up to now but they nearly took the lead from their first real attempt after 30 minutes. Eduardo Vargas got the better of Ben Mee on the right side of the area and unleashed a shot that flew past Tom Heaton, only for Michael Keane to clear the ball off the line. Burnley though came back in force. Ings picked up on a pass threaded through by Barnes but found the angle too tight and Dunne got to the ball in time to deny the in-form striker another goal. An in-swinging corner from Boyd then took a deflection off a QPR player to fly inches wide before another corner; Burnley`s seventh so far also fell to Boyd with Joey Barton this time coming to the rescue. The half-time whistle went with Burnley fans scratching their heads wondering how on earth the score remained goalless after such an impressive performance by the visitors.

Both Harry Redknapp and Sean Dyche decided not to make any changes for the start of the second half and this time it was the hosts who were quickest out of the blocks and looking the sharper of the two teams. Five minutes from the restart disaster struck for the Clarets as QPR finally got their noses in front. Austin combined well with Bobby Zamora before squaring the ball to Fer who looped the ball over Heaton into the back of the net albeit via a deflection off Mee. Almost immediately Burnley were nearly back on level terms. Boyd out wide latched onto a ball from Arfield before drilling a shot across the six yard box. Barnes came close to tapping the ball home but was denied by Richard Dunne who had chased back to defend well. Ings then headed just wide of the far post after latching onto a deep cross from the right by Marney. The Clarets seemed to be getting some control back and once more looked to be in the ascendency. In the 65th minute they came close again after Arfield found Boyd but the shot sailed over. Burnley were simply missing too many chances and they paid the price again sixteen minutes from time when former Clarets hero, Charlie Austin scored against his former club to make it 2-0. Some excellent approach work down the right eventually led to Vargas cutting the ball back into the danger area where Austin poached a goal from ten yards out. His joy did not last long though when just three minutes later he picked up a second yellow card and was sent off after a stray elbow hit Keane. The Clarets now had a glimmer of hope with thirteen minutes left to play especially if they could quickly get a goal back. The hosts held firm though and continued to look dangerous on the break. Heaton had to be alert to deny Yun late on. It was never going to be for the Clarets though and in the end it was a disappointing defeat leaving Burnley fans wondering what might have been had the visitors displayed more clinical finishing.

Match Stats

QPR: Green, Caulker, Barton, Austin, Fer (Phillips 90), Yun, Isla, Henry, Dunne, Vargas (Mutch 77), Zamora (Kranjcar 65)

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Onouha, Hoilett

Goals: Fer 51, Austin 74

Booked: Yellow Cards for Fer 45, Austin 72,77 (Red Card for second yellow)

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Arfield (Wallace 76), Jones (Jutkiewicz 86), Marney, Boyd, Barnes (Sordell 89), Ings

Subs Not Used: Gilks, Kightly, Reid, Long

Booked: Yellow Card for Barnes (47)

Possession: 51% QPR, 49% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)

Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)

Star Player

Something seemed to be lacking in this game and maybe had we take our chances in the first half it may have been a different story. We certainly created enough chances and looked in control in the first half before it all fell apart in the second! The lack of clinical finishing cost us in the end but we have to try and take the positives from this one. Generally a good team performance but one in which nobody really stood out individually although I thought Shackell and Keane did well in the centre of defence. Mee too looked determined to hold onto that left back position but Trippier had a pretty poor game by his standards and his distribution was awful. Jones and Marney were industrious enough in the centre of defence but Arfield on the wing seemed out of touch. The two strikers Ings and Barnes though were both unlucky not to get on the score sheet and in terms of 'Star Player' it would be a toss up between them both. I`ll give it to Barnes for no other reason that he doesn`t get many man of the match awards.


Writer:turfmanphil
Date:Monday December 8 2014
Time: 4:26PM

Comments

0
Not a good day in the end! Sometimes you just feel it's going to be one of those days! My target pub, Wetherspoons opposite Shepherds Bush tube station no longer allows away fans in and then went on a long knackering track to find away-friendly O'Neills only to be told it was no more! Grr
turfmanphil
08/12/2014 16:32:00
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