Devilish Burnley Excommunicate Saints!!
Saturday 13th December 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
The Clarets picked up a valuable three points at home to Southampton on Saturday and their 1-0 win ensured that Burnley would at least temporarily move out of the top three ahead of a tough Christmas schedule in which they play three top ten clubs. Next Saturday they face buoyant 7th placed club Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane before hosting Liverpool at Turf Moor on Boxing Day followed two days later by a trip to the Etihad to play second-placed Manchester City.
Burnley`s victory on Saturday should in no way be underestimated against a side that not too long ago was second in the table. Southampton`s form of late may have slipped a bit but they were still fifth ahead of this clash. We gave a very good account of ourselves and although perhaps for a change we had a bit of luck at times, this was still a convincing performance despite the game being somewhat scrappy at times. The game really revolved around two pivotal moments. Burnley had been giving Southampton a game but it all looked to be in vain when the Saints were awarded a penalty in the second half just before the hour mark with the score goalless at 0-0. Tom Heaton though stunningly saved Dusan Tadic's spot kick and that seemed to spur the Clarets on. In the 73rd minute, Burnley took the lead when a Barnes shot took a slight deflection to deservedly put the hosts 1-0 up. Southampton huffed and puffed after that but in the end the visitors had no real answer and Burnley notched up another vital three points. Our form makes pleasant reading at the moment with three wins, two draws and only one defeat in the last six games.
The result against the Saints sees the Clarets move out of the drop zone to 17th spot with 15 points from 16 games. If QPR though get a point or more away to Everton tonight (Monday), they will leapfrog the Clarets and push them back down into the third from bottom spot. The R`s have one less point than the Clarets but have a slightly superior goal difference so a point against the Toffees would be enough to push Burnley back into the relegation zone. However things would not be looking too bad ahead of the Christmas period with a number of clubs up to West Brom in 14th position still less than three points ahead of the Clarets. Bottom club Leicester now have it all to do after losing yet again on Saturday. They are now five points adrift of the Clarets and three points behind second from bottom club, Hull City! Now all Burnley need is some Christmas tidings of comfort and Joy over the next three difficult games!
With none of the injured players yet fit enough to return, Sean Dyche put out a familiar starting eleven and indeed it was the same as the one that faced QPR at Loftus Road last week. There were perhaps a few surprises on the bench. Danny Lafferty made a return to the bench after being overlooked this season. With Stephen Ward out injured, Dyche appeared to want some left back cover for Ben Mee who had been reportedly unwell during the week. Media reports this week indicated that on-loan Chelsea midfielder, Nathaniel Chalobah could be returning to his parent club in January with suggestions that things had not worked out for the England Under 21 international at Turf Moor. He had been absent for the last few games and appeared to be out of favour despite being fit enough to play. It was perhaps a little surprising therefore to see him too named on the bench. Our line up in summary then was as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee, Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Long, Lafferty, Chalobah, Wallace, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Full Match Report
Referee, Mark Clattenburg got the game underway and it was the Clarets who started the brighter of the two teams. Danny Ings came close with two efforts inside the first three minutes. With the game just seconds old, George Boyd on the right did well to set up a header for Danny Ings that he just could not keep down. Shortly after Ings then linked well with Barnes just outside the box, before turning sharply and charging towards goal. His shot though flew just wide of the post. Southampton found it hard to respond in these early stages but the visitors slowly began to get into the game and put the Clarets under some pressure. The best chance to open the scoring though fell to the hosts on 26 minutes and it came from a trademark cross from Trippier. The Saints back-four looked to panic and it led to Fraser Forster keeping out a certain own-goal. The loose ball led to a scramble but both Barnes and Arfield in the goalmouth could not get the ball into the back of the net. The Saints suffered a blow when distraught 18-year-old midfielder Jake Hesketh succumbed to injury in the 32nd minute and had to be replaced by Ward-Prowse. The substitute was soon in action after latching on to a second ball before unleashing a left footed shot. Heaton was equal to it though comfortably getting down to his right to save. That was the Saints first real attempt on goal but it was the Clarets who kept up most of the pressure and once more Burnley fans were wondering if the killer touch had deserted their team again as the whistle blew for half-time.
Sean Dyche made no changes for the start of the second half and this time it was the visitors who started the half the brighter of the two teams. The Saints carved out the first opening of the half when Sadio Mané produced an effort that flew harmlessly over the bar and it looked like it was going to be one them days again when Southampton were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark. Ryan Bertrand managed to get past Boyd who then brought him down in the penalty area. There could be no complaints as Tadić stepped up to take the spot kick! There was delight and utter relief from the home fans though when Heaton pulled off a spectacular save to keep the score level at 0-0. Diving to his left, he managed to push the ball behind for a corner. At the other end, Forster then had to save a low effort from Ings on the turn. With just 17 minutes to go, the deadlock was finally broken when Burnley deservedly took the lead. Ings put Clyne under pressure from a throw in and the ball fell to Barnes on the left-hand side of the box. Instantly he unleashed a shot that flew into the back of the net via a slight deflection that gave Forster no chance at the near post. Shortly after Lafferty came on for Mee to make his first appearance of the season. Southampton were now desperate to get back on level terms and although they had chances Burnley never really looked in danger. With ten minutes to go Ward-Prowse could only curl a free-kick wide of the post Clyne came the closest with three minutes remaining on the clock when he chanced his luck with a long-distance pile driver that flew just a flew inches wide of target. In stoppage time, Victor Wanyama was off target with a header and that was it! Burnley had secured a valuable three points and sent the Saints marching home with nothing.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee (Lafferty 74), Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Barnes.
Subs not used: Gilks, Long, Chalobah, Wallace, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Goal: Barnes 73
Booked: Yellow Card for Boyd (83)
Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand, Davis, Wanyama, Tadić, Hesketh (Ward-Prowse 32), Mané (Long 78), Pellè
Subs not used: Davis, Yoshida, Gardoş, Mayuka, Reed.
Booked: Yellow Cards for Hesketh (17), Mané (39) and Pellè (83)
Possession: 40% Burnley, 60% Southampton (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Co. Durham)
The Dyche Deliberation!
'In the second half, they managed to grow into the game and we had to keep our resilience, shape and mentality to get the win.
'The penalty save was a massive moment. It is a penalty but we believe in Tom. He's made big saves for us before and has made that one today.'