Gayle`s Honey Spoils Bertie Bee`s Hive!
Saturday 17th January 2015 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley suffered a massive blow to their survival hopes despite being 2-0 up after just 16 minutes against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on Saturday thanks to goals from Ben Mee and Danny Ings. The visitors though then staged a remarkable comeback to win 3-2 with a brace from Dwight Gayle and another goal from Jason Puncheon, two players linked with a move to Burnley over the last few weeks! It was a very frustrating, indeed worrying afternoon for the Clarets who have now lost 2-0 leads in two consecutive games. The first one against Spurs at White Hart Lane last Wednesday night in the 4-2 FA Cup Replay defeat was perhaps not that important in the greater scheme of things with Premier League survival top priority but the Palace result was little short of disaster when a win could have eased our relegation worries significantly.
The only good news is that all the other results went our way and we still remain fourth from bottom with none of the bottom three clubs stealing a march. All three bottom clubs also lost. Leicester were defeated 1-0 by Stoke on homesoil to remain at the foot of the club still three points behind the Clarets. Manchester United beat QPR 2-0 at Loftus Road so we remain a point clear of the Rs. The third from bottom club Hull City also went down 3-0 away to West Ham in the Sunday game and remain just ahead of QPR on goal difference. Everton and West Brom could only muster a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park last night and Sunderland too also lost on Saturday 2-0 away to Spurs. So really the only bottom club to gain at our expense was Palace who move up to 13th 3 points ahead of the Clarets! The really annoying thing in Saturday`s six pointer is that could have been us had we not let a 2-0 lead slip so dramatically. There is still all to play for though so let`s not get too downhearted at this stage, we remain only three points behind 12th placed club, Everton and have yet to complete the quartet of games against relegation-threatened teams after the QPR and Palace home games. There will be a week now to recuperate and take stock with the FA Cup weekend coming up and the Clarets no longer involved in the competition. A week this Saturday though, we travel to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland and if we can recover our confidence and composure that is a very winnable game. The same applies to the one after that with the Baggie the visitors on Sunday 8th February! If only though, if only...grrrr!!!
Both Jason Shackell (calf) and Kieran Trippier (hamstring strain) were deemed fit enough to start so once again we lined-up in familiar fashion as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell , Keane, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Kightly, Wallace, Sordell, Vokes
Burnley have now played the same starting eleven for the last eight games in the Premier League and if they notch up four more they will equal Birmingham`s all-time record in 2009.
Full Match Report
Staffordshire referee, Phil Dowd got the match underway on a cold, wintery day in Burnley and it all got off to great a start for the Clarets who were ahead after just 12 minutes. A corner swung over deep by Trippier beat everybody but found Ben Mee at the far post and the left-back had the simple task of nodding home to put the Clarets 1-0 up. Four minutes later and Burnley had doubled their lead! It all started with a clearance by Trippier. Scott Arfield and Palace defender, Joel Ward were in a chase to get the ball but the right back who was hoping the ball would go out of play was robbed by Arfield on the line and the Scot then spotted Ings. In acres of space and unmarked, Ings showed his cool to side foot into the net after sending Palace keeper, Speroni the wrong way. Two goals to the good and now it only seemed a matter of how many we could add to that tally! Boy though how Clarets fans got that thought wrong. Burnley somehow took their foot off the accelerator allowing Palace back into the game. Palace looked shell-shocked but somehow raised their spirits in their first real attack by getting a goal back in the 28th minute. A cross from Zaha was deflected by Trippier and the ball fell to Gayle and he rifled the ball home to make it 2-1. Now the Eagles confidence had been restored and it needed Trippier to intervene to prevent them getting the equaliser just five minutes later. A thumping shot by Gayle drilled towards target was cleared off the line by Trippier just as Sanogo looked about to pounce. It was the visitors now who looked in the ascendency and they finished the half the stronger of the two teams despite still being a goal down. A long-range effort from James McArthur was saved by Heaton but the warning signs for the hosts were there as the half-time whistle blew.
Neither manager made any changes for the second-half. The Clarets were soon given a sucker Puncheon though when the winger unleashed a shot from 25 yards out with the second-half just three minutes old to equalise and set the alarm bells ringing. It was a poor goal to concede and the defences were to blame for standing off the winger and allowing him to advance. Twice in two games now we had lost a 2-0 lead and the next goal would probably now be crucial in deciding the outcome of this clash. The Clarets at long last though now responded and began to put the visitors under pressure again. Burnley were boosted when Vokes came on to replace Barnes in the 74th minute but the game was a pretty tight affair now with either side capable of grabbing that next crucial goal. The Clarets looked the most likely to score next though on the evidence of play and they nearly did when Michael Keane latching onto a ball knocked down by Shackell saw his volley from 12 yards out blocked on the line by McArthur. Burnley escaped a scare five minutes from time when substitute Glenn Murray attempted an acrobatic volley from twelve yards out only to see the ball fly off the post. It was heartbreak eventually though for Clarets fans when in the 87th minute Gayle got his brace at the far post after sliding the ball under Heaton to make it 3-2 to the visitors. A miserable day out then for the Clarets on a miserable cold day in Burnley but one we will now all be hoping is not the game that condemns Burnley to the drop.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones (Wallace 90+2) Boyd (Sordell 90+1), Barnes (Vokes 74), Ings
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Duff, Reid, Kightly
Goals: Mee 12, Ings 16
Booked: Yellow Card for Shackell (61)
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Sanogo (Murray 79), Zaha (Guedioura 70), Gayle, McArthur, Delaney, Ledley, Kelly (Mariappa 84), Puncheon
Subs Not Used: Hangeland, Campbell, Hennessey, Thomas
Goals: Gayle 28, 87, Puncheon 48
Booked: Yellow Cards for Dann (17), Sanogo (75) and Ward (77)
Possession: 51% Burnley, 49% Crystal Palace (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
'There are many lessons. The simple one is if you're not on top of your game for every minute, you get hurt. There were some good signs but generally we didn't operate in the way we're used to.'