Two goal lead lost again and draw not good enough!
Sunday 8th February 2015 @12 noon Kick-Off
Once again Burnley let a two goal lead slip through their fingers following their 2-2 draw at home to relegation-threatened rival West Brom at Turf Moor on Sunday. This was such a disappointment after the Saturday games which all went our way. A victory would have seen us move three points clear of third from bottom club, Hull City but that is now just one point. We are though now two points clear of QPR and four points clear of bottom club Leicester following the weekend results. The draw on Sunday saw Burnley regain fourth from bottom spot and move out of the drop zone following Hull City`s surprise 1-1 draw away to Manchester City on Saturday which saw the Clarets drop back temporarily into the bottom three ahead of their Sunday game. Burnley had an ideal chance to make a mark with four consecutive league games against fellow relegation-threatened clubs, three of them at home and twelve points up for grabs! In the end we only managed four points with one win against QPR at home 2-1 in the first of four games and the draw at Hull in our last. Sandwiched in between were two defeats, the most disappointing being against Crystal Palace at home when the Clarets also managed to notch up a two goal lead before squandering it all. At least the Baggies unlike Palace didn`t manage to get the winner! In terms of the clubs above us, Aston Villa look to be in freefall and they are currently just one point above Burnley in 16th position. Next come Sunday`s opponents West Brom in 15th position and they remain two points clear of the Clarets. Sunderland of course were the third team of the four game sequence and we lost that match in the Stadium of Light 2-0. The Black Cats though, now 14th still have only three points more than Burnley so there is still all to play for.
The main concern now for the Clarets is that in their next eight games they play each of the current top seven clubs and Swansea currently 9th! It is a horrendous sequence of games which by the end could well have sealed our fate unless somehow we can pull out a few surprise results and get some unexpected points on the board.
Burnley`s problem at the moment seems to be woeful defending especially from corners and so it proved again on Sunday. Barnes and Ings had put the Clarets 2-0 up by the 32nd minute but then the jitters set in again especially when Brunt pulled a goal back for the visitors on the stroke of half-time after heading home from a corner. Clarets fans hearts sank when the Baggies equalised on 67 minutes thanks again to some poor marking from set play, substitute Brown Ideye glancing his header over the line. It looked like Palace all over again but thankfully this time there no further scoring from the visitors although sadly none from the hosts either with both sides having to settle for a draw in the end. This point was simply not enough for the Clarets and who knows where we will be after the eight games coming up are over! It looks like Marney is also now injured so we will have to hope he is not out for any considerable amount of time considering the club singularly failed to supplement the squad on transfer deadline day and bring in any clearly needed central midfielders. Not a happy bunny! Things at the moment seem to be slipping away!
Well no surprises for guessing what our line-up was! It was actually the same eighteen as the Sunderland game and that meant we had now named the same starting eleven for the tenth consecutive game close on the heels of Birmingham`s twelve game record in the top flight achieved in 2009!
Just to recap then although by now it is probably imprinted on every Clarets fan`s mind, the line-up was as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell , Keane, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Wallace, Kightly, Vokes, Jutkiewicz
Full Match Report
Mike Dean got the game underway and it was the Clarets who started the brighter of the two teams. With just three minutes on the clock, Danny Ings thumped a left footed shot over the crossbar after some nice build-up play on the edge of the box. Just five minutes later and it looked like Burnley would get their noses in front. A low ball into the box from Trippier found Barnes who laid off the ball straight into the path of Arfield. His first time effort on the 18 yard line was not quite good enough to beat Ben Foster in the visitors` goal and the keeper managed to save well tipping the ball onto the crossbar. Burnley though deservedly took the lead in the 11th minute after Arfield linked superbly with Ings. Ings broke into the box and then delivered a lifting ball towards the far post. Barnes was there to head home and put the Clarets 1-0 up. It was nearly 2-0 soon after when Trippier and Boyd linked well down the right flank. Boyd pulled the ball back into the path of the advancing Marney but his shot was not accurate enough. West Brom had not seen much of the action up until now but they looked more of a threat when 'bad boy but leading goal scorer, Saido Berahino came on from the bench to replace the injured Anichebe after just 18 minutes. The Clarets defence though were holding firm and just past the half-hour mark the hosts managed to double their lead. Trippier dummied a pass from Marney on the right and ball fell kindly to Boyd who chased down the wing. Lifting his head, the winger crossed the ball into the penalty area despite being on his weaker foot. Ings got above the rest to head the ball home and notch up his eighth goal of the season. The warning signs and alarm bells rung though on the stroke of half-time when the visitors got a goal back to spoil an excellent half by the Clarets. A well-taken corner by Callum McManaman should perhaps have been handled better by the Burnley defence but the ball found the head of Chris Brunt and the ball flew into the back of the net from close-range.
A worrying injury for Dean Marney towards the end of the half necessitated a change for the start of the second. Michael Kightly came on to replace him and West Brom too also made a change but this was for tactical reasons rather than enforced after Pulis decided to bring on Ideye to replace former Claret Chris Baird. Once again the Clarets had the upper hand in the early stages of the half. On the hour mark a superb cross from Trippier just failed to find Boyd at the far post on the edge of the box. Very much against the run of play though the Baggies somehow found the equaliser they were desperate to get in the 67th minute. It was only their second attempt on goal which just summed up some of the luck we have had recently! Once again though it was from a set piece and Burnley should arguably have defended it better. It came from an in-swinging corner from Brunt. The ball found Ideye unmarked at the near post and he had the simple task of heading home from close range. Both teams were now desperate to get the winner and the only thing Clarets fans were thinking at this point was 'Oh God not Palace again!` The Clarets though still created chances in an attempt to secure all three points. With 15 minutes to go, a corner from Trippier found Shackell at the far post. Foster in goal was well beaten by the skipper`s looping header but Lescott was also well-placed on the goal-line and managed to head the ball clear. Berahino then came close for the Baggies before Tom Heaton and Ben Mee on the goal-line combined to avert the danger. In the end though, both sides had to settle for a point but if felt like two points lost for the Clarets with another great chance to pull clear of the chasing pack to avoid the drop thwarted.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Arfield, Marney (Kightly-46), Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Wallace, Vokes, Jutkiewicz
Goals: Barnes 11, Ings 32
West Brom: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Lescott, Baird (Ideye 46), Yacob, McManaman (Morrison 82), Fletcher, Brunt, Sessègnon; Anichebe (Berahino 18)
Subs Not Used: Rose, Wisdom, Pocognoli, Gardner
Goals: Brunt 45, Ideye 67
Booked: Yellow Cards for Baird (40), Yacob (48), Ideye (64) and Dawson (84)
Possession: 56% Burnley, 44% West Brom (Source: BBC Sport),
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
"That`s Premier League football. I would imagine Manuel Pellegrino, after we came back from 2-0 down there, thought this is a strange business. We never think a game is dead.
'The game is never done, People thought we were done at Man City, at Newcastle. You have to be tuned into your performance every single inch of it.
'There are few reasons why. At this level, it`s the quality of the ball coming in first of all and the physicality of sides
"We have only got so many to play against that. It was well documented early season that Manchester United had a similar problem."