Ginger One Earns Point, Special One Moans Minutes!
Saturday 21st February 2015 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley against all the odds picked up a point in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. It was a day all Clarets fans could be proud and many no doubt are still pinching themselves. You could argue we rode our luck at times and yes had the referee been on better form Chelsea may well have earned an extra penalty or two but then so might we. The Special One has also been moaning on-and-on about certain minutes during the game over the weekend like a spoilt brat. He believes the game revolved around four key moments. He quotes Minute 30 when Ashley Barnes appears to foul Ivanovic and fails to get even a free-kick. Next it`s Minute 33 when Kightly appears to handle the ball following a shot from Ivanovic but no penalty given! What about Minute 43 when another penalty is turned down after Shackell looks to have pushed Costs in the box? The most controversial though was Minute 69 when Ashley Barnes fouls Matic. It was definitely looked like a foul and some like Jose Mourinho would argue a straight red should have been shown. What followed next though was even more bizarre; Matic saw red and charged into the back of Barnes pushing him to the ground in a ridiculous over reaction that gave the referee no option but to send him off reducing Chelsea to ten men. Chelsea had only themselves to blame and it gave Burnley the impetus they needed to try and get the equaliser with the score at the time still 1-0 to Chelsea following a goal from Ivanovic in the 14th minute. Burnley pressed and pressed and incredibly got a justly deserved equaliser in the 81st minute after Ben Mee rose the highest from a corner to head home.
Well on another day yes we might have had decisions go against us like they have countless times before but this was our day despite the whinging from the hosts` high-profile gaffer. Of course on Match of the Day and in the media it was all about these Jose minutes but as far as Clarets fans were concerned Minute 81 was the sweetest of the lot and our performance against the league leaders should not be underestimated. At Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this season Chelsea had only dropped points once at that was against Manchester City in a 1-1 draw. The Blues had already won ten games at home before they played the Clarets and in only two of those had the visitors managed to score against them! This was an incredible result and one in which we should have got more credit in the media instead of having to suffer the moanings of Jose Mourinho. It was the Ginger version`s days make no mistake about that!
The result lifted Burnley up a place to third from bottom with QPR just above Burnley on goal difference and only one goal at that! Meanwhile Aston Villa continued their freefall after a 2-1 defeat against Stoke City despite the best efforts of their new manager, Tim Sherwood taking charge of his first game. Villa now drop below Burnley on the same number of points (22 points from 26 games but with an inferior goal difference (by four goals). Bottom club Leicester earned a point in a 2-2 draw at Everton but remain four points adrift of the three clubs above them. There is still all to play for with Sunderland in 16th spot having just three points more than the Clarets but the worry now is the difficult schedule for the Clarets that remains over the next six games. We start with Swansea at home next week who are currently in 9th spot and the next five games that follow are all against clubs in the Top Seven -Liverpool (A), Manchester City (H), Southampton (A), Spurs (H) and finally Arsenal (H). We have though now got a point both against Manchester City and Chelsea on the road and despite defeat at Old Trafford were widely recognised as unlucky and actually the better team! We need fear nobody and in many ways we now seem to be playing better against the top teams. If we pick up more points or indeed enough points to avoid the drop over the next six games then it will be Ginger who will be picking up the Special One accolade!
Sean Dyche made just one change to the eighteen selected for the last game away to Manchester United with Stephen Ward back and on the bench after making a full recovery from his fractured ankle injury. Daniel Lafferty made way. Our line-up therefore was as follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Kightly, Arfield, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs : Gilks, Reid, Duff, Ward, Wallace, Jutkiewicz, Vokes
Full Match Report
West Yorkshire referee Martin Atkinson got the game underway and Chelsea were soon putting Burnley under pressure as you might have expected from the league leaders and the quality of their multi-million pound players on show! The Blues passing game was difficult to handle but the visitors stuck to their task as best they could. It took just five minutes before the hosts created their first real chance. Tom Heaton though was equal to new Blues signing Juan Cuadrado`s looping header following a cross from Filipe Luis saving with some style. Burnley then nearly caused a shock at the other end following a deflected Kightly cross that fell into the path of Barnes. The former Brighton striker unleashed a volley that nearly but not quite got the better of Chelsea keeper, Thibaut Courtois. In the 14th minute though, the hosts took the lead. It was some dazzling skills from Eden Hazard that did the damage with the Burnley defence unable to handle the Belgian. He brushed aside two attempted tackles before cutting the ball back into the path of Ivanovic to slot home from just six yards out. Not for the first time though this season, Burnley showed great character after going a goal down even if this was Chelsea on their home soil! A trademark cross from Trippier looked to be heading for the head of Danny Ings before a deflection got in the way. Burnley kept trying but you always feared Chelsea could soon double their lead. In the 44th minute the hosts nearly made it an even greater uphill task for the Clarets. Shackell made a rare mistake misreading the ball and allowing Costa to pounce. Our captain though appeared to then give the £32 million striker a slight nudge with Costa trying to make a meal of it by diving in the penalty area. The referee was having none of it and waved play on. The first half-whistle went and there was no doubt that despite being 1-0 down most of the credit would have to go to battling Burnley.
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half and it was the Clarets who created the first real chance from the restart. A half-volley from Barnes near the corner of the box may well have produced the equaliser had the ball not took a deflection off Felipe Luis`s boot allowing Courtois to tip over the bar at his near post. Hazard though continued to wreak havoc in the Burnley defence. In the 55th minute one of his slide-rule passes found Costa but thankfully the £32 million striker could not get enough power on his shot and Heaton saved the danger. Sustained pressure from Chelsea failed to produce the goods with both Costa and Cuadrado often failing to find that killer touch. You just sensed now that the hosts were becoming rattled and that Burnley could take advantage. Nobody could have predicted though what would happen with nineteen minutes to go when Chelsea were reduced to ten men after Matic over-reacted big time to an Ashley Barnes challenge. Barnes studs caught the Blues midfielder high on the shin in what undoubtedly seemed a foul but Matic then lost his rag and the red mist converted into a red card after he charged into the back of Barnes pushing him to the ground in an act of unacceptable aggression. Burnley now really did have a chance to pull off a shock at Stamford Bridge with the Blues obviously rattled and down to ten men. Sean Dyche decided to go for it bringing on Sam Vokes in place of Kightly to set-up a three man attack. Courtois then had to pull off a remarkable save after Barnes unleashed a low powerful shot but from the resulting corner Burnley fans went wild after the equaliser at last came! As the corner came over from Trippier there was Ben Mee to jump the highest and head home. He doesn`t score many goals but everybody will certainly remember that one and blow me we nearly went on to win the game deep into added time. Ings charged forward in the clear seeking glory but to be honest made a hash of things shooting over from the edge of the box. Nevertheless as the final whistle went Clarets fans could celebrate a remarkable performance and a remarkable result against the best team in the Premier League on their home soil. Burnley now join Manchester City as the only club in the top flight so far to have come away with points from a league game at Stamford Bridge. How cool is that?
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Luis (Drogba 86), Fabregas, Matic, Cuadrado (Willian 64), Oscar (Ramires 72), Hazard, Costa
Subs Not Used: Cech, Remy, Cahill, Azpilicueta
Goal: Ivanovic 14
Booked: Straight Red Card for Matic (69), Yellow Card for Ivanovic (70)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Kightly (Vokes-79), Arfield, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Ward, Wallace, Jutkiewicz
Goal: Mee 81
Booked: Yellow Cards for Boyd (40) and Kightly (62)
Possession: 61% Chelsea, 39% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)
'I am so pleased. This is just such a tough place to come and it's no surprise why Chelsea are top of the league because it's a fine group of players with a fantastic manager.
'But we are Burnley and we don't give in easily. We have a strong jaw and we are relentless in our mentality.
'I think there is an assured manner now that our players are beginning to find freedom. I am not making a bold statement because we all know how tough this division is, but we are in there for a reason and we are giving it everything. We know we need more points, but we are certainly up for the challenge, everyone knows that.'
The Matic and Barnes incident
'I haven't seen the incident again, but my recollections are that Ashley wins the ball and it was two players coming at opposite angles, which is never helpful.
'Their lad has come under the ball and Barnesy's natural follow through takes his foot onto his leg. I'll look at it again but obviously it had a big impact on the game.
'We know they have some fantastic individuals, but overall I thought we put in a good performance today. In the first half we were very good and I thought the way we dealt with their goal was very pleasing.
'There was no panic or rush to our play. We kept a foothold in the game and towards the sending off we were beginning to get another foothold after another good spell from them. After that, I felt we delivered another good performance and I am delighted with the point.'