Things looking bleak after home defeat to Swansea
Saturday 28th February 2015 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley lost 1-0 at home to Swansea on Saturday thanks to a bizarre own goal from Kieran Trippier in the 64th minute following a corner. It was a devastating blow after the superb performance and point away to Chelsea in the previous game. The Clarets never seemed to get into their stride somehow and they paid for it although some would argue they were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty or two. The defeat leaves the Clarets still precariously placed third from bottom and they remain on 22 points from now 27 games. At least Aston Villa also lost 1-0 away to Newcastle and they remain second-from-bottom on the same number of points as the Clarets with the goal difference remaining the same by 4 goals in Burnley`s favour. Bottom club Leicester and fourth from bottom club QPR though now have a game advantage over the Clarets. They were due to play Spurs and Chelsea in the original fixtures for this weekend but of course both London clubs face each other in Sunday's Capital One Cup final today. Leicester remain four points behind Burnley whilst QPR have the same number of points and are ahead of the Clarets on goal difference only (2 goal advantage) but both could now close the gap should they somehow pick up points against tricky opposition when they play their one game advantage. Life has become very difficult now for the Clarets. There is still a lot to play for of course with 12 games left and 36 points still up for grabs but the worry for the Clarets must be the difficult sequence of games they are currently facing and have faced. Swansea on paper looked the most likely game to pick up points but they too have now evaporated. Three of the eight games in this current sequence of eight matches against top ten clubs have only produced one point so far even if that was at league leaders, Chelsea last week. The next five do not look any easier and it is difficult once again to see where points are going to come from with Liverpool away up next on Wednesday night followed by Manchester City at home, Southampton at St Marys and then two home games against high flying London clubs, Spurs and Arsenal. By the end of that horrendous set of fixtures Burnley could well and truly be scuppered in the bottom three with a mountain to climb to escape. Sean Dyche will have to pull out all the stops now if we are survive in the top flight but if anybody can do it, it will be the gaffer with his motivational style and 'never say die` attitude`. The fact remains though then we have only won one of the last eleven games and that is so depressing considering so many excellent performances without reward. Fortress Turf Moor has just not happened this season and our form is worrying in particular with the gate seemingly falling due to lack of wins.
Sean Dyche perhaps unsurprisingly showed faith in the eighteen he selected for last week`s Chelsea game so we lined up again as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Kightly, Arfield, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Ward, Wallace, Jutkiewicz, Vokes
Full Match Report
It was good to see Ashley Barnes get a tremendous reception from the Turf Moor faithful when his name was announced on the team sheet during the handshakes. It had been a traumatic week for him following all the media nonsense after the Matic sending-off incident at Stamford Bridge last Saturday with accusations flying from the 'No Longer Special One` that his tackle was 'criminal`! The FA didn`t think so and no further action was taken so up yours Jose! Swansea became I think the eighth club to have played Burnley in all four divisions when they lined-up against us on Saturday and Burnley fans might have been hoping for a routine victory considering the Swans had only won three of the previous 19 games at Turf Moor with the Clarets winning nine and drawing seven. It wasn`t to be in the end but as the match got underway Clarets fans had high expectations following the excellent result at Chelsea in the previous game. The hosts were soon into their stride too with George Boyd in particular looking lively and dangerous. After four minutes the former Hull City winger produced Burnley`s first attempt on goal but it was easy meat for Fabianski and he saved in routine fashion. The game now deteriorated into a pretty scrappy affair with few chances created during the first quarter of the match by either side. All of a sudden though things then seemed to liven up. In the 23rd minute Ashley Barnes inside the box latched onto the ball, turned and produced a left footed shot but the keeper was quickly off his line to deny the former Brighton striker. At the other end Swansea then got their best chance so far to get their noses in front. A Shelvey ball over the top set up Routledge on a one-to-one with just Heaton to beat. The Swans winger though saw his attempt finish up wide of target after lobbing the ball over the advancing Clarets keeper. Burnley came charging back and on 30 minutes Kightly did well after dribbling his way into the penalty area only to see his effort blocked. The Swans defence was holding up well and Burnley found it hard to break through. Former Clarets loan midfielder, Jack Cork was playing deep in front of the back four providing extra protection and the tactic appeared to be working. The visitors now looked the most likely to score in the last fifteen minutes leading up to half-time and enjoyed some sustained possession being especially dangerous on the break. It was Shelvey again who provided an inch-perfect pass to this time put Bafétimbi Gomis clear on goal with only Heaton to beat. Gomis had timed his run well and after showing great control just couldn`t keep his shot down much to the relief of Heaton. It was Shelvey who then created his own chance in first half stoppage time. His curling effort though flew just past the post and the score remained goalless at half-time.
Neither manager perhaps unsurprisingly made any changes for the start of the second-half. The Clarets created the first chance of the half. Kightly got the better of Kyle Naughton to power his way into the penalty area close to the by-line but his effort was blocked. The ball fell to Barnes but Fabianski was alert to the danger making himself big enough to deny the striker. A goalmouth scramble then ensued and there were strong claims for a Burnley penalty but the referee was having none of it. It was Barnes again on the hour mark who came close to breaking the deadlock after unleashing a superb shot on the turn following a cross by Trippier into the box. The ball though stubbornly just missed the target by a few inches. Disaster then struck for the hosts five minutes later however when the Swans got their noses in front from a corner in bizarre fashion. The out-swinging corner from Shelvey found Gomis at the near post and he flicked on the ball only for Heaton to produce a stunning save to deny Cork from close range. The ball though hit the crossbar and back into play and there was Cork again to produce another attempt. Confusion between Heaton and Trippier though led to the ball being pushed over the line with Trippier credited with the own goal although even Heaton could have been given the unwanted own goal tag it was that bizarre and indeed difficult to work out who got the final touch. The Clarets really had to try and get something from the game now and it was time to bring on fresh legs up front. On came Sam Vokes to replace Kightly in the 75th minute. The Clarets kept pressing for an equaliser and they came close when Barnes forced yet another save by the keeper following a good strike from outside the box. In the 84th minute, Boyd set up Vokes after the striker got the better of his marker at the near post. Fabianski, though saved the day yet again for the visitors producing a superb reactive save. Jutkiewicz replaced Barnes in the 90th minute but the equaliser was not forthcoming and yet another three points had disappointingly been lost on home soil.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Kightly (Vokes-75), Arfield, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Barnes (Jutkiewicz-90)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Reid, Duff, Ward, Wallace
Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Williams, Fernandez, Taylor, Shelvey, Cork, Carroll(Montero-61), Ki Sung-yueng, Routledge (Amat-90), Gomis (Castro Oliveira-92)
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Britton, Emnes, Castro Oliveira, Rangel
Goals: Trippier 64 o.g
Possession: 46% Burnley, 54% Swansea City (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)
'There was a little bit of flatness to both sides, maybe that was the furore all week for different reasons for both sides.
'Generally the margins are tight and a real soft one, again unfortunately, we`ve got to make sure we eradicate that.
'We`ve worked on the training ground, we did ever so well with set-pieces at Chelsea, who are a big, physical side.
'It`s a tough one because there`s not a lot in that game and the margins are tight.
'We had a big chance early on and as we know goals change games, not just the scoreline but the feel of the game.
'Second half we went for it, we tried to win the game, so I can`t question the lads on that. It was a sloppy moment.
'They`d hardly been in our end of the pitch in the first 20 minutes and then they score from a soft corner.'