Burnley Boyd Up by City Win, By George!
Saturday 14th March 2015 @ 5:30pm Kick-Off
The Clarets pulled off a sensational win against last season`s Premier League Champions, Manchester City at Turf Moor on Saturday in the Sky Sports Live televised game. No footy pundit gave Burnley any chance ahead of the game but George Boyd scored a superb goal in the 61st minute to give the Clarets a 1-0 win and their first victory in eight league games. Just go to any pub now and ask the neutral fans which team so far has picked up the most points against Manchester City this season! Watch their stunned faces when you reply with pride 'ickle old Burnley! City currently second in the league were hoping to put pressure on league leaders Chelsea by picking up all three points and narrow the gap to two points. Chelsea played Southampton at Stamford Bridge today and only managed a 1-1 draw against Southampton but they are still now six points clear with a game in hand. Burnley effectively therefore may well have scuppered City`s chances of retaining the title and certainly the four points they have picked up against them this season will be fondly remembered by all Clarets fans! The victory was priceless too in our efforts to avoid the drop with now just nine games remaining. Burnley jumped up a place to third from bottom and they are now six points clear of bottom club Leicester (who have a game in hand) and three points clear of QPR in 19th spot. A number of other clubs are now also within touching distance, Sunderland in free-fall at the moment following a 4-0 home thrashing by Aston Villa on Saturday are now fourth from bottom with only one point more than the Clarets. Aston Villa, Hull and Everton are next all on 28 points and we still have to play all three of them! What a great result and now we can hold our heads up and fear nobody! Watch out Saints at St Mary`s this Saturday!
Sean Dyche surprisingly and unexpectedly made two changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 defeat against an impressive Liverpool at Anfield recently in our last game. Sam Vokes made his first Premier League start this season rekindling the partnership with Danny Ings that was so productive in the Championship last season. The gaffer also plumped for experience in the back four with Michael Duff who earned a testimonial this week replacing Michael Keane at centre back to make his 350th club appearance. Michael Kightly was also dropped allowing Ashley Barnes to play a wider role out on the left. Our line-up therefore looked like this :
Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Barnes, Ings, Vokes
Subs: Gilks, Keane, Ward, Reid, Wallace, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Full Match Report
The game kicked off late at 5:30pm in front of the Sky Sports Live cameras and the Clarets were soon showing City they meant business! In the second minute Burnley created their first chance on goal. Danny Ings created space for himself showing great skill before unleashing a cheeky shot from long-range that flew just inches wide. It was though an early warning shot across City`s bows that the visitors were not going to have everything their own way despite the difference in quality and finance on show. Ben Mee then got his head on the ball from a corner in the 11th minute but the ball flew over the crossbar. City were particularly looking threatening down the right flank with good link play between Jesús Navas and Pablo Zabaleta during the first quarter of the game but to be honest there was nothing that threatened the Burnley defence. Vokes latched onto the ball in the box following a cross from Trippier but just couldn`t shoot on target. Heaton probably couldn`t believe his luck at this stage and was probably wondering when he might be fully tested. It certainly wouldn`t be the tame shot from Edin Deko that went wide of the post in the 25th minute but on the half-hour mark the visitors had a couple of good chances one after the other. Fernandinho slipped the ball through to Deko who charged into the penalty area before unleashing a shot from a tight angle. Heaton though was equal to it and then comfortably saved the follow-up from Sergio Agüero. At the other end Scot Arfield then latched onto the ball just outside the box to produce a save from Joe Hart. Back came City with more determination and the tempo of the game changed in their favour with the Clarets under pressure but coping well with the visitors` possession. Jason Shackell came to our rescue in the 34th minute to produce a last-ditch tackle after David Silva and Deko had combined well on the edge of the penalty area. The Clarets could hold their heads up as the first half came to a close with no team able to open the scoring. Clearly high-flying Man City were frustrated at their inability to break down the Burnley defence but what would the second half bring?
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half. City this time created the first chance of the half. Agüero slipped the ball to Silva who was through on goal. His first touch though let him down allowing Heaton to save at the second attempt. Zabaleta was then clear down the right flank and pulled the ball back into the path of hotshot striker Sergio Agüero. He fluffed his lines though turning the ball wide of the post. The match was now a very open and entertaining game for the neutral with end-to-end action. Hart was looking worried when he scrambled to get the ball following an audacious right footed volley from George Boyd but was relieved when he saw the ball fly just wide of target. The Premier League footballing world though was stunned when the Clarets got their noses in front in the 61st minute and what a goal it was! It all came from an out-swinging free-kick from Trippier. Kompany thought he had headed the ball away from danger but it fell nicely to Boyd who still though had it all to do. Boyd on his left foot unleashed a shot without hesitation and it flew sweetly into the back of the net to rapturous applause from all the pundits on Sky Sports Live. This was the former Hull City winger`s fifth goal of the season for the Clarets and it may well prove to be his most important in keeping Burnley in the top flight. Burnley now had 29 minutes and added time to keep City at bay and produce THE shock result of the day! City by now were having most of the possession and the Clarets would certainly be under pressure to keep them out. With 20 minutes left on the clock Agüero in the penalty area could only head Yaya Touré`s cross harmlessly over the crossbar much to the relief of the Clarets faithful. Substitute Wilfried Bony then latched onto a ball from Agüero on the edge of the box creating some space for himself. The former Swansea striker though could only muster a tame shot on goal which was easily lapped up by Heaton. It simply wasn`t Agüero`s day and he must have thought that himself when he couldn`t direct a header on target in the 80th minute. City were trying everything now but something seemed to be lacking and you just sensed their luck was running out. Pablo Zabaleta went to ground late on, but City's appeals for a penalty were rejected by referee Andre Marriner although with the benefit of the video replay it looked like we got away with it! Stevan Jovetić who had come on in the 73rd minute to replace Silva then sent an effort over the crossbar. The Clarets in the end though held on for a famous victory and a valuable three points.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Barnes, Ings (Reid 90+3), Vokes (Ward 86)
Subs not used: Gilks, Keane, Wallace, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Goal: Boyd 61
Booked: Yellow Cards for Mee (57) and Duff (70)
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Fernandinho, Touré (Lampard 81), Silva (Jovetić 73), Aguëro, Deko (Bony 63)
Subs not used: Caballero, Mangala, Sagna, Nasri
Booked: Yellow Card for Demichelis (60)
Possession: 30% Burnley, 70% Manchester City (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
'Overall I think we edged it. It was a close game, why wouldn't it be against players of that calibre?
'I'm obviously delighted with the outcome and the performance. I have said many times this season I think the players are improving. I think they are growing and learning at this level.
'It doesn't guarantee the future and there is still room for more, but this reinforces all the good work that has been done.
'Our will and desire to be in the Premier League is all on show, but we won't get too carried away,' Dyche continued.
'We know there's a long way to go. The players are grounded.
'We haven't been broken from defeat - we've been dented a few times - but this win reinforces confidence and belief'