Burnley 2-1 Fulham: Premier League

by Samuel Abasi Posted on January 12th, 2019

The Clarets continued their climb away from the relegation zone on a day the footballing gods smiled on Turf Moor to help bring another priceless victory in the survival battle.

Burnley were aided by two deflected own-goals as they made it three successive Premier League wins to leave Fulham in even deeper trouble in the bottom three.

It might have been rough justice on the Cottagers, who are still without an away this season.

But Sean Dyche’s side arguably made their own luck with the way they responded to go behind to a stunning early strike from Andre Schurrle to win from a losing position for the second league game in a row.

And when the going got tough after the break, they showed the resolve and commitment to see the game out for a fourth straight win in all competitions and collect the points which lifted them a further place up the table into 15th spot.

The first meeting between the two sides at the end of August had produced six goals and there could easily have been the same again with the tone set inside a frenetic opening quarter which yielded half that tally.

Schurrle, who had scored one of the goals in Fulham’s 4-2 win at Craven Cottage, drew first blood with a stunning strike after just two minutes.

The German World Cup winner showed a great touch to control a long ball from the back from Denis Odoi before sending an angled dipping volley over Tom Heaton and into the top corner off the underside of the bar.

It was a start that might have de-railed the Clarets a couple of weeks ago but this time it only spurred Dyche’s men into life as they set about the visitors in search of an equaliser.

Chris Wood headed again a post from a Phil Bardsley cross but Fulham’s reprieve was only short-lived as they struggled to cope with the movement and vibrancy of the Clarets’ forward movement.

Jeff Hendrick came into the side in place of the injured Johann Berg Gudmundsson and played a big part tucked in on the right-hand side of midfield.

On the opposite flank Dwight McNeil continued his remarkable start to Premier League life and must have impressed watching England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd.

And the pair were instrumental as two goals inside four minutes turned the game decisively Burnley’s way.

McNeil’s cross could have brought a penalty at the 65th attempt as James Tarkowski was bundled over, but Hendrick collected the loose ball and his drive across goal, which may have curled into the far corner, flew instead into the back of the net off defender Joe Bryan.

Hendrick’s only goal this season had come at Fulham and he struck a further blow as Burnley went in front.

This time he combined with Ashley Barnes to get in behind the Cottagers’ defence, which has leaked more goals than any other in the top tier, before pulling the ball back and seeing it cannon off Odoi to beat a helpess Sergio Rico once more.

The Clarets had earned their luck and had another slice at the other end as Calum Chambers thumped a header against the bar from a rare Fulham attack.

And despite deserving that lead, the Clarets were never entirely comfortable with just a one-goal advantage and six minutes into the second half it took a remarkable goal-line block from Tarkowski to keep the scores level as Fulham started well after the break.

Claudio Ranieri had made a half-time switch by sending on Luciano Vietto and the former Atletico Madrid forward must have thought he had scored when meeting a knock-down from Aleksandar Mitrovic with a shot which Tarkowski somehow managed to keep out of the goal.

The Clarets’ response came through a fierce strike from Wood which flew just over the top after Barnes, starting his 100th Burnley game, had headed down a ball from Hendrick.

But it was nervy stuff as Fulham threw caution to the wind and attacked in numbers, leaving the Clarets to weather a storm both on the pitch and from the skies as the wind and rain lashed the stadium.

Heaton beat away another effort from Vietto but the Clarets refused to buckle, defending superbly to keep Fulham out and extend their winless run at Turf Moor to 30 games in a freakish run stretching back to 1951.

Perhaps they might have known it wouldn’t have been their day.

Burnley: Heaton; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Barnes, Wood (Vokes 87). Substitutes: Hart, Lowton, Gibson, Defour, Vydra, Long.

Booked: Tarkowski

Fulham: Rico; Odoi, Ream, Le Marchand; Christie, Chambers, Seri, Bryan (Cairney 61); Schurrle (Kebano 77), Mitrovic, R Sessegnon (Vietto HT). Substitutes: Bettinelli, S Sessegnon, Ayite, Cisse.

Booked: Chambers, Christie

Referee: Martin Atkinson

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Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

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