Burnley 2-1 Everton Six Things: Clarets impress

Wood nods in the winner – telegraph.co.uk

Second half goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood saw Burnley deservedly complete a league double over Everton, who had struck first through Cenk Tosun. Here’s six things from the game.

Burnley’s early pressure

Sean Dyche’s side played some good football in the early stages with Aaron Lennon and Matthew Lowton combining well down the right flank, where they caused problems for Cuco Martina. One passage of play on 17 minutes saw the ball fall to Jack Cork, who sliced an effort over the bar. Michael Keane, returning to Turf Moor for the first time, was guilty of two soft headers that fell to Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who was twice denied by blocks from Seamus Coleman.

Everton’s first half incision

While Burnley attacked for the longest periods of the first half, Everton’s expensively-assembled attack helped them convert their more positive moments into clear cut chances. Gylfi Sigurdsson showed quick feet in the box before setting up a back-post chance for Theo Walcott, who fired off-target after a mix-up with Tom Davies. Walcott though created the opener when he eluded the attentions of Gudmundsson, as Coleman flicked on his dinked cross for Cenk Tosun to head home. The Toffees continued to pose a threat on the break and when James Tarkowski failed to control Tosun’s reverse pass, Walcott hit straight at Nick Pope from a tight angle.

Wood’s impact

In the latter stages of the first half, Burnley’s passing perhaps became slightly stale – at least after Jordan Pickford produced a strong 29th minute save to deny Jeff Hendrick. The latter was positioned closer to Cork and Ashley Westwood than Barnes, who was unfairly asked to dominate four defenders, thus limiting the potential for quality early balls. That changed at the start of the second half, when natural striker Wood replaced Hendrick and Pickford was promptly forced into good stops from Lennon and Ben Mee. The Agoalkeeper’s positioning though could be questioned for the seemingly inevitable equalizer: the tireless Barnes again got ahead of Keane to receive the impressive Lowton’s pass, firing inside the near-post.

Another bad day for Williams

Ashley Williams looked suspect all afternoon and on 80 minutes, he decided to stay in a vacant area, rather than mark his man Wood, who was closer to goal. The Welshman’s sloppy decision-making was punished when Wood beat Keane to the ball to nod home from close-range. Williams’ poor game was compounded on 85 minutes, when he was sent off for throwing an arm into the face of Barnes, reducing his side’s already slim chances of rescuing a point.

Discontented Evertonians

The boos from the away end at full-time and the strong views expressed towards Sam Allardyce and the players had little to do with the threat of relegation. Everton remain ninth and seven points above the drop zone ahead of Saturday’s kick-offs – if the drop was the only concern, fans would be roundly happy with results. The more pertinent issue is that when The Toffees play away from home under ‘Big Sam’, they show their opponents too much respect despite possessing, on paper, a squad high on quality. Ronald Koeman lost his job partly for not truly embracing the club, yet the divide under Allardyce is arguably even greater.

Burnley set records straight

Prior to kick-off, The Clarets faced two unwanted records. They were winless in 12 and hadn’t come from behind to win a top flight match since May 2010, when they were already relegated: Jack Cork scored in a 4-2 win over Tottenham. The midfielder starred eight years later as Burnley ended both records, deservedly reaching the 40 point mark with nine games to spare. The question now is just how good their season can get: a surprise top eight finish now looks well within their grasp.