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Burnley took a huge step towards Premier League survival thanks to Nick Pope’s penalty save and a late winner from Ashley Westwood in a dramatic comeback at Turf Moor.
Sean Dyche’s team were trailing to Harvey Barnes’ opener but levelled through Chris Wood early in the second half.
Pope saved from Jamie Vardy’s spot-kick before Westwood grabbed the winner, ending a run of four straight defeats in the Premier League that saw Burnley looking over their shoulder in the relegation battle.
Their slide down the table has been partly down to worryingly slow starts in matches. This was the 11th game in a row where they failed to find the net in the first half and they needed to fight back after falling behind.
It was Leicester who did all the running early on. They were looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Southampton and initially seemed full of confidence as they passed the ball out of defence, sometimes dangerously close to their own goalline.
It was Barnes who opened the scoring, with his first Premier League goal since a blockbuster at Bramall Lane in the first couple of weeks of the season.
The goal was set up by Dennis Praet, who has forced his way into the first team recently following his summer move from Sampdoria. Praet tackled Jack Cork on the centre spot, allowing his team-mate to run at Burnley’s defence.
Barnes was direct with the ball at his feet, then used his pace to skip around Ben Mee before finding the net with a finish that went in off Nick Pope’s foot.
Burnley were level 11 minutes after the break with a goal from Dwight McNeil’s inswinging corner. Mee nodded at goal and Kasper Schmeichel could only parry, allowing Wood to tap in.
Leicester had their golden opportunity to restore the lead when Barnes earned a penalty. After being played behind the Burnley defence and was brought down by Mee, who had an arm across his opponent.
Vardy’s spot-kick was side-footed and accurate but Pope leapt to his left to parry, with Ricardo Pereira going wide with the rebound.
Pope also saved, this time with his chest, when Vardy raced through in open play as Leicester pushed forward.
But then came Westwood’s goal, his first of the season. Charlie Taylor created the chance with a cross from the left that Jonny Evans could only clear to the edge of the area. Westwood kept his volley low, crashing into the bottom corner with Schmeichel rooted to his spot.
Let's have a chat
I'm going to go into the comments section for a bit, come have a wee chat.
And that's it! Burnley come from behind to beat Leicester, who played well but clearly missed key individuals, specifically Ndidi.
90 mins+2 - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Stunning first touch by Ricardo as he controls a high ball out the air and cushions it into his running path while tightly marked inside the box. That just passed the commentators by but my god it was impressive. He boots the shot across goal, it deflects and is blocked and Burnley get it away.
90 mins - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Leicester working the ball around the box, one-twos, dribbles, short passes.... but Burnley keep blocking. They win a corner.
Mee diving headers a ball four miles into the air.
88 mins - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Soyuncu ends a tap tap tap Leicester move by shooting over the bar from 30 yards. Burnley managing this game really well.
86 mins - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Tarkowski fouls Maddison and shouts 'f***' a couple of times as he runs back to prepare for the free-kick, knowing he's just handed a dangerous crossing opportunity to Leicester. Pope comes to claim it... DROPS THE BALL! And then catches it again.
84 mins - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Burnley have dropped into defensive mode now, getting bodies in the box to force Leicester wide where they know they can't hurt them.
Leicester are in a rush to get things going.
82 mins - Burnley 2 Leicester 1
Fantasy Football chat is dreadful but can I just tell you that I'm on for 11 points at the moment, for the entire weekend. Professional football writer. 11 points on Fantasy.
Burnley 2 Leicester 1
⚽️ Ashley Westwood marks the 400th appearance of his senior career with his first home PL goal for Burnley, in his 40th League app at Turf Moor for the club pic.twitter.com/zXVxaordEU— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 19, 2020
Oooooohhhh and there it is! The ball is moved wide left, Taylor hooks it in and Evans doesn't deal with it properly, effectively controlling the ball and setting up Westwood to absolutely batter a shot low into the corner. Schmeichel has no chance.
78 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Iheanacho plays in Vardy, who blasts a shot at the near post but hits Pope in the chest. Leicester still looking more likely to create something, Burnley reliant on hooking the ball into the box.
76 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Mendy tries a tame volley from 25 yards, moments after Mee blocks a Maddison shot by leaning into it. Was that a handball? Not for me Clive.
73 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Maddison concedes a free-kick, McNeil hits the wall and that's a corner. Again it's curled to the back post, the keeper has to punch clear and Leicester try to break. Burnley work hard to win it back, do so and are roared on by the crowd.
Leicester make a double switch, with Iheanacho and Tielemans replacing Perez and Praet.
70 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
- Jamie Vardy has failed to score four of his 21 attempted penalties in the Premier League - this was also his first shot attempt in the Premier League in 2020.
BRILLIANT SAVE BY POPE!
Vardy places it to the right of the goal, the keeper reads it and blocks, and Leicester miss the target in the ensuing melee.
PENALTY TO LEICESTER
The referee takes a second to think about it and then awards a penalty and yellow card to Ben Mee.
67 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Maddison has a chance to shoot across goal but can't get underneath it and Pope catches easily. The ball is played through towards Barnes, who takes a clever touch and IS AWAY! IN BEHIND THE DEFENCE! Mee is chasing him and Barnes goes down! PENALTY!
65 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Burnley defend the free-kick really well, getting every ball into the area clear, winning their battles and eventually a free-kick to stop the attack.
62 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Burnley fans don't like Maddison, who they feel is going down too easily, and also presumably because he isn't built from stone and bread like the Burnley players. The irony is that Burnley really need some players like Maddison in their side to prevent them being so unimaginative.
Bardsley puts weight and his studs on the boy's foot and boos ring out around the ground as the referee blows for a free-kick. That is one way to stop Maddison playing tbf.
59 mins - Burnley 1 Leicester 1
Mendy gives the ball away again with a poor pass and Burnley try to take advantage but can't. Vardy soon has the ball as Leicester win it back, finds Maddison, and he dribbles then falls to ground looking for a free-kick. The referee doesn't buy it.
Burnley 1 Leicester 1
And yes it's from a cross. A corner is curled to the back post, Mee heads down, Wood turns it in after a reaction save from Schmeichel. So basic but it works.
53 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Mendy hasn't been as tidy in possession as he needs to for his role, losing the ball a few times in 50/50s by simply moving too quickly to be able to do anything calmly with it. He's hardly featured for Leicester since signing so there might be a player in there's a clear difference in quality between him and Ndidi.
And suddenly Leicester have an overload! Three run through the middle, Burnley back off and Maddison looks for the top corner from 25 yards but places it well wide.
50 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Burnley create another chance by, you guessed it, getting the ball wide and curling a cross into the area. Taylor bends a great cross to Wood, who heads over the bar.
48 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Great move by Leicester! Some slick one-touch passing gives Barnes a chance to shoot across the goal, the keeper saves and Vardy just cannot convert as the ball bounces slightly away from him.
KICK OFF 2
We're back. Leicester get the second half started.
Burnley Hate Goals
- Burnley have now failed to score a first-half goal in 11 successive Premier League games, the longest run by any team in the competition since the Clarets themselves went 12 matches without doing so between February and May 2015 (12).
Leicester the better side, Burnley don't have many ideas and are struggling. No real creativity, pretty basic stuff, Leicester can sit and wait to hit them on the counter now.
45 mins+1 - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Maddison takes a free-kick from wide right and Perez heads at the near post, pinging a shot over the bar. If that were on target there was no way the goalkeeper was stopping it.
43 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Fuchs runs through the middle of the pitch but passes straight to a Burnley shirt, which means he is out of position! Burnley get the ball wide... and another cross into the box is easily dealt with. It's really one dimensional.
40 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Burnley's plan of crossing the ball towards one man inside the box still isn't working.
Maddison is tackled and stays down for a while clutching his ankle... but is up again soon after to help his team defend.
37 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
- Harvey Barnes has scored his first Premier League goal since August, when he netted the winning goal against Sheffield United.
35 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 1
And the great thing about VAR is that Burnley now cannot moan about the goal because it's been reviewed and the referees agree there was no foul.
Burnley 0 Leicester 1
Well Burnley are raging about this one because they are convinced Praet fouls Cork in the buildup, jumping in to slide tackle from behind. He seems to take the ball but also wipes out Cork inside the centre-circle, Barnes steals onto the loose ball, Vardy takes the defender away and Barnes finishes low and hard through the goalie.
33 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Burnley definitely in control of the game at the moment, but that does suit Vardy trying to punish them on the counter. Playing some nice football interspersed with long punts.
30 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
30 minutes in and I've just realised that Leicester could and should be wearing blue shirts.
28 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
The ball bounces around the Leicester area and Soyuncu ensures no prisoners are left behind, hitting the ball with the power of 1000 suns. If anyone had dared compete with him for that they'd have been kicked into another dimension.
The ball lands about 70 yards away up the pitch and Leicester move out.
25 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Vardy wins a corner with a clever little touch to skip past his man, knowing the deflection would take it away. He keeps getting beyond the last man with passes over the top, as though Burnley weren't prepared for it, which they obviously were.
22 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Mendy's a busy player, working really hard to close down Burnley players off the ball and visibly annoyed at himself if he loses control of it. Burnley win a corner and send the cavalry forward.
A foul is called by the ref for something inside the box, which is a shame for Taylor because he's lamped a volley into the back of the net.
19 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Cork goes in with a really strong/aggressive tackle in the middle of the park and it's really not great on first look. He flies into Praet at speed, who jumps out the way, but the replay shows Cork pulls his foot out of the challenge and the referee just tells him to wise up rather than show a yellow card.
16 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Wood tries a shot from 25 yards because why not. It rolls wide of the goal and comes back off an advertising board.
14 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Burnley have bit more of a handle of how Leicester are playing now. OR DO THEY? Vardy is threaded in, goes round the goalie but is too wide in the box. He finds Maddison in the area but his touch isn't great and the ball bounces away.
12 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Hendrick absolutely dinghies Barnes with a little stud roll skill on the wing. Lovely. Nothing comes of it but at least it looked cool.
9 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Another great line splitting pass from Soyuncu. Leicester are going forward with almost every pass rather than slowing things down with sideways possession passes, makes the game fun to watch. I'm a big fan.
Burnley keep the ball for a bit and get men over wide in the channel. That might be the plan - outnumber Leicester in wide areas so they can get a man free to cross the ball into the middle, and then just rely on the Big Lad (Wood) doing something with it.
6 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Leicester are getting the ball through the lines really quickly, going from defence to attack in a few seconds but Burnley are working hard to get bodies behind the ball. Maddison threads a lovely wee pass in behind for Barnes, then again for Vardy soon after.
Burnley are defending with a line of five across their own area with four ahead, which is giving room to the Leicester full-backs to get forward.
4 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Burnley press high with a striker flanked by two attacking midfielders and force Soyuncu to launch the ball away. Leicester soon have it back though until a long kick by Schmeichel ends with Ricardo crashing to ground while going for a header.
2 mins - Burnley 0 Leicester 0
Leicester attack from the start and Barnes finds space on the left, gets into the box and opens his foot up to shoot at the top corner! He ends up putting it chest height in the goalkeeper's gloves. Not a great start for Burnley.
Burnley get the game started.
Here come the teams
No baseball caps in sight for the two goalkeepers and honestly yes I am disappointed.
Ben Chilwell out the squad
Well well well. Christian Fuchs is left-back today but it's not because Chilwell is about to make a transfer to one of the many clubs who want to buy him. Both he and Choudhury weren't able to do a week's training and Tielemans needs a rest too, according to Rodgers.
It's Always Sunny in Burnley
The sun is that bright kinda light that makes you shut the curtains even though it's lovely outside and may mean we see the very underrated 'goalkeeper in cap' unlockable feature today. If anyone knows whether footballers who aren't goalkeepers are allowed to wear hats, please let me know in the comments. I've always wondered.
How Brendan Rodgers teams have evolved tactically
I spoke to a few of Brendan Rodgers' ex players, including Jobi McAnuff and Leon Britton, to find out how his coaching methods have changed and how his tactics have developed over his career. You can read the article here.
Here's a little bit of it:
“It was a lot of playing through the lines. He was one of the first coaches I had who came in and emphasised that,” says McAnuff, whom Rodgers signed for Reading in 2009. “I would come off the left wing into a little pocket and the defenders would need to play through the lines to get me in an advanced position where I could turn. Then I’d have the left-back, who at the time was Ryan Bertrand in from Chelsea, who was fantastic, a perfect fit for him in that position."
Just as at Watford, results didn’t go exactly to plan. “I’ve got to be honest, it was nothing he did or didn’t do,” McAnuff explained. “I just feel like some of the players weren’t quite ready to take on those instructions, just weren’t quite prepared to deal with the things they were being asked to do, or not capable of it.
"You get some managers who have one thing and one thing only. He was very much able to adapt whether it started like a 4-5-1 then changed in certain phases of the game - that was another thing that was new to me at that stage. It might have been the first 15 minutes we play like this, a real high tempo, high press, then change once the game settles down a bit - and he was really detailed and meticulous in his planning. We were always very well prepared because of the work done on the training ground.
“He was very much ahead of the game, certainly at that Championship level, and I know Jose Mourinho was a big influence on his early career. You could tell he came from a higher level.”
Standard 4-4-2 from Burnley and I thiiiink that's a 4-1-4-1 for Leicester, with Nampalys Mendy as the defensive midfielder.
Sunday football is nice
Hello there, do you like Sunday football? Of course you do! Who wouldn't? A madmn, that's who (or madwmn, of course) and today it's.... Burnley, which will test our love of the sport of football to its limits. They like a long diagonal pass, two big lads up front, and a lot of organised, well-drilled defending. Leicester have been excellent fun to watch this season but have tweaked things in recent weeks and stuttered as a result - the slight nuisance of it is that this game suits their 3-5-2 because three centre-backs vs two strikers gives numerical advantage.
The table looks like this:
And as you can see, Burnley are being slowly dragged into something like a relegation battle. Sean Dyche has established the club as a Premier League regular but without the level of investment some other rivals have been afforded, and as familiarity sets in, things can level out to below the maximum they need to be for a team like Burnley to survive at the top. What I mean by that is Burnley aren't great but they defend well and play to their strengths (literally) with those fridge freezer units up top and at centre-back - against teams with world superstar skill wizards, that isn't always the answer.
Leicester will give them a battle today and need to if they are to keep up their pursuit of a top three place. A win today would put them level on points with Manchester City.
Team news will be with us in a second, and you can stay on this blog for live updates and analysis throughout the match. At full-time I'll go into the comments as well to answer any questions you may have and have a wee chat - it's always interesting to hear what you think about the game.