Section: Burnley

Premiership: Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey’s early goal was enough for Arsenal to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points with a hard-earned victory at Turf Moor.

The Gunners have played two games more than Jose Mourinho’s men,who play QPR on Sunday, so talk that they are now in a two-horse title race remains premature.

But they are undoubtedly putting more pressure on the Blues than anyone else after securing their eighth straight league win, becoming the first top-flight team to manage that feat this season.

That impressive form has also put them four points clear in second place and means they now look almost certain of securing Champions League football for an 18th consecutive season under Arsene Wenger.

They also showed again that they have added the kind of discipline to their game that they have lacked in previous seasons.

Arsenal’s latest win was not down to the kind of incisive attacking and explosive finishingthat demolished Liverpool last weekend.

Instead it was earned by exactly the kind of considered and controlled defensive performance needed to keep an energetic Burnley side at arms length.

The composure that Wenger’s side demonstrated was in complete contrast to Burnley, who did not lack urgency or effort but paid a heavy price for the poor passing that littered their display.

Ramsey’s 12th-minute goal came after Jason Shackell gave the ball away to Francis Coquelin on the halfway line and, after Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both had shots saved, the Welshman blasted home.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Burnley 1-0 Man City

George Boyd’s goal gave Burnley a famous win against Manchester City to further damage the champions’ hopes of retaining their Premier League title.

Boyd arrowed in a low half-volley after a poor headed clearance from returning City captain Vincent Kompany.

The visitors had wasted chances as Edin Dzeko had a shot saved by Tom Heaton and Sergio Aguero headed just over.

Pablo Zabaleta went to ground late on, but City’s appeals for a penalty were rejected by referee Andre Marriner.

The shock defeat means second-placed City remain five points behind leaders Chelsea, who have two matches in hand.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said on Friday the title race was already over and that his team would be celebrating in May.

City responded with a disappointing performance and a result that severely dents their hopes of winning a third title in four years.

They had only won three of their past 10 matches in all competitions before facing a Burnley side with only one victory in their previous 11 games in 2015.

But apart from a low save to deny Dzeko, and tame efforts from Aguero and Wilfried Bony that were straight at him, Burnley goalkeeper Heaton had little to do.

Kompany, dropped for City’s last match against Leicester, should have done better than head the ball into Boyd’s path from Kieran Trippier’s free kick. Nevertheless, the Scotland international produced a spectacular finish to shoot past England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Victory moves Sean Dyche’s side, Championship runners-up last season, up a position to 18th, only one point behind 17th-placed Sunderland.

City’s season, meanwhile, is in danger of falling apart. They will need to quickly regroup as they play at the Nou Camp on Wednesday looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit in their Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona.

Burnley had to ride their luck late on as Aguero headed over, and Zabaleta went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Ben Mee, but referee Marriner waved away City’s calls for a penalty.

Not even the introduction of forwards Bony and Stevan Jovetic and midfielder Frank Lampard, making his 600th Premier League appearance, could see the visitors grab an equaliser as the Clarets held on for a memorable victory.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Liverpool 2-0 Burnley

Stand-in captain Jordan Henderson led from the front with his second goal in successive matches as Liverpool maintained their pursuit of a top-four place.

With third-placed Arsenal and Manchester United also winning, Brendan Rodgers’ side could not afford anything less than three points and a straightforward 2-0 victory over the Premier League strugglers was the achieved with the minimum of fuss.

Henderson, in possession of the armband in the absence of Steven Gerrard, back in training this week after a hamstring injury, slotted home just before the half-hour and Daniel Sturridge’s header just after the break sealed the result.

With Henderson, and the team, in this form the watching captain – who departs for Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer – must be wondering where he fits in.

Liverpool, the league’s only unbeaten side since the turn of the year, have not been defeated in the last 12 league games – picking up 30 points from a possible 36 having won seven of the last eight with six clean sheets.

Rodgers’ side are upwardly mobile and moved back into fifth place, which they had been ousted from by Southampton 24 hours earlier, remaining three points behind Arsenal and two behind United, who visit Anfield a week on Sunday.

Burnley, on the other hand, have just one win in the last 12 league matches and stay second-bottom three points from safety.

Just 24 seconds had elapsed when Sturridge brought a smart reaction save out of Tom Heaton low to his left after Raheem Sterling had cut the ball back

But if the hosts thought that was the beginning of the onslaught they were mistaken as Burnley recovered their composure quickly and set out their stall to harass and make things difficult.

They achieved that with plenty of endeavour but despite gaining the upper hand in the game, what they lacked was that touch of class.

Liverpool have that in spades in the form of Philippe Coutinho, who pulls the strings in the space between opposition defences and midfield, and he was soon demanding and receiving more of the ball.

The clever brain and quick feet of the diminutive Brazil international have always been a characteristic of his play but what he has added to his game with devastating effect is shooting power.

Two wonder goals in successive matches have given the 22-year-old the confidence to have a go and when he let fly from distance the shot rebounded off a crowd of defenders to Henderson who, having also found the net in Sunday’s win over Manchester City, rammed home from the edge of the area.

It was the first time in his senior career the 24-year-old had scored in consecutive matches.

Three minutes later Coutinho almost replicated his brilliant effort against City from a similar position but although he wrapped his right foot around the ball to impart plenty of spin the shot bent just around the far post.

It encapsulated the match as a whole. Liverpool, having spent £120million in the summer, had far more quality to call upon than Burnley, who make up for the difference in financial clout with committed players who carry out manager Sean Dyche’s game plan effectively.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton had to deny Sturridge three times in the first half alone: once from a direct shot, second time racing out to snatch the ball off striker’s toes when Emre Can’s deflected effort looped up off Michael Keane and then sticking out a leg to win a one-on-one with the England striker.

Burnley, for all their hard work and desire to go toe-to-toe with their opponents could not create half as much with Danny Ings, a reported target for Liverpool this summer, robbed by a perfect tackle from Martin Skrtel six yards out and Ashley Barnes heading at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet moments before the break.

Six minutes into the second half the Clarets were exposed again as Adam Lallana led the defence a merry dance with some nifty footwork to retain possession long enough for support to arrive in the form of Henderson, whose cross to the far post was nodded in by Sturridge.

Barnes volleyed wide to provide a reminder the Premier League strugglers were far from finished while Ings, as was the case for his team, came up just short in a race with Mignolet.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Burnley 0-1 Swansea

Swansea moved up to eighth in the Premier League table after a narrow victory over struggling Burnley.

They broke the deadlock in the second half, as Kieran Trippier scored an own goal in failing to clear; Burnley were unable to find a leveller.

Ashley Barnes wasted the best chance of the first half, striking at Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski from close range.

At the other end, Bafetimbi Gomis had an effort smothered by Tom Heaton before flashing a strike wide of goal.

The Clarets picked up an encouraging point at leaders Chelsea last weekend and were unchanged for this match, but could not break down a solid Swansea backline.

Sean Dyche’s men have now gone 11 matches without a clean sheet and remain in the relegation zone. They have the joint-worst defensive record in the league this season, conceding 45 goals.

The result could prove a significant loss in their battle to escape the drop, as they face sides in the current top seven in their next five games, having won just one of their last 11.

Meanwhile, Garry Monk’s men backed up last weekend’s win over Manchester United by collecting another three points to reach 40 for the season.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

Chelsea’s troubled week ended in further controversy when Nemanja Matic was sent off as Burnley plundered a late 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.

Matic was shown a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson for pushing over Ashley Barnes after taking exception to a nasty one-footed lunge from the forward.

John Terry and Kurt Zouma restrained Matic as he seethed at the tackle, before the Serbian eventually left the pitch knowing he now faces a three-match ban for violent conduct.

Branislav Ivanovic was booked during the same flashpoint for attempting to prevent Atkinson withdrawing the red card from his pocket.

Chelsea had been coasting until Matic’s dismissal with Ivanovic firing them into a 14th minute lead, but the melee sparked a revival from Burnley who saw Barnes go close before Ben Mee headed in the equaliser.

The eventful final 21 minutes at Stamford Bridge concluded a miserable week for the Blues, who have been desperate to repair the damage caused when footage emerged of a small group of their fans racially abusing a black man on the Paris Metro on Tuesday night.

Once again they expressed their anger after a commuter was prevented from boarding a train amid chants of ”we’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.

John Terry used his captain’s notes in the matchday programme for Chelsea’s annual ‘Game for Equality’ to describe the incident as “unacceptable”, while chairman Bruce Buck admitted the event had placed the club at a “crossroads” in their fight to stamp out discrimination.

Another potential storm looms on the horizon, however, after police confirmed on Saturday morning they are seeking a gang of men – believed to be Chelsea fans – who were heard shouting racist chants at London St Pancras on Wednesday night.

It was against this backdrop that the Premier League leaders met relegation-threatened Burnley and the relief from controversy they sought appeared imminent as they poured forward in search of a second, but it was the visitors who finished the stronger team.

The match had barely started when Juan Cuadrado looped a header that keeper Tom Heaton parried to safety with his fingertips, but by the 14th minute Chelsea were ahead.

Burnley’s defence was caught dithering and Eden Hazard capitalised, weaving a seemingly impossible path to the byline before pulling back to Ivanovic who drilled the ball home from close range.

The sublime interchange that followed moments later between Hazard, Diego Costa and Oscar was worthy of a second, but they were guilty of over-elaboration when the trigger needed to be pulled.

Ivanovic had a penalty appeal for handball rejected by referee Atkinson and apart from a smart save by Thibaut Courtois, it largely remained one way traffic.

Atkinson had a bigger call to make on the stroke of half-time when Jason Shackell appeared to push Costa over, but the official waved play on and was met with jeers from home fans.

Stood in the technical area, an incredulous Mourinho shook his head with his face breaking out into a wry smile.

Barnes tried his luck from long range with a dipping shot and would have been successful but for the reflexes of Courtois.

Chelsea were quickly back on to the offensive, Oscar playing a beautiful ball through to Costa who ghosted into a strong position only for his shot to lack power, enabling Heaton to deny the Spaniard.

The Blues were pushing hard for a second as Costa almost connected with a fine cross by Ivanovic before scrambling defence stopped another attack at the crucial moment.

Matic was dismissed and Barnes almost beat Courtois, before Burnley plundered the equaliser when Ben Mee leaped high between two defenders to nod home at the far post.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Man Utd 3-1 Burnley

Manchester United cut out the long-ball tactics but they still had to battle their way to a 3-1 win over Burnley at Old Trafford.

Chris Smalling scored 22 seconds after his introduction to put United ahead and the substitute put United 2-1 up after Danny Ings’ spectacular diving header.

Burnley, whose team cost a fraction of Louis van Gaal’s star-laden XI, had United on the ropes at times in the first half and comedy defending from Smalling and Ander Herrera should have resulted in an equaliser, but David de Gea saved the Red Devils once again.

Finally, Robin van Persie put the game to bed with an 82nd-minute penalty after Angel Di Maria was fouled in the box.

All the focus in the build-up to Wednesday’s match had centred on Van Gaal’s bizarre press conference stunt, which was designed to shoot down Sam Allardyce’s claims about United’s style of play.

Allardyce had referred to Van Gaal’s team as “long-ball United” and Van Gaal responded by producing a dossier of statistics which supposedly undermined the Hammers manager’s claims at a press conference on Tuesday.

There were few long-balls on Wednesday night – Marouane Fellaini did not step off the bench to add an aerial threat – but for large parts United were still not at their free-flowing best.

The fact that Wayne Rooney was moved to the base of United’s midfield diamond following an injury to Daley Blind did not help.

Still, Van Gaal will point to the Barclays Premier League table, which states his team are now third – one point ahead of Southampton and two in front of Arsenal.

United were criticised for a lack of creativity on Sunday, but Van Gaal stubbornly stuck with the same front six that looked completely blunt at West Ham.

The only changes for United came at the back where Paddy McNair and Jonny Evans replaced Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw.

United fans applauded Michael Keane as his name was read out from the Burnley team-sheet, but the centre-back almost scored against his old club after just two minutes.

Scott Arfield’s corner cleared a number of United bodies in the box, but Keane’s effort flew wide.

United heeded the warning. The man who jumped ahead of Keane in the pecking order at United, McNair, almost celebrated his new contract with a maiden goal but Tom Heaton awkwardly palmed his shot wide.

Just before Rooney took the corner Smalling came on for Phil Jones and 22 seconds later he headed United ahead.

From Rooney’s corner, Radamel Falcao knocked Van Persie’s flick-on back across the box and Smalling headed home.

The United fans hoping their team would go on to establish a comprehensive lead were to be disappointed. The hosts’ lead lasted just six minutes.

Di Maria gave the ball away and Kieran Trippier took advantage, swinging in a cross to the back post where Ings headed in superbly after drifting away from Smalling.

Burnley upped the pressure and would have taken the lead had De Gea not saved Ings’ low shot with his feet. Ashley Barnes cracked a low curling shot just wide. Evans hoofed the ball up in the air inside his own box moments later. United were rattled.

Whatever they tried in attack – whether it be long passes, short passes or medium-sized ones – it did not work. Burnley, promoted to the top-flight on a shoestring, were upstaging Van Gaal’s expensively-assembled team.

Michael Kightly even nutmegged Rooney.

Van Gaal then took the bizarre decision to drop Rooney, the club’s third-highest goal scorer of all-time, back to the base of the diamond when Blind came off through injury and was replaced by Herrera.

Smalling saved United’s blushes just before the break when he scored his second.

Again the goal came from a corner. Rooney and Di Maria exchanged passes before the Argentinian whipped a pin-point ball to the back post where Smalling rose above his marker and nodded in.

United still looked shaky at the back after the break. Evans looked uncomfortable on the ball.

Smalling looked at Herrera, expecting the Spaniard to clear George Boyd’s soft cross, but he did not and the ball fell straight to the feet of Ings. Not for the first time this season, De Gea came to the rescue, deflecting the ball over the bar.

Rooney’s evening got worse when he was booked for barging into Ings. Falcao joined him in the book for catching Trippier with his arm as he jumped for the ball.

Any hopes of a Burnley comeback were extinguished eight minutes from time when Arfield tripped Di Maria when he raced into the box.

Smalling did not put himself forward to try to score his first ever hat-trick. He left it to Van Persie, who clinically jabbed the ball past Heaton.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Burnley 2-2 West Brom

West Brom fight back to hold Burnley in game of four headers

Brown Ideye was West Brom’s unlikely saviour as they fought back from two down to draw 2-2 at fellow strugglers Burnley.

The Baggies’ record signing almost left the club in the final hours of the winter transfer window on Monday but came off the bench at half-time at Turf Moor to head in the equaliser.

Burnley were two up inside 32 minutes through Ashley Barnes and Danny Ings but Chris Brunt pulled one back just before half-time for Albion.

It was a first Premier League goal of the season for Brunt, who lost the captain’s armband to deadline-day signing Darren Fletcher.

The point was enough for Burnley to climb back out of the relegation zone but they desperately needed all three with an extremely tough run of fixtures coming up.

Saido Berahino’s “naughty chair” was parked on the bench as the Baggies striker was dropped following an interview where he spoke of wanting to move on to bigger things, but he was called upon in the 18th minute after an injury to Victor Anichebe.

Burnley boss, Sean Dyche, meanwhile, named an unchanged starting line-up for a 10th successive Premier League match.

The club have come in for criticism from some supporters this week after failing to add to the squad during the transfer window, but holding on to Ings was a significant consolation.

Dyche substituted the striker at Sunderland last weekend because he felt constant speculation had affected the 22-year-old, but there was nothing sluggish about Ings as Burnley made a flying start.

After Ings fired over, the hosts thought they had scored when Kieran Trippier’s cross was touched back to Scott Arfield by Barnes, but Ben Foster reacted superbly to push the midfielder’s shot onto the underside of the crossbar.

However, West Brom, who had thrashed Burnley 4-0 in September, could not stem the tide and it was no more than Burnley deserved when Barnes headed in the opener in the 11th minute.

This time Dean Marney’s cross from the right was dummied by Ings, who then picked up Arfield’s header and hooked the ball across goal for his strike partner.

Berahino was unsurprisingly given a mixed reception by the travelling supporters when he made his entrance, and West Brom at last began to manage a few forays into the Burnley box. Joleon Lescott might have done better with a header from Fletcher’s free-kick.

In the 32nd minute, however, Burnley doubled their lead as Ings finished off a fine move with his eighth of the season.

Marney’s pass out to the right was dummied by Trippier which freed George Boyd, and his cross was perfect for Ings to head in off the post.

It all looked rosy for the hosts but they had lost two of their previous three games from 2-0 up and their Achilles heel came back to bite them again.

Burnley have conceded more headed goals than any other team in the Premier League and, with the first half into injury time, Brunt was allowed to head in Callum McManaman’s corner from five yards. The ball seemed to come more off shoulder than head but Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton was helpless as it bounced over him and into the net.

Both managers made changes for the second half. Burnley’s was forced as Michael Kightly replaced the injured Marney, while Tony Pulis sent on Ideye for Chris Baird, with Brunt dropping to left-back.

There was a half-hearted Burnley appeal for a penalty when Barnes tumbled under pressure from Craig Dawson trying to reach another excellent Trippier cross, but referee Mike Dean was unmoved.

With 67 minutes gone, West Brom drew level as Burnley were exposed at a corner once again.

This time Brunt’s delivery from the right found record signing Ideye all alone in the centre of the box and he headed in his third goal for the Baggies.

It was Burnley’s turn to threaten from a corner nine minutes later but Lescott was in the right place to clear Jason Shackell’s header off the line.

The final chance of the game went to Berahino but he could not quite reclaim his hero status as a combination of Heaton and Ben Mee on the line denied what appeared a certain goal.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Burnley 2-3 Crystal Palace

For the second weekend running Dwight Gayle and Jason Puncheon rescued Crystal Palace to secure a significant victory at Burnley.

The pair both scored in the come-from-behind win over Tottenham seven days ago and repeated the feat at Turf Moor as the Eagles recovered from being 2-0 down after 16 minutes to seal a 3-2 success.

Burnley appeared to be coasting after Ben Mee and Danny Ings struck in quick succession, but they were pegged back before Gayle’s second three minutes from time extended Alan Pardew’s unbeaten run since he took over at Selhurst Park.

The former Newcastle manager has got two of his attacking players scoring and, if he manages the same trick with on-loan Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo, who made his debut, he can expect to see his side climb even further away from the relegation zone than the four points they now are.

It will be a different story for Burnley, just a point above the bottom three, if they continue to pass up such opportunities as this.

They have not won back-to-back home league games since April when they were in the Championship and defeat ended a three-match unbeaten spell in the league.

Tennis season seemed a long way off in snowy Lancashire, but two disputed line calls were involved in Burnley, extending their own Premier League record by naming an unchanged side for the eighth consecutive match, taking a 2-0 lead.

Kieran Trippier’s corner may have been taken from outside the quadrant, but that would not have contributed to Joe Ledley’s inability to mark Mee, who lost his man to head home at the far post from barely a yard out.

The second was more hotly contested as Joel Ward tried to shepherd Mee’s clearance into touch only for Scott Arfield to muscle the full-back out of the way, keep the ball in play – despite Palace protestations – and slide a pass inside for Ings to charge through the middle and slot past Julian Speroni.

Pardew’s decision to swap over his wingers paid off when Wilfried Zaha’s pace helped him beat two markers and, although James McArthur’s effort was blocked by the seemingly omnipresent Mee, the rebound was drilled home by Gayle.

It was Palace’s first away goal in 453 minutes, since Mile Jedinak’s effort at Swansea on November 29.

Zaha was enjoying more success the right, but Sanogo, despite holding up the ball well, was given few opportunities, with his best coming from the last action of the first half with a header hooked over by Arfield.

Burnley’s inactivity for Palace’s equaliser three minutes after the interval was inexcusable, however.

Puncheon picked up the ball just inside the opposition half, but was allowed to turn and run 25 yards unchallenged and he took full advantage to beat Tom Heaton with a low shot just inside the goalkeeper’s right-hand post.

The momentum was all with the visitors now and, although Michael Keane’s volley was cleared off the line by McArthur, substitute Glenn Murray hit a post before Heaton was beaten by Gayle’s angled shot late on.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Spurs 4-2 Burnley

Tottenham survived leaking two early goals to ease past Burnley and into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Burnley raced into a 2-0 lead in seven minutes, Marvin Sordell breaking a 12-game duck and Ross Wallace’s free-kick deflecting heavily off Roberto Soldado.

Paulinho hit back for Spurs in the 10th minute, before Etienne Capoue levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Vlad Chiriches and Danny Rose then struck after the break to secure Spurs a fourth-round home tie with Leicester on Saturday week.

Sam Vokes’ strike secured Burnley a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor on January 5 to tee up this third-round replay, but the fit-again forward could not inspire anything nearing a repeat.

Spain hitman Soldado’s latest drought stretched to five games as the Spurs striker fired against the bar from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

The one-time Real Madrid man’s finishing jitters show no signs of abating, even though he provided two assists on the night.

The 29-year-old continues to graft away without whining, but his glaring miss only served to indicate just why 17-goal Harry Kane remains Spurs’ first-choice striker.

Sordell’s opener caught Tottenham cold, most notably Jan Vertonghen, as a darting long-ball bisected the Spurs central defence.

The former Bolton striker sauntered through and flicked an arcing volley past the helpless Vorm to hand Burnley the third-minute lead.

Just four minutes later Burnley were two to the good, with Tottenham again the architects of their undoing.

Wallace’s flimsy free-kick ricocheted off Soldado’s head, wrong-footed the once-more hapless Vorm and squirming into the net.

The breakneck opening took another twist when Paulinho dragged Spurs back into the contest in the 10th minute.

Soldado was able to atone for his unwitting assist for Burnley’s second goal by laying on Spurs’ first.

The former Valencia hitman flicked Andros Townsend’s cross perfectly into Paulinho’s path, and the 32-cap Brazil midfielder obliged with a spin and finish.

Burnley captain Michael Duff had to produce a sliding clearance to deny the lurking Soldado the chance to equalise, before Benjamin Stambouli fired over from 20 yards.

Stambouli then shot wide from the edge of the area as Spurs pressed again, while Trippier’s headed clearance denied Danny Rose a strike on goal.

Tottenham’s frustrations peaked when Soldado hit the bar from six yards.

Townsend’s low cross from a quickfire break had Tom Heaton beaten bar the tap-in, only for Soldado to miscue horribly.

Just when Spurs feared no more reward in the half however, up popped Capoue to level in time added on.

The France midfielder drove home from 18 yards after Paulinho had failed to connect with Ben Davies’ cross.

Chiriches headed Spurs into the lead just four minutes into the second-half, the defender making no mistake at the far post as Heaton flapped at Townsend’s corner.

Full-back Rose then cemented Spurs’ advantage by sliding Soldado’s pass home from close-range.

Nacer Chadli injected extra pace off the bench as Spurs maintained control, while Soldado dragged a shot wide from 20 yards then had another effort easily saved by Heaton.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Burnley 1-1 Spurs

Burnley and Tottenham will require a replay to decide who hosts Leicester in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

It was very much a game of two halves with a dour, chanceless first period giving way to a much-improved second.

Spurs took the lead in the 52nd minute when Nacer Chadli hammered in from inside the box from a Ben Davies cross.

Burnley levelled through Sam Vokes, in only his second appearance since returning from a serious knee injury.

Read more at BBC Sport