Post-match analysis: How Burnley were outclassed by Southampton

The hosts made their superior possession of 65% count against a disappointing Burnley side.

Post-match analysis: How Burnley were outclassed by Southampton
Burnley struggled to get close to the opposition (photo: Getty Images)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was quick to blame refereeing decisions by Mike Dean as the downfall of his side, but in truth the Lancashire club were simply outclassed by their opponents.

Effective use of the ball

It comes as no surprise that the hosts dominated possession, especially as Burnley have a lower average than any other club in the Premier League. Yet the Saints were particularly impressive at playing to their strengths and using the ball efficiently, something they have been guilty of in previous matches.

Rarely did the Saints pass the ball backwards and often their target was the middle or final third of the pitch. With a central midfield trio that are industrious but not the most creative, the hosts looked towards their more attacking influential players in Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond on the wings. Supported by full-backs Cuco Martina and Sam McQueen, Burnley's Stephen Ward and Matthew Lowton simply could not cope.

McQueen and Redmond were influential (photo: Getty Images)
McQueen and Redmond were influential (photo: Getty Images)

Accurate shooting

Southampton had only previously managed seven goals this season but they were much more efficient with their shooting on Sunday. Only heroics from Tom Heaton prevented the hosts from scoring more as the goalkeeper made eleven saves. The Saints managed a season record of 34 shots on goal, 23 of those from within the penalty area as they were afforded too much time and space.

Burnley were also masters of their own downfall in defence, particularly from set-pieces. Southampton scored two of their three goals from corners, as Burnley left players unmarked on both occasions at the back post.

Defour was a big miss

The visitors rarely threatened when they went forward. They managed just 13 touches in the opposition penalty area, one of which being Sam Vokes' penalty. Part of the reason behind this was the loss of Belgium international Steven Defour to an injury on 40 minutes, a player who had played a part in 80% of Burnley's goals previously.

Dyche was arguably correct in his analysis of the penalty Southampton were awarded and one that was turned down for his side, but there can be little doubt that Southampton fully deserved their victory after an impressive display.