Post-match analysis: Committed Burnley display sends them into the top half of the table

Post-match analysis: Committed Burnley display sends them into the top half of the table

The Clarets continued to show their passion to perform under Sean Dyche.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

It was not a match for the football purists but Burnley's sheer desire to impress, tinged with a hint of quality from Joey Barton and Tom Heaton, saw them earn another three points at Turf Moor.

Passion and fitness pays dividends

In a contest that lacked too many clear cut chances, the outcome was ultimately going to be decided by what team took their opportunities and who could prevent them. Burnley fans owe a lot to the desire and energy of their team that broke forward and defended in numbers throughout the entire match.

Such a work ethic helped prevent Southampton take the lead on two occasions through Dusan Tadic. His first goalbound effort was blocked on the line by Ben Mee, before a turn and strike was kept out by Mee's defensive partner Michael Keane.

Although the Clarets' pressing game proved a source of frustration for the visitors, they were not creating too many opportunities themselves, a constant of their season so far. Yet perhaps the resigning of Joey Barton could add that hint of quality they have been looking for. The 34-year old has a tarnished history but undoubted quality and it was in evidence again as he converted a free-kick just six minutes after coming on. Yet Southampton will be disappointed with a gappy wall that allowed space for Barton to squeeze the ball via a deflection from Ryan Bertrand into the back of the net.

Barton and Heaton were key figures on Saturday (photo: Getty Images)
Barton and Heaton were key figures on Saturday (photo: Getty Images)

England's number one?

Burnley's route into the top ten is based upon another touch of quality in the form of their goalkeeper Tom Heaton. The England international was on hand to parry James Ward-Prowse's first-half effort, before thwarting a later goalmouth scramble on the back of a dangerous Virgil van Dijk header.

Yet his moment of the match came in stoppage time as he ensured the hosts earned all three points. Heaton got down low to keep out Jay Rodriguez' low drive, before reacting quickly to keep out Southampton youngster Josh Sims.

They may not be the most attractive team in the Premier League, but Sean Dyche's Burnley are finding ways to defeat their opponents at home and they look assured of safety already this season. Some ambitious fans may be looking further up the table and possible European contention, though Dyche will assure his team stay grounded after an excellent season so far.

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