Burnley’s late win over Leicester City was testament to their unrelenting approach this season, with Sam Vokes converting a late chance to secure yet another home win and move the Clarets into the top half of the table.
Here is how Sean Dyche’s side fared at Turf Moor.
Tom Heaton – 7: Burnley’s evergreen skipper was involved in a couple of penalty shouts for the visitors, with Jamie Vardy proving to be a particular thorn in the side. Dealt with most things that came his way comfortably, and although he spilt Riyad Mahrez’ shot into Vardy’s path, Heaton rarely looked troubled all evening.
Matt Lowton – 6: Often a reliable player, Lowton produced another strong display but Burnley fans, perhaps still hazy eyed over the deliveries from former right-back Kieran Trippier, seemed frustrated with Lowton’s continuously wayward crosses. Defensively sound, but offensively lacking when on the ball.
Michael Keane – 8: Another colossal performance from a man heralded as the best young English centre-back in the league. One noticeable moment of class came when Keane beat the pacy Vardy to a loose ball, shepherding the ball back to Heaton with consummate ease. Was perhaps unfortunate not to have had a penalty given for a first-half shove.
Ben Mee – 6: Played his part in securing yet another home clean sheet, but often looked uncomfortable when faced with the directness of Mahrez’ running. Two instances of the Algerian’s mazy witchcraft left Mee floundering and almost cost the Clarets, but alongside Keane, Mee kept a lively pairing of Vardy and Demarai Gray quiet.
Stephen Ward – 7: A pillar of consistency in Burnley’s backline, Ward balanced his defensive work with some attacking adventure to provide a threat down the left. Picked out a couple of encouraging crosses from the left, and was the final piece of a strong Claret jigsaw that held Leicester at arm’s length.
George Boyd – 6: A good six, if such a thing exists. Boyd’s work is interesting: not instantly noticeable when playing, but strangely conspicuous in his absence. The Scottish winger showed flashes of attacking endeavour, but was also a major reason in keeping Mahrez quiet. Looked much better when popping up on the left-hand side.
Joey Barton – 9: Burnley’s midfield metronome was head and shoulders above every other player on the pitch. During a frenetic second half spell in which the Clarets turned the thumbscrews, Barton offered a calmness which became infectious. Some of the 34-year-old’s tight touches and passing was sensational, and key to the win.
Jeff Hendrick – 8: Looks to be tangibly improving, week after week, and is already looking like a bargain at £10.5m. The Republic of Ireland international mirrored Barton’s assuredness in possession, providing a reliable outboard for Burnley to use in a heated midfield battle.
Steven Defour – 5: Withdrawn with just over half an hour played due to a hamstring injury, but looked a threat when in possession.
Ashley Barnes – 8: A great showing from one of the club’s most underrated players. Barnes’ link-up play was exemplary, controlling chest-high balls with ease and simply finding a creative teammate nearby, and was unfortunate not to score. His physicality was more than a match for Wes Morgan and Robert Huth.
Andre Gray – 7: Toiled all evening to maintain his rich goalscoring form, and while coming close on a couple of occasions – a shot which hit the side netting in the first half, forcing a good save from Kasper Schmeichel in the second – couldn’t quite find a clinical touch.
Scott Arfield – 7: The Canada international has a habit of popping up with vital contributions after being introduced from the bench, and continued that theme on Tuesday night as his corner led to the winner. Produced a handful of other good set-pieces.
Sam Vokes – 7: A worthy seven for the goal alone, despite playing just under 15 minutes; Vokes’ appearance from the bench was timely and, with Dyche sensing his opponents were vulnerable in the air, the Welshman seized his late opportunity with the predatory instincts he has honed over the past three seasons.