Passion, determination and old school football turn Burnley form around

Passion, determination and old school football turn Burnley form around

The Clarets won their first Premier League match since December with a 2-1 win over Everton.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Burnley produced a gritty performance to end an 11-match losing streak and recover from going a goal behind for the first time in 54 attempts.

Burnley threaten but lack cutting edge again in opening 45 minutes

Synonymous with their recent form, the Clarets had played relatively well in an opening 45 minutes that concluded with Sean Dyche's side 1-0 down. A neat flick from Seamus Coleman caught both James Tarkowski and Ben Mee on their toes as Cenk Tosun scored a much-needed goal for both him and his side.

Given the pattern of the game, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Everton score from a cross. Burnley pinged 14 balls into the box from wide areas, compared to a lowly three from Everton. The hosts looked particularly dangerous through Aaron Lennon and Matthew Lowton on the right but it seemed as though a lack of cutting edge was going to cost one of the lowest scoring teams in the country once again.

Yet what Burnley lack in attacking intensity they certainly make up for with determination. Aaron Barnes was exemplary in his passion leading the line and he was causing numerous problems for both Ashley Williams and Michael Keane, forcing Jordan Pickford into an excellent save before half-time.  

Direct tactics and running the channels prove effective

Instead of looking to score a second after the break, Sam Allardyce opted to sit back on his side's one-goal advantage...it only served to cause a host of problems for the visitors. Dyche responded by adding Chris Wood to the attack alongside Barnes as the Kiwi made his return from injury after missing ten league games.

With the modern game lending itself to the short, intricate passes, Burnley went direct in their approach to disturb Williams and Keane further at the heart of Everton's defence. The pair were clearly flustered in a change of tactics that have started to slide out of the modern game. Wood won numerous headers and Barnes was running the back four out of position. It was like football from the 1990's but it proved effective.

After Pickford made excellent stops from Lennon and Mee, Burnley's increased pressure finally told. Barnes split the line again to race away from former teammate Keane and slot past Pickford who was slow to spot the danger of Lowton's curved pass.

The same type of pass and movement almost doubled Barnes' return moments later, only for Pickford to thwart the striker from a tighter angle. Everton simply had no answer to passes into the channel from the rampant home side.

Day to forget for Williams

However, it was a set-piece that proved fruitful for the second as Burnley took the lead late on. Playing a zonal system, Williams failed to deal with the danger of Wood as the striker powered a header home on his return.

Everton had no response and the frustrations of a torrid afternoon for the visitors was clear to see when Williams lost his cool and swung an elbow at Barnes. The defender duly received his marching orders in a terrible day at the office for the Toffees.

Yet for Burnley, going back to basics proved vital as they secured their first league win in 12 games.

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