Istanbul Basaksehir 0-0 Burnley: Clarets hold firm in Turkey

Istanbul Basaksehir 0-0 Burnley: Clarets hold firm in Turkey

Burnley will be feeling positive ahead of the second leg at Turf Moor next Thursday.

Chris Lincoln
BasaksehirGünok; de Souza Paula Júnior, da Costa, Epureanu, Clichy; Tekdemir, Emre Belozoglu, Visca, Kahveci (Jojic 58), Elia (Frei 84), Bajic (Napoleoni 89)
BurnleyHart; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson (Vokes 62), Cork, Hendrick, Westwood, Walters; Barnes (Lennon 78)

There was an eerie feel to Burnley's Europa League third qualifying round tie against Istanbul Basaksehir

Turkish and English football fans meeting on Eastern European land has not always been free of violence and controversy. With such concerns in mind, a section of the Lancashire police force travelled to Istanbul to organise transport and safety for the Burnley fans.

Just short of 1,000 Clarets made the trip but they were not greeted by the raucous atmosphere that has become familiar at the likes of Galatasary and Fenerbahce. In fact, Basaksehir's stadium was more representative of a 'behind closed doors' contest with very few fans attending the game.

Debut for Joe Hart

Basaksehir are an exciting and developing side, brimming with former Premier League talent. Yet their ambitions are perhaps more focussed towards domestic success rather than Europa League qualification, as emphasised by the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor and Arda Turan.

Meanwhile, the visitors also made several changes as Charlie Taylor and Phil Bardsley came in at full-back, Jon Walters was granted a rare appearance and the Clarets opted for a 4-5-1 in a tactically astute move with Chris Wood sidelined due to an infected insect bite.

There was also a debut for Joe Hart as Anders Lindegaard was not included in the squad and Tom Heaton remained sidelined with Nick Pope.

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Emre probes but Burnley back four stand tall

Despite their absentees, the hosts were clearly comfortable with the ball at their feet. Veteran captain Emre controlled the tempo of the game and was the focal point for the majority of their attacks.

Yet Burnley continued the explicit form that helped them finish seventh in the Premier League last season. James Tarkowski and Ben Mee picked up where they left off, making numerous blocks on the edge of the box. New signing Ben Gibson, arriving for a joint record club fee, may be wondering where he fits in if this pairing play as they did last season.

On the rare occasion that Basaksehir did break the line, Hart stood firm as he set about proving the doubters wrong. He made a sharp block from Junior Caicara and tipped over a Manuel da Costa header in the first half.

In truth, the Turkish side only really created one opportunity that was not saved by Hart or blocked by a Burnley defender. Milos Jojic should have opened the scoring with his first touch after coming on as a substitute with 30 minutes to play, volleying an effort at the side netting after direct build-up play. Basaksehir could have also been awarded a penalty when Jeff Hendrick appeared to handle late on.

Job done

29% to 71% possession, two shots (none on target) to 18 and one corner to the hosts' ten emphasised what Burnley had come to do. Hart getting booked for time wasting with the best part of 25 minutes further emphasised that theory.

The best chances for the visitors were formulated by free-kicks and direct approaches but the hosts were barely threatened. Hendrick offered a rare threat but could not sort his feet out from a scramble before being thwarted by Mert Gunok.

Yet the Clarets will fancy their chances against a slightly toothless Basaksehir back in Burnley. A concern will be their own lack of goal threat but the return of Wood and signing of Matej Vydra will hopefully spark their attack into life during the coming weeks.


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