Wigan Athletic 2-2 Burnley: Clarets surrender early lead
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Burnley were forced to settle for a 2-2 friendly draw against Wigan Athletic despite scoring twice in the first ten minutes of the game.

Quickfire goals from new arrival Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil had put them in control, but the Latics mounted a fightback.

Anthony Pilkington got his side back into the game before academy graduate Joe Gelhardt equalised midway through the second half.

Story of the match

It is conceivable that the XI fielded by Sean Dyche will start in Burnley's Premier League opener against Southampton in a fortnight's time.

Tom Heaton lined-up in goal, shielded by a back four of Matthew Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor. Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood and McNeil comprised the midfield, while Rodriguez partnered Ashley Barnes up front.

There were only five minutes on the clock when this strong side went in front, with Barnes sliding Gudmundsson through before the Iceland international pulled it back to Rodriguez in space and he applied the easy finish. 

And soon after it was two as last season's breakthrough youngster McNeil expertly found the bottom corner from outside the area. Barnes was again influential in the build-up, teeing-up the 19-year-old's strike. 

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Wigan then grew into a game and Pilkington went close twice, denied by Heaton on the second occasion, before taking his third opportunity.

The Irishman was on hand to convert from close range after a low ball across the box from Josh Windass.

Burnley looked to restore their two-goal cushion before the break, but David Marshall produced a great save to turn away Barnes' effort. 

The home side, whose season begins next weekend against Cardiff City, started the second half brightly and should have been level when Leonardo Lopes found Windass in the six-yard box, but the midfielder made a hash of it.

Wigan continued to press for an equaliser and it arrived on 68 minutes after Antonee Robinson found 17-year-old Gelhardt and he drove the ball past Heaton. 

Substitute Chris Wood, who has scored six goals across his friendly appearances this summer, went closest to snatching a winner for Burnley, but ultimately the Premier League side were held.

Takeaways

Rodriguez swiftly among the goals

Dyche will be hopeful that £10million addition Rodriguez can replicate the double-figure goal tallies of Wood and Barnes after netting 22 in the Championship last season, and the early signs are promising.

Rodriguez's goal at the DW Stadium follows an earlier brace against Accrington Stanley in a training-ground friendly and will have Dyche pondering whether he merits a starting role.

It has been a confident start for the returning forward.

McNeil prepares for his first full season

The lively performances of winger McNeil helped to revitalise Burnley last season and now he will be looking to kick-on as an established member of the first team.

His excellent effort here will only further boost his confidence, coming only a few days after an impressive evening's work against Fleetwood Town.

The Englishman could prove very difficult for some defences to handle this term. 

Defensive concerns?

Dyche will have been impressed with some of the attacking play he witnessed, but equally he will be disappointed to see his experienced backline ship two goals to weaker opposition.

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The Burnley boss may allow the likes of Ben Gibson, Kevin Long and summer signing Erik Pieters to make their case for a starting spot in the two tricky friendlies which remain.

What's next?

Burnley play host to Ligue 1 outfit Nice at Turf Moor on Tuesday evening before welcoming Parma next Saturday.

They have devoted the final week of pre-season to training for their clash with the Saints.

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