The Warmdown: Burnley finally get it right at home
Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Burnley put their early season demons behind them to pick up a frighteningly impressive three points at the expense of Brentford on Halloween weekend.

Goals from Chris Wood, Matt Lowton and Maxwel Cornet in a blistering first half was enough despite Saman Ghoddos firing home an acrobatic volley after the interval.

The result meant The Clarets won at home for the first time in the league since January, and scored three first half goals in the Premier League for the first time.

Meanwhile, for The Bees – who were severely hampered by the absence of first choice goalkeeper David Raya – it was a first away defeat of their top-flight life.

  • Burnley’s goalscoring dilemma solved

When Cornet signed from Olympique Lyon in August, no one would have predicted he would be the team’s top scorer at this stage of the season.

After his brace last week at Southampton and a stunning strike at Leicester City, yesterday’s right-footed effort that flew into the top corner past Alvaro Fernandez was his fourth of the campaign.

This means he has scored more goals after five league appearances than any other Burnley player has ever done.

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The Ivory Coast international plied his trade as a wing-back in France but has made more of an attacking contribution at Turf Moor.

But that works.

Wood showed large glimpses of his usual self with his hold up play but also that ability to spin in behind, and was unlucky to be marginally offside when flicking the ball on for his new strike partner when the score was 1-0.

The big man/little man combination is something Sean Dyche has used before but, even then, the second striker was always a physical force.

Cornet isn’t imposing physically but he can run.

He has exceptional pace and will only get fitter with more match minutes – he was taken off with 25 minutes or so to go to make sure he didn’t pick up any unnecessary knocks.

He can play on either flank in midfield but, for now at least, Cornet seems destined to keep his place in the forward line.

The fans already love him, he loves the club, his lap of honour after the game taking in the applause proved both of these.

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  • Toney kept quiet by a trademark defensive performance

Ivan Toney is a handful to play against.

He has taken the step up into the Premier League in his stride, proving a tough match for every backline he has come up against, albeit only scoring twice.

The Newcastle United academy graduate has not been short on chances, though, leading his team with 25 shots this season and is also a tough opponent to face in the air, winning 57 aerial duels which is again the most by any Bees player.

At Turf Moor, however, Toney’s physical threat was nullified by a somewhat trademark performance from James Tarkowski and returning club captain, Ben Mee.

Time and again, the centre-halves would get in front of the striker to win the ball before he could create anything for the players around him.

He was missing his typical partner, Bryan Mbeumo, who was on the bench but didn’t come on as a precaution, but he still didn’t look a danger to the experienced heads in the Clarets backline.

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They were calm and composed throughout the game, except for one mix-up that allowed the former Peterborough United marksman to have a half chance.

Mee has lost his way a little in the last 12 months or so, not reaching the levels he has done in previous seasons.

That being said, what he brings in experience and the knowledge the other players had that their captain was back was big enough to be a difference.

Summer signing Nathan Collins has been very good in previous weeks, deputising for Mee as he recovered from injury and Covid-19.

But yesterday needed the experience of the old boys at the back for Burnley to be successful, as much as they needed inspired performances going forward.

Tarkowski wasn’t just making up the numbers, either.

He very much played his part in keeping Toney quiet, and showed why he has a long list of suitors waiting for his contract to run out next summer.

  • Too early to say but Bees could be in trouble

You would not have expected to see that written or hear it said anywhere before this week.

A wonderful start to the season saw Brentford sat in seventh place after their last away game at West Ham United at the start of October.

They now sit 12th after three league defeats in a row and now missing their ‘keeper for the foreseeable future.

David Raya has been exceptional for the Bees for a number of seasons, and has been pivotal in the good start.

It was evident that the side weren’t used to playing with Fernandez behind them.

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The defence looked unsure in crossing situations, notably for the second goal when the second-string ‘keeper started to come for the ball but backed away with no defender going for the ball, allowing Lowton to head home.

That wouldn’t have happened with Raya in goal, someone would have taken charge in that situation and Brentford would have still been in the game.

With missing Raya for a considerable chunk of the season, the team will have to adapt fast to a new man between the sticks.

And Fernandez needs to learn how the backline in front of him play before teams start to take advantage.

It will happen, the more they play together, the more natural it will become for them and results will pick up.

But they will need to work on it because it won’t just happen.

If they don’t, it is going to be a long season for Brentford.

  • What’s next?

Burnley will have to be at their best next weekend if they are to pick up back-to-back three points.

The Clarets travel to Chelsea on Saturday, November 6 at 3pm.

Brentford host basement boys Norwich City at the same time.

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