Barnsley 0 v 1 Burnley (Skybet Championship)
Burnley Football Club took a massive step towards promotion back to the Premier League with a win at relegation-threatened Barnsley to move eleven points clear of second place Derby County. The clarets will seal promotion to the Premier League on Saturday if they beat Middlesbrough at Turf Moor and Derby fail to beat Huddersfield Town.
The visitors, who welcomed back top scorer Danny Ings after injury, started well and deservedly took the lead seven minutes with their first attack. Michael Kightly’s near-post cross was met by Ashley Barnes, who glanced his header into the top corner of the Barnsley goal past Luke Steele to give the clarets a 1-0 lead.
Ashley Barnes then had the ball in the back of the Barnsley net again on twenty minutes, only for the goal top be disallowed following a Dean Marney handball just before Marney crossed for Barnes to tap into an empty goal.
Barnsley then had two chances on twenty-one and twenty-two minutes, the first effort fell to Dale Jennings who’s right foot shot from long range went wide of the Burnley goal. The second effort came from Jacob Mellis, but his left footed shot from outside the box was too high and went straight over Tom Heaton’s Crossbar.
Then on twenty-five minutes, Burnley’s Danny Ings broke into the left hand side of the Barnsley penalty area before taking a shot from the edge of the six yard box, the shot beat Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele but looked to be going wide of the right-hand post. Ings shot fell to Ashley Barnes who was unmarked two yards from the goal line, but somehow he managed to put his effort wide of the post and out for a goal kick.
Despite it being a fairly open free flowing game of football, there were a lot of silly fouls leading to a large number of free-kicks that broke the game up, both sides had a couple more efforts in the half which were all off target and the teams went in at half-time with the clarets leading 1-0.
The second half was much the same as the first with a large number of free-kicks and breaks in play, however Barnsley did have more possession of the ball in this half but failed to create any real clear cut chances to test Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal.
The first real chance of the half fell to Michael Kightly just before the hour, when he ran down the left wing and cut inside to the edge of the Barnsley area, but his shot low to the right-hand post was well saved by Luke Steele as he pushed the ball out for a corner.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce was watching from the stand casting his eye over a number of the Burnley squad as he looks to improve his squad over the summer. There is no doubt that the performance of both Tom Heaton and Danny Ings will have had the attention of the Tigers boss.
Both sides had one final effort at goal, the first came from Burnley on sixty-eight minutes when Michael Kightly’s right footed shot from outside the box was well saved by Luke Steele. The second effort was from Barnsley’s Jean-Yves Mvoto in the eighty-third minute but his header from the centre of the box is too high and went over the Burnley crossbar.
Speaking after the game Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, “The tactical shape of the team, the professionalism, the energy, the belief and the work ethic was all on show tonight, we knew we had the quality to affect the game and we arguably could have won by more goals.
We never really looked in trouble, I thought the back four were outstanding along with Tom Heaton who did what he had to do. I’m really pleased with the defensive framework of the team, as I have been since I’ve been here. We know we can win games in different ways. When it needed to be tactical, when it needed energy, belief, spirit and moments of quality we delivered it again.”
Barnsley – Steele, McLaughlin, Kennedy, Woods, Mvoto, Nyatanga, Mellis, Dawson, O’Grady, Cywka, Jennings (Subs) Hassell, Hunt, Proschwitz, Frimpong, Noble-Lazarus, Turner, McCourt
Burnley – Heaton, Biard, Mee, Duff, Shackell, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Barnes, Ings, Kightly (Subs) Cisak, Edgar, Treacy, Wallace, Stock, Trippier, Long
Goals – (Burnley) Barnes (7)
Attendance – 12,904