Burnley 1 v 0 Leeds United (Sky Bet Championship)
Burnley’s week started with a goalless draw at home to Cardiff City on Tuesday evening which took the unbeaten run to 17 games, which is the club best run since the 1981-82 season.
The Sky Sports cameras were at Turf Moor again, as Leeds United arrived hoping to stop the Clarets unbeaten run. However with only one win in five, Steve Evans is starting to feel the pressure with rumours of a summer sacking by Leeds Chairman Massimo Cellino.
Burnley took the lead in just 58 seconds, Sam Vokes flicked a header onto Andre Gray, his pass found Scott Arfield on the left hand side of the area. Arfield then hit a left foot shot across the area through two defenders passed Silvestri into the goal to make it 1-0.
On four minutes, Leeds were awarded a free kick when Andre Gary was caught offside, the long ball forward from the free kick fell to Sol Bamba but his left footed shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Tom Heaton.
Burnley continued to press forward and an excellent ball from Andre Gray found Matthew Lowton at the edge of the Leeds area, his right footed shot was well saved by Silvestri.
Leeds won a corner on twenty minutes which was taken by Stuart Dallas, his ball into the box fell to Luke Murphy but his right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide of Tom Heaton’s goal.
Two minutes later following an excellent through ball by David Jones found George Boyd, his left footed shot from the edge of the Leeds area went across the area and missed the far post by inches.
On the half an hour mark, a Chris Wood header from the right side of the six yard box was well saved by Heaton in the bottom left corner.
Burnley then had two efforts at goal both in the thirty first minute, the effort fell to David Jones but his left footed shot from the centre of the box was blocked by the Leeds defence.
The second effort fell to George Boyd following an excellent pass from Matthew Lowton, but his left footed shot from outside the box went close, but misses to the right.
On forty four minutes, Sol Bamba’s right footed shot from the centre of the box missed Heaton’s goal following a cross from Mustapha Carayol.
As both teams left the pitch at half-time with the score at 1-0 to the Clarets, Sean Dyche was unhappy with the performance of referee Lee Mason and he let him know as they left the field of play.
Leeds started the second half on top and had the first effort on goal on fifty three minutes when Lewis Cook found at the edge of the Burnley area but his right footed shot went high and wide of Tom Heaton’s goal.
On fifty five minutes, following a Charlie Taylor corner Luke Murphy hit a right footed shot from outside the box, but it went wide of Heaton’s left hand post. A minute later following a Mustapha Carayol cross, Chris Wood headed the ball at goal from the right side of the six yard box, but his effort went just wide.
Leeds United should have drawn level on sixty nine minutes, when Charlie Taylor headed a corner inches wide of the Burnley goal, Steve Evans then made a number of changes and Leeds started to get on top.
Following an excellent move Mirco Antenucci found Lewis Cook who hit a right foot shot from outside the box was well saved by Tom Heaton to his top left corner.
In injury time the Clarets should have added a second when Ashley Barnes right footed shot from the centre of the box went just wide of Silvestri’s left hand post for a goal kick, to leave the final score 1-0 to Burnley.
The Clarets remain one point clear of Middlesbrough who are in second place with a game in hand. Next weekend Burnley will visit the Midlands to take on Birmingham City as they look to extend their unabated run to 19 games.
Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “It was a very tough win. I thought the freedom Leeds showed came from our good start and goal and we were a bit nervy and edgy, but we’re human, so I expect that.
The crowd were the same and they are human as well, but you have to find a way to win and we’ve done it again. That’s a hugely important factor because we all know we can play better. But all of the basic details and principles of playing a game are not about glorious football; they are about doing all the ugly things in order to win and we’ve done that.
I was really pleased with all that ugly stuff and the key is winning, at this stage of the season you are not looking at anything else. Early in the season you are building a team and a future for that team. Now it’s about the immediate future and that’s our key focus.
Scott Arfield has been questioned lately and a few of the fans have been on at him, but I reminded him on Friday that he has the highest performing statistics from a wide man in the Championship.
He has the most goals and most assists, so I told him ‘just remember what you are’, He started brightly, scored a great goal and was effective throughout the game. He keeps on going and he will do all the ugly stuff when he needs to, in addition to the pretty stuff.”
Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Ward, Keane, Mee, Barton, Jones, Arfield, Boyd, Vokes, Gray (Subs) Robinson, Taylor, Marney, Barnes, Dyer, Darikwa, Tarkowski
Leeds United – Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga, Murphy, Wood, Dallas, Carayol, Cook (Subs) Bellusci, Antenucci, Mowatt, Phillips, Adeyemi, Coyle, Peacock- Farrell
Goals – (Burnley) Arfield (1)
Attendance – 18,229