Burnley 1 v 1 Real Sociedad (Pre-Season Friendly)
Burnley hosted international opposition this evening, when two time La Liga Champions Real Sociedad arrived at Turf Moor for the final pre-season friendly of the summer.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson made his Turf Moor debut and linked up well with Matthew Lowton, the pair created an excellent opening on five minutes, but Lowton’s deep cross was headed behind for a corner.
The resulting corner found Ben Mee in the middle of the area, but the unmarked central defender could only send his bullet header over Bardají’s crossbar from six yards out.
Andre Gray looked to extend his 100% scoring record in pre-season, but he was denied by a last ditch tackle at the edge of the box as he tried to tee the ball up for a right footed shot.
On eleven minutes, Johann Gudmundsson slid the ball in behind Rodriguez Navas to Andre Gray, who can’t quite take control of the ball before Ortega made a last ditch challenge.
Four minutes later Tom Heaton had to be alert to parry away a snapshot from Oyarzabal from the visitors’ this was the first foray into the area.
Real Sociedad took the lead on thrity-one minutes from a simple free kick, as Navas rose unchallenged to plant a far post header back across Heaton and into the bottom corner.
Michael Keane was a whisker away from levelling immediately, seeing a defender’s boot at the far post deflect the ball over from point blank range after Sam Vokes had flicked on a corner, making the half time score 0-1.
The second half began in the same vein as the first with the Clarets on top, just two minutes into the half David Jones shot was blocked after a neat lay off from Sam Vokes, before Danny Lafferty hit a half volley just off target with a well drilled volley from just outside the box.
Gradually, the Spaniards got into the game and as they forced errors there was a big let off for the Clarets, when Bee Mee’s misplaced pass across the area fell to Sanz, who blazed his shot over with the goal at his mercy.
Johann Gudmundsson who had an excellent game was replaced just after the hour mark by George Boyd, who was straight into the action with a twenty yard shot that went over the visitors crossbar.
On sixty-five minutes, the Spaniards again won possession by squeezing David Jones, the move ended with Tom Heaton chasing down the ball in his own area as Bautista shot hit the outside of the post.
Burnley draw level on eighty-eight minutes when Lukas Jutkiewicz’s flicked the ball into the path of Andre Gray, who curled the ball beyond the diving Bardají superbly, to make the full time score 1-1.
Andre Gray has scored in ever pre-season game so far this season after he opened his tally against Stade Nyonnais in France. As the challenge of the Premier League looms this is a timely lesson in patience against a confident Real Sociedad outfit that was always looking to dominate possession.
Speaking after the match Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, “It was perfect for what we needed at the end of pre-season. You are never sure how these games will go but there was a good tempo tonight.
They are an extreme version of what you find in the Premier League and with the manager being Barcelona B’s ex-manager. It was a good test because some teams in the Premier League will play like that and you’re going to have spells without the ball, it’s how well you deal with those spells.
We spoke to the players about that afterwards because it’s an important factor, how you can deal with having the ball and how you create chances. I thought we created enough and then it’s how you focus and concentrate when you haven’t got the ball.
That is the big difference from the Championship, teams in the Premier League keep the ball a lot better and they’re happy to keep the ball a long way from your goal. Look at the chance count for them, it’s not very high, but they have a lot of possession and a feel for the game.”
Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Lafferty, Keane, Mee, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Gudmundsson, Gray, Vokes (Subs) Pope, Robinson, Darikwa, Tarkowski, O’Neill, Ulvestad, Kightly, Jutkiewicz, Hennings, C.Long, K.Long, Boyd.
Real Sociedad – Bardají, C.Martínez, Elustondo, Navas, Héctor, Zubeldia, Pardo, Oyarzabal, Vela, Bautista, Concha (Subs) Ramírez, Mikel, Illarra, Bergara, Iñigo, Juanmi, Sanz, Prieto, Granero, Zurutuza, Yuri, Zaldua.
Goals – (Burnley) Gray (88) (Real Sociedad) Navas (31)
Attendance – 6,522