Burnley 6 v 1 OGC Nice (Pre-Season Friendly)
Former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira arrived at Turf Moor this evening with his Ligue Un side OGC Nice who finished seventh in the French league last season. The game was the first of two home pre-season friendlies against overseas teams in the run up to the start Premier League season. Manager Sean Dyche selected a strong squad however Nick Pope, Ben Gibson and Robbie Brady missed out due to injury.
It took less than five minutes for the gulf between the sides to be illustrated as the Clarets went ahead. An excellent cross from Phil Bardsley found Ashley Barnes for a volley that was blocked, however the ball fell to Chris Wood who turned sharply and fired home on the volley from eight yards.
The Clarets extended their lead five minutes later when the newly crowned New Zealand player of the year doubled his tally with a typical poacher’s finish, side footing the ball in from close-range after Johann Berg Gudmundsson had retrieved the ball giving the Clarets a 2-0 lead after nine minutes.
The game was over as a contest inside twenty minutes as the Clarets roared into a three goal lead. On eighteen minutes, Ashley Westwood took a wonderfully worked free kick sending it deep into the visitors area picking out Ben Mee, who headed the ball to Jeff Hendrick beyond the opposite post, the Irishman coolly chested the ball down before rifling the ball low into the goal.
Chris Wood went close to his second hat-trick in pre-season on the half hour mark when Phil Bardsley and Aaron Lennon tackled French international Saint-Maxim before Lennon fed Wood but he was denied by Yoan Cardinale’s sharp save.
However, ten minutes before the interval the Nice keeper was beaten again when Ashley Barnes sent the ball wide to Gudmundsson who picked his spot sending the ball into the bottom corner of the net with an angled drive to make the half-time score 4-0.
After a pleasing first-half, Clarets boss Sean Dyche made three changes at the interval introducing Joe Hart, Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski who replaced Tom Heaton, Johann Gudmundsson and Kevin Long. Whilst the visitors replaced goalkeeper Cardinale with Yannis Clementia.
The second-half was much the same as the first with the Clarets controlling the game with some excellent passing through midfield with Aaron Lennon and sub Dwight McNeil down the flanks. Early in the second-half Chris Wood again went close to grabbing his third whilst Ashley Barnes was just denied by a last-gasp intervention as he looked to convert a low cross from Dwight McNeil.
On the hour mark, Chris Wood completed his hat-trick when Khephren Thuram gifted the ball to Wood, who took a touch before thumping the ball past the back pedalling substitute goalkeeper Yannis Clementia to make the score 5-0.
Sean Dyche took the opportunity to rest a number of players with Bardsley, Pieters, Wood, Lennon, Westwood and Mee all being replaced by Lowton, Taylor, Rodriguez, Cork, Wells and young centre-back Jimmy Dunne.
As the changes were being made the visitors did pull a goal back with twenty minutes to go when Saint-Maximin managed to force the ball over the line to give Patrick Vieira side a late goal and make the score 5-1 to the Clarets.
However the Clarets were not finished and twelve minutes from the end summer signing Jay Rodriguez marked his Turf Moor return with a goal, when Matt Lowton pulled the ball back to Rodriguez who clinically slotted the ball home to make the final score 6-1.
Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “It was a very pleasing night, putting the scoreline to one side, I thought the attention to detail, the shape, the energy and the quality was all excellent.
Those are the things you are after and the over riding thing is the players are looking fit & sharp and that was on show as well. There is definitely a good feel and a really competitive edge about the group and we want that to continue, so I must look at that for the weekend because you want that hunger going into the last week.”
Burnley – Heaton, Bardsley, Pieters, Long, Mee, Westwood, Lennon, Gudmundsson, Hendrick, Wood, Barnes (Subs) Hart, Legzdins, Lowton, Tarkowski, Dunne, Taylor, Cork, McNeil, Rodriguez, Vydra, Wells
Nice – Cardinale, Dante, Herelle, Pelmard, Danilo, Walter, Lees-Melou, Saint-Maxim, Thuram, Gameiro, Maolida (Subs) Clementia, Wade, Guessand, Cyprien
Goals – (Burnley) Wood (3), Hendrick, Gudmundsson, Rodriguez (Nice) Saint-Maxim