A look back at the Clarets’ recent fortunes over Easter

With it being Easter weekend, we thought we would look back on some key fixtures the Clarets have played around this time over the last 20 years.
Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring against ChelseaJeff Hendrick celebrates scoring against Chelsea
Jeff Hendrick celebrates scoring against Chelsea

Our first fixture is only a year since - as the Clarets reached the 40-point mark with a 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Easter Monday.

Sean Dyche’s side were labelled ‘anti-football’ by Blues centre back David Luiz after the game, who said: “It’s difficult when you play against a team who have two chances and score two goals and didn’t want to play the game.

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“It’s anti-football. Wasting time all the time, especially when you have the ball. Their players went to the floor and stopped the game.

Ashley Barnes scores against West BromAshley Barnes scores against West Brom
Ashley Barnes scores against West Brom

“They were playing 11 players inside the box. It’s difficult to score against a team like that.”

Burnley went ahead through a superb Jeff Hendrick volley, and though

N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain put the hosts ahead, Ashley Barnes levelled matters before the break.

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In the second half, Burnley soaked up all Chelsea’s pressure to claim a valuable point, as Martin Keown said: ”I don’t think you will see a better defensive display than the one we saw from Burnley at Stamford Bridge. This was a monumental performance from Sean Dyche’s players.”

Michael Kightly celebrates his goal at BlackpoolMichael Kightly celebrates his goal at Blackpool
Michael Kightly celebrates his goal at Blackpool

Go back to 2018, and Burnley played on Easter Saturday at The Hawthorns, as they claimed a third of what would be five-successive wins, to effectively seal seventh place and a return to European football.

The Clarets took charge against the beleaguered Alan Pardew’s side as Barnes scored a quite brilliant volley to put them in front, before, after the break, former Baggies striker Chris Wood doubled their advantage.

Salomon Rondon pulled one back for the relegation-haunted hosts, but it was too little, too late.

In 2014, the Clarets were on the charge towards promotion.

Kevin McDonald looks on as Manchester City celebrateKevin McDonald looks on as Manchester City celebrate
Kevin McDonald looks on as Manchester City celebrate
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In their last Good Friday fixture, Michael Kightly scored a superb winner against Lancashire rivals Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in a game marred by protests against then-Tangerines chairman Karl Oyston, with the game stopped at one stage after tennis balls were thrown on the pitch.

That was a vital victory, and just three days later, it set Burnley up for a memorable occasion.

Dyche’s side sealed a return to the Premier League after four years away, with a 2-0 win at home to Wigan Athletic.

Barnes was again on target, finishing off a flowing move which started from keeper Tom Heaton, before Kightly added a second with a free kick which deceived everyone.

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The final whistle sparked delirious scenes, with Dyche guiding the club to promotion in his first full season at the helm.

However, it hasn’t been all good over Easter.

Back in 2010, the Clarets were helped on their way to relegation from the Premier League by a rampant Manchester City on Easter Saturday.

Brian Laws’ men were 3-0 down after only seven minutes against City through Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez.

City carved through the Clarets with embarrassing ease, and Patrick Vieira made it 4-0 before Adebayor added a fifth right on half-time.

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Robbie Blake - who wouldn’t play for the club again - and Kevin McDonald were hauled off at the break, with McDonald infamously leaving the ground to go to join his family and friends at the 110 Club.

Vincent Kompany made it 6-0, and the game would arguably have been called off in appalling conditions had City not been so far in front.

Steven Fletcher pulled one back, but it was hardly a consolation.

The previous year was a mixed one.

On Easter Saturday at home to QPR, Clarke Carlisle settled a nervy clash against his former club.

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And three days later, the Clarets went down to fellow play-off hopefuls Cardiff City.

Jay Bothroyd gave the Bluebirds a late lead, only for Blake to equalise.

However, within a minute Ross McCormack put the hosts back in front, and he added a second right at the death.

It would be the last time the Clarets tasted defeat that season, as seven points from the last nine sealed a play-off slot, before Burnley saw off Reading over two legs, and Sheffield United at Wembley.

Easter 2000 also saw a key double header.

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On the Saturday, Burnley were cruising to victory over Millwall at Turf Moor.

Goals from Ian Cox, Andy Cooke and Steve Davis put them 3-0 up at the break, and Paul Cook added a fourth soon after the restart.

The Lions looked dead and buried, but Neil Harris pulled one back, before hitting a second, and Tim Cahill made it 4-3 three minutes from time.

With some trouble in the Cricket Field Stand, as fans ripped out seats, it got a bit hairy on and off the pitch for Burnley, but they held on for a big win.

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Then on Easter Monday at Brentford, the Clarets went behind right on half-time to a Lloyd Owusu goal.

But after the hour, three goals in 15 minutes - two from John Mullin and one from Ian Wright, put Burnley in charge.

The Bees pulled one back late on, but again Burnley held on, and two wins later were back in the First Division after pipping Gillingham to promotion on the last day of the season.