Burnley player ratings vs Hull City as Nathan Tella lands another perfect 10
Nathan Tella’s second hat-trick of the season pushed the Clarets another step closer to the Championship title.
The Southampton loan ace took his tally to 17 in the league, and 19 in all competitions, as he roared in the face of the Tigers at the MKM Stadium.
The 23-year-old had given Burnley the lead on the stroke of half-time with a fierce left-footed finish, which beat Karl Darlow at his near post, before grabbing another couple after the break.
He got on the end of Ian Maatsen’s delightful delivery just before the hour and then kept his composure to slot the ball home when through on goal in the 73rd minute.
Hull City denied Vincent Kompany’s leaders a 17th clean sheet of the campaign deep into stoppage time when substitute Ozan Tufan rocketed the ball into the roof of the net from inside the penalty area.
But it failed to take the shine off another accomplished performance from the away side on their travels.
Here are the ratings.
Arijanet Muric 8
Didn’t deserve to lose his clean sheet with just seconds remaining. Burnley might have scored three in successive games, but they have needed their goalkeeper in both. The former Man City stopper made a catalogue of important stops, most notably in keeping out Malcolm Ebiowei, Oscar Estupinan and Ozan Tufan.
Connor Roberts 7
Challenged defensively by Callum Elder and Allahyar over on that side, with both supplying dangerous crosses into the penalty area, but got around the back to cover his centre-halves well when needed, and got forward in support of Vitinho and Nathan Tella. The Welshman deserved an assist when spotting Johann Berg Gudmundsson unmarked on the edge of the area early in the second half.
Hjalmar Ekdal 7
Composed in possession, able to beat the press to engineer good situations for the visitors, and worked in unison with Jordan Beyer to protect the 18-yard box. Made a number of crunching tackles in the middle of the park to break up play, but lost the flight of the ball on a couple of occasions as the Tigers angled crosses into the area.
Jordan Beyer 8.5
Continues to make the art of defending in the Championship look so easy. A full-blooded challenge on Allahyar in the first half, when getting across to cover Hjalmar Ekdal and prevent a counter, set the tone, and he got better and better with each and every contribution, whether off the ball or in possession. Eats up the ground when carrying the ball out from the back and made a number of brilliant blocks inside the penalty area, especially in the second half.
Ian Maatsen 8.5
The Chelsea loanee’s performance was a joy to behold at times, even though he didn’t always have things his own way. He was beaten by Malcolm Ebiowei four or five times on the outside as the Crystal Palace forward posed a problem, but the left back’s output going forward was superb. Telegraphed a number of passes out from the back to give the away side an advantage in transition and his cross for Nathan Tella’s second goal was impeccable.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 7
An understated performance from the Icelandic international, who influenced play without the usual aesthetics. His running off the ball provided space for the runners on the outside, he switched play quickly to stretch the hosts, and his deliveries from dead ball situations were usually on the money. Should’ve put his laces through Connor Roberts’ pull back early in the second half, however.
Josh Cullen 8
Oozes class. A lot of what he does might not be visible to the naked eye, but he’s so influential and integral to the mechanics of this Burnley side. Reads the game ever-so-well, breaks up play, wins the second balls, orchestrates passing sequences from deep, whether as the pivot or dropping into the hole to feed the full backs, and provides an extra layer of protection for his defence. He has everything you’d wish for in a midfielder in his mould.
In and out of the game at the MKM Stadium. The Brazilian’s work-rate is always exemplary when operating higher up the pitch, always demonstrating a willingness to get back and cover Connor Roberts when necessary. Deliveries into the box, once again, need some refining, but his distribution was penetrative at times, sliding the ball between full back and centre back, to get Nathan Tella in behind.
Nathan Tella 10
Another perfect 10. The Southampton star is in the form of his life having scored five times in his last two appearances to take his tally to 19 in all competitions. Pressed the life out of Hull City’s back line, full of energy from the first minute until his last, and showed Premier League class with his versatility, movement on and off the ball, and his impressive array of finishes. Sign him up!
Anass Zaroury 6.5
Blew hot and cold in the plummeting temperatures in Hull. His ability on the ball at this level is unrivalled on occasions, but the Morocco international still needs to build up some consistency with his end product. Linked up nicely with Ian Maatsen, his positioning ensured City were often stretched in transition, and he fizzed a second half opening wide of the upright.
Ashley Barnes 7
Another tireless display when leading the line for the Clarets. Didn’t see too much action in front of goal, aside from a first half header from a Johann Berg Gudmundsson corner, but excelled when dropping off to link play, as shown in his involvement in the lead up to Burnley’s second goal of the evening.