Burnley player ratings vs PNE as hat-trick hero Nathan Tella gets a perfect 10
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The 23-year-old became the first Claret since Chris Wood to score a treble in the league and the first since Andre Gray in 2016 to net three times at Turf Moor in the Championship.
Vincent Kompany’s table-toppers dominated from the first whistle and took the lead in the 15th minute when leading scorer Tella found space at the near post to head home Josh Brownhill’s delivery.
The Southampton loan star then scored twice in three second half minutes to take his tally to 14 for the season in all competitions. He beat Freddie Woodman with a rasping drive in the 55th minute and then drilled an effort through the goalkeeper’s legs moments later after the Lilywhites failed to deal with Arijanet Muric’s searching pass.
Here are the ratings.
Arijanet Muric 8.5
The unsung hero of the piece. Didn’t have to work for his clean sheet on this occasion, but his distribution was out of this world. The ‘sweeper keeper’ spent very little time in his own penalty area and even ended the derby with an assist for the goal that brought up Nathan Tella’s hat-trick.
Connor Roberts 8
Provided the width that enabled the Clarets to open up the pitch, while allowing the likes of Hjalmar Ekdal and Jordan Beyer to carry the ball out from the back. Matched the runs of Preston’s forwards and linked up well with Nathan Tella and Johann Berg Gudmundsson down the right hand side.
Hjalmar Ekdal 8
Another gem that Vincent Kompany has unearthed from his European scouting missions. Set the tone for the derby when outmuscling Liam Delap early on and continued to dominate his duels. The positions he picked up allowed him to win the few balls that were played in behind. A fine acquisition.
Jordan Beyer 8.5
There aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe just how good the German defender is. A juggernaut when carrying the ball out from the back, dominates his individual battles with ease and looks a class above this level. Unfortunate not to add an assist with a stunning through ball for Nathan Tella.
Ian Maatsen 8
The left back’s movement and tactical awareness, operating on both the inside and outside, makes him almost undetectable at times. Anass Zaroury’s excellence in possession gives the Chelsea loan star the assurance that he can help overload the central areas without getting caught out. The defender’s pace also nipped a couple of attempted PNE breaks in the bud.
Josh Brownhill 8.5
The midfielder demonstrated, once again, just how valuable his versatility is to the team. An expressive display in a deeper role, picking up possession in all areas of the pitch, and delivered a perfect cross for Nathan Tella’s first of the afternoon. That’s now 12 goal contributions for him this term.
Josh Cullen 8.5
An imperious performance and arguably one of the best players in his mould in the Championship. Won’t be a ‘headliner’ too often, but his output and productivity in and out of possession is superb. Makes everything tick for the title-chasing Clarets.
Nathan Tella 10
A perfect 10 for Burnley’s hat-trick hero. As Vincent Kompany rightly recognised, the Southampton loan ace is much more than just a goal-scorer, but boy, didn’t he take his treble remarkably well? Capable of all kinds of finishes and gave Robbie Brady a torrid time when attacking North End';s left hand side. A star in the making.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 7.5
Didn’t put a foot wrong, but a relatively quiet afternoon by his recent standards. Tidy in possession, found the space to link midfield and attack, and put in a shift to recover possession in the rare moments that North End turned the ball over.
Anass Zaroury 8
Far more effective in the first half than the second, constantly getting the better of PNE skipper Alan Browne down Burnley’s left hand side. Won the corner that led to the home side’s opening goal, but might have done better when gifted the ball b Ben Whiteman after the break.
Ashley Barnes 7.5
Reborn and reinvented himself in recent weeks. Did hit the levels of his display at Carrow Road, but continues to play out of his skin, unsettle the opposition defence, bring his team-mates into play, and defend determinedly from the front.
Lyle Foster 7
Another half-an-hour for the South Africa international, who continues to adapt to life in English football. Worked hard, his ball retention was vastly improved from Tuesday night’s full debut and he was unfortunate not to open his account when Nathan Tella unselfishly tried to pick him out.