Burnley player ratings vs Swansea City as Chelsea loan ace Ian Maatsen grabs the headlines
The scalp of Swansea City was added to those of Blackburn Rovers, QPR, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and Stoke City as the Clarets equalled their winning streak under Sean Dyche in March 2016.
Ian Maatsen scored twice for the visitors, Oliver Cooper brought the Swans back into the game, but the league leaders held on to record a 10th win in 11 games in the second tier.
Here are the ratings.
Arijanet Muric 6
Appeared far more assertive and commanding when collecting high balls inside the penalty area once again and, aside from one scuffed clearance, seemed composed in possession. Could have pushed Jay Fulton’s deflected attempt into a safer area before Oliver Cooper halved the deficit.
Connor Roberts 7
Recovered well to obstruct Joe Allen’s route to goal when Swansea City countered dangerously in the first half, did well to limit Ryan Manning’s opportunities to swing the ball into the box, and gave very little away as Burnley saw the game out after the break against his former club.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis 7.5
Allowed Oliver Cooper to steal a yard on him when the goal-scorer followed up Jay Fulton’s saved attempt, but defended terrifically on the whole at the Swansea.com Stadium. He was on the end of absolutely everything that the hosts directed into the box and his positioning restricted the Swans to very little from central areas.
Jordan Beyer 7
A key pawn in enabling the Clarets to play out from the back, and drove forward from defence to break through Swansea City’s press. Switched the play well, withstood the pressure applied in the first half, and his presence limited the home side to half-chances.
Ian Maatsen 8.5
Resolute defensively, aside from a slight slip-up that allowed substitute Olivier Ntcham to power into the penalty area late on. Opened the scoring with an exquisite set-piece, which crashed in off the post, and then doubled the advantage with a rasping drive that was too powerful for Steven Benda to keep out.
Jack Cork 7
Burnley’s shape, and Swansea City’s approach with a diamond in midfield, meant that the skipper was chasing shadows for much of the first half. However, the away side’s reset, and Joe Allen’s departure, allowed the captain to take control. Didn’t see as much of the ball as usual, but stalked goal-scorer Oliver Cooper through the second half to negate his threat. Cn be pleased with his contribution on his return to his former stomping ground.
Josh Cullen 6.5
A disciplined second half display allowed the Clarets to see the game out relatively untroubled. Embroiled in a real battle with Joe Allen and Matt Grimes, but imposed himself on the game after the break, recovering possession and getting on the ball to take the sting out of Swansea City’s push for an equaliser.
Nathan Tella 6.5
Kicked off the park for the 70 minutes he was on the pitch and felt he should have had a free kick in the moments leading up to Swansea City’s goal. Failed to make much of an impression with Ryan Manning, who dealt with the Southampton ace well, but he manufactured the space to switch the ball to Ian Maatsen for Burnley’s second goal.
Josh Brownhill 7
Neat flick on from Anass Zaroury’s cross created big Jay Rodriguez chance in second half and the midfielder squandered two golden opportunities after the break himself. Steven Benda came out on top of the one-v-one and then the ex-Bristol City man blazed over from close range. Covered every blade of grass in a typically workmanlike performance.
Anass Zaroury 6
A quiet afternoon for the usually inspirational Morocco ace. Rarely had the ball at his feet but, even when he did, he struggled to come out on top of his tussle with full back Joel Latibeaudiere, who was physically superior and more than a match in the foot race. Replaced by Johann Berg Gudmundsson early in the second half.
Jay Rodriguez 6.5
It’s now five Championship games without a goal for Burnley’s leading scorer. Integral in the away side’s build up play, dropping deep to collect and offloading, but somehow missed the target with a free header when beating Steven Benda to Josh Brownhill’s flick on.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson 6.5
Allowed substitute Matthew Sorinola to slip through his fingers far too easily when Olivier Ntcham threatened to score a late equaliser, but did impeccably well after his introduction to preserve the Clarets’ control on the game while keeping Swansea City at arm’s length. Good on the ball and used it economically.
Manuel Benson 6.5
A perfectly professional performance after replacing Nathan Tella with 20 minutes remaining. Carried a threat in transition as the hosts committed men forward in search of an equaliser, eased the pressure when driving forward with the ball, won a number of corners, and killed time when carrying the ball into the corner.