Dan Black’s match verdict as Burnley’s vulnerabilities are exposed yet again at home to Stoke City

"It's the 85th minute and Stoke still haven't made an attempt to find an equaliser", was one cry from the press gantry at Turf Moor.

"They've obviously done their research and know that the 90th minute is the optimum time to strike against Burnley", was another.

The Clarets have gone from being the masters of holding on to 1-0 leads, to becoming one of the most vulnerable at protecting slender advantages.

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They won by that score-line 45 times during Sean Dyche's reign, they've managed just two clean sheets under the new regime, even though it is still early days.

Burnley's Taylor Harwood-Bellis reacts after conceding late on Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Burnley v Stoke City - Wednesday 5th October 2022 - Turf Moor - Burnley World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

Vincent Kompany's side have now dropped 10 points from winning positions, with eight of those forfeited in their previous five games.

There have been four 1-1 draws since the start of September, when West Brom's Brandon Thomas-Asante first exposed their fragility at The Hawthorns.

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Stalemates in the Lancashire derby against Preston North End, Cardiff City and now the Potters followed, as Burnley once again sacrificed maximum points late on having looked untroubled.

"Not all three of the last minute goals were in the same flow, there is a bit of a difference between West Brom, Cardiff and today," Kompany recognised.

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Burnley manager Vincent Kompany Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Burnley v Stoke City - Wednesday 5th October 2022 - Turf Moor - Burnley World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

"Today we had nearly everything we wanted in a game other than the extra goal but it should not always depend on it. You do want to get that extra goal if you can and we still looked like the side that was likely to score without being naive or exposing ourselves but it is painful (to concede).

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"But just look at the league table, it is a rollercoaster league and more often than not we look the better side and if you go back to the conversations before the season started, at some point this type of performances will click and will lead to a run of wins.

"We are in and amongst it, five points off the top, today is bitter but mentally the challenge in this league is to stay focused and calm. It will hurt tonight but tomorrow we go again."

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The draw specialists, who have shared the spoils with their foes on seven occasions this season, the joint-highest return in the division, are sitting pretty in fifth with 19 points. But it could've been so much better.

Stoke City's Harry Clarke scores a late equaliser Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Burnley v Stoke City - Wednesday 5th October 2022 - Turf Moor - Burnley World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com
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Substitute Harry Clarke's equaliser on Wednesday evening was almost a carbon copy of the goal the Clarets gifted the Bluebirds in South Wales, as Callum Robinson turned home Mahlon Romeo's delivery.

And just like their opponents at the Cardiff City Stadium at the weekend, Alex Neil's side had barely laid a glove, until landing such a cruel and unexpected blow just before the final bell.

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Connor Roberts spiralled from hero to zero having given Burnley a second half lead. The Welsh international was nowhere near tight enough to Dwight Gayle's 72nd minute replacement, which gave the 21-year-old Gunner the space to really crank his neck to generate the power and precision in his header.

"It is part of the game, but last minute we have to nick the guy down on the side," said Kompany, when addressing his side's naivety. "We have seven inside the pitch, just bring him down in the first half.

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"But the first one goes through, the second one goes through and — even though it's credit to our lads because there is 10 of them back when the cross comes — we have to make contact and be tighter and challenge even if it just to deny the quality on the header.

"Those details haven't happened, the players will hear it and review it. I am expecting us to do better in that aspect in the next games."

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The equaliser prompted Anass Zaroury's introduction for Jack Cork — who was magnificent again — though you wondered whether a similar change, sacrificing one of the two holding midfielders, could have been made earlier.

As it was, the hosts seemed content to dominate the ball, once again concluding the first 45 minutes with close-to 70% possession, without being overly spectacular in the final third.

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Nathan Tella pulled the trigger too early when evading Fosu's obstructive arm to get on the end of Josh Brownhill's pass. Jay Rodriguez's attempt from distance clipped the top of the crossbar and Josef Bursik flicked Josh Cullen's effort over the top right on the whistle.

Burnley were better after the break, cranking up their intensity on the ball, compromising Stoke's structure and solidity, but it was Arijanet Muric who was called into action first.

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Again the Clarets jeopardised their handle on the game, with Vitinho's loose pass allowing Tyrese Campbell to get goal side of Roberts, but the home side's Kosovan keeper raced off his line to narrow the angle and save.

Muric, however, was trumped by his opposite number as Stoke's young stopper, who had a season on loan at Accrington Stanley a couple of years ago, made an outstanding double save to twice deny Taylor Harwood-Bellis from close range.

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Sometimes, simplicity is key. And that’s how the hosts broke the deadlock. A quick exchange of passes between Roberts and Josh Brownhill provided the “Welsh Cafu” with the space outside Morgan Fox to get a shot away on his favoured right foot. Bursik was beaten at his near post and, for the ninth time this season, Kompany’s men had the lead.

The Manchester City legend said: “It is a positive for Connor and for the team. We had a couple of moments where we could have had more goals. We had a couple of corners where it seemed to be rolling along the line.

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"There were situations where we could have scored another few goals. It is good to have another player sharing a goal. It is hard to go home with any satisfaction after a draw like this but our performances are stable and the team is improving and that will lead to more wins.”

Burnley appeared less exploratory after their opener and it was Muric who was forced into a save from Liam Delap as City failed to capitalise on a three-on-one counter attack.

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In the end, it didn’t matter. The Clarets were left kicking themselves as déjà vu set in.