Dan Black’s verdict as Chelsea loan star Ian Maatsen’s double downs the Swans in South Wales to make it six wins on the bounce for Burnley
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The Scot, who won eight First Division titles, two FA Cups and three European Cup crowns, was reacting to Manchester United's opening day defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson had named a youthful side for the trip to Villa Park, but his 'Fledglings', including David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville, were beaten 3-1.
The Red Devils, however, would go on to make Hansen eat his words, becoming champions of England by a four-point margin over Newcastle United, prior to beating Roy Evans' Reds in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
Burnley will have their work cut out if they're to land a league and cup double, ahead of Saturday's trip to AFC Bournemouth, but 'Kompany's Kids' are continuing to disspell the myth that success can't be sought with youngsters.
The Championship leaders fielded five players aged 23 or under — Nathan Tella (23), Anass Zaroury (22), Jordan Beyer (22), Ian Maatsen (20) and Taylor Harwood-Bellis(20) — for their 2-1 win against Swansea City in South Wales.
Burnley's fountain of youth, the quintessential Clarets quintet, have been directly responsible for 18 of the 52 goals scored by the country's most clinical outfit, and they've more than played their part in the nine clean sheets collected.
Nothing has been won, or lost, just yet, but a sixth win on the bounce, matching that during the 23-game unbeaten run under Sean Dyche in 2017/18, has stretched the gap to second to five points, with QPR holding Sheffield United at Loftus Road.
"This is the exciting part of working with young players," said Manchester City legend Kompany. "Everybody always mentions the difficulty of working with them, but they just improve all the time. You can see Jordan Beyer improving, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, and that's what you get with younger players, it's exciting."
On loan Chelsea defender Maatsen made the difference on this occasion, netting a first half brace, the first of his career, to put the table-toppers in the driving seat against Russell Martins' Swans.
The left back swept a stunning set-piece, with his stronger foot from the right hand side of the penalty area, off Steven Benda's right hand upright, to put the visitors in front with 12 minutes on the clock.
The former Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven full back then doubled the lead with a rasping drive that proved too hot for Benda to handle, with the German stopper only able to push the effort into the roof of the net.
"It travelled, it just kept going," said Kompany, in his applause for Maatsen's second. "I heard a new saying, which was 'it stays hit', and that's what it was.
"Ian has given so much defensively and if you're able to add this to your game that's obviously something that not many players can give you.
"The set up [for the free kick] is never a coincidence, but he's got to take the credit for how he hits it."
It was a game of transformation and adaptation at the Swansea.com Stadium as both head coaches attempted to outwit the other in hope of getting the upper hand.
Despite the Clarets striking a couple of blows in the first quarter of an entertaining and intriguing chess match, Swansea’s pawns had been making some good ground.
It was another tip of the hat to Burnley when Martin confessed that he’d studied his opponents meticulously after inflicting a four-goal defeat on Watford.
He had left no stone unturned in preparation for his side’s biggest test of term, as they looked to avenge the 4-0 loss at Turf Moor earlier in the season, and prove themselves as genuine candidates for the play-offs.
"I really enjoyed it,” he said, when asked about his groundwork. “I really like the way they play, I think there's a mutual respect between both coaches regarding the style of our teams.
"I really enjoyed it, I thought we caused them all sorts of problems in possession, I thought we were really aggressive out of possession and then they found some solutions.
"We changed it, they struggled finding a solution, then in the second half their energy edged it, I thought they had a bit more athleticism than we did.
"It was a great game, I wish I could watch games like that every week in the Championship. We've got massive respect for what they do and they'll be in the Premier League next season."
They did that, for about half-an-hour. The spine of Swansea’s skeleton was pivotal to their control, and the inroads they had made.
Harry Darling, the home side’s equivalent of Beyer, was influential, veteran Joe Allen’s industrious input allowed Matt Grimes to get on the ball at the lower point of City’s diamond, while Oliver Cooper picked up pockets of space in-between the lines at the tip.
They’d pushed high, with purpose and aggression, as ex Wales Under 21 international Cooper joined Joel Piroe and Liam Cullen in a three-pronged press, smothering the space and limiting the time for the visitors to play out from the back, while those behind obstructed passing lanes.
And their approach paved the way for their response, when Darling’s challenge on Tella, deemed lawful by referee Oliver Langford, allowed City to capitalise in transition, as Cooper reacted quickest when Arijanet Muric pushed Fulton’s deflected attempt back into play.
Burnley shapeshifted, becoming more compact, to try and stem the flow, but with minimal success initially. "From a coaching perspective I would've liked to have solved it there and then, which I wasn't able to," Kompany said. "This team is what it is, we did adapt four or five times in this game, and so did Swansea.
"If you look into the intricacies of this game, it's really never the same. The big thing for me that was in the second half we stayed how we are, there wasn't too much of a change, and that was a positive."
The hosts had other openings in the first half, after getting the breaks and winning the second balls, but without really testing Muric. They then failed to break down a resilient and disciplined Burnley after the break, having relinquished the bite in midfield following the withdrawal of Allen, who presumably had nothing left in the tank when replaced by Olivier Ntcham on the hour.
Josh Brownhill was denied by Benda when one-on-one, as the keeper made himself big to deny the midfielder from an unfavourable angle, before the former Bristol City star blazed over from deep inside the penalty area.
Leading scorer Jay Rodriguez, now without a goal in five appearances, somehow surrendered the chance to restore the away side’s two-goal cushion when directing his header off target after beating Benda to Brownhill’s flick on from Zaroury’s centre.
Kompany finished: "In the first half they started pushing us back and we ended up near our box for too long and still we dealt with it. I thought we defended crosses really well, we always had bodies to go and challenge. Then, in the second half, we kept them much further from goal.
"It's still difficult to recover that ball, but we did much better. I'm happy that when it's 2-1 and it's so tight you've got your centre-halves still looking to go and help in midfield if needed and win challenges on the number 10s that they've got.
"For young centre-halves I think it's big what they've done today, being so brave. They didn't change, because if one side of the team is going forward and the other side of the team is just worried about what's in behind, those gaps become too big in midfield and Swansea are one of the best at exploiting those gaps. They never allowed it to happen and I'm really happy with that.”