'Extremely brave': Vincent Kompany's assessment of Burnley's impressive win against Benfica
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Goals from academy product Owen Dodgson and Hjalmar Ekdal handed the Clarets a 2-0 win against the Portuguese champions on Tuesday.
Kompany’s men were well worth their win too despite making wholesale changes from the team that lined up against Genk on Saturday.
Speaking to Clarets+ after the game, the Belgian spoke of his delight at how his side stuck to their task against such a high level of opposition.
“You play as a team with so much squad depth, so much talent and in the end we had momentum at times,” he said.
“At times when they were being good on the ball we were being extremely aggressive, we were extremely brave in many moments but without dropping our standards on the ball as well. It’s that balance you need to have.
“As much as we could, we made it difficult high up the pitch, but when we were struggling a little bit and they also made 10 changes or 11 changes, they had fresh legs for the second-half and really good players – but at that moment when the game got tough physically we did what the game demanded and that was a positive.”
While Burnley were well worth their win, they were reliant on Aijanet Muric making two or three vital stops – including a crucial double save during the first-half when he clawed out two close-range headers.
“We’ve seen him do it before. It’s something he does, he’s extremely good at in those moments,” Kompany added.
“You need this. We were able to score some goals as well but obviously that double save makes a big difference.”
The goals came from an unlikely source too in defenders Dodgson and Ekdal, with Dodgson beating the goalkeeper at his near post with a low effort before Ekdal tapped home after a shot had been fumbled into his path.
“The funny thing is when you see Dodgson and Ekdal on the scoresheet you think it’s two set-piece goals, but it was from open play and they were well-worked,” he said.
“We’re really pleased for them, especially for one of the young players from the academy to put his name on the scoresheet in such a big game.”