FT: Millwall 0, Burnley 2

Burnley earned a place in the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time in seven years after a convincing win at Championship side Millwall.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 8:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 9:04 pm
Josh Brownhill scores right on half-time

Josh Brownhill struck just before half-time, crashing in a brilliant 25-yard strike, before Matej Vydra wrapped things up in injury time.

Sean Dyche handed three full debuts to goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, centre back Bobby Thomas and midfielder Josh Benson.

However, James Tarkowski was again absent, after Dyche had hoped he might be available after missing the first two games of the season with a toe/foot injury.

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It again only served to fan the flames of speculation.

West Ham have had two offers turned down to Tarkowski, the last £20m rising to £30m, but have seemingly turned their attentions to St Etienne's 19-year-old Wesley Fofana, offering an initial fee of £23m and up to £10m in add-ons.

Leicester City had been in talks with St Etienne over Fofana, and it remains to be seen whether they renew their interest in Tarkowski.

Without Tarkowski, Dyche made six changes to face his former club, with Peacock-Farrell, Thomas and Benson joined by Matt Lowton, Erik Pieters and Matej Vydra in the side.

But Burnley's threadbare squad suffered another blow 15 minutes in when Jay Rodriguez landed awkwardly and looked to turn his ankle, forcing him off after treatment, with former Lions loan man Chris Wood coming on.

In a staccato first half, Jón Daði Böðvarsson stung the palms of Peacock-Farrell shortly after, the Northern Ireland keeper making a comfortable stop from a shot from the edge of the area, having earlier turned away a header from the towering Matt Smith.

Smith also headed wide of the far post from a recycled corner, while Burnley were struggling to work Millwall keeper Bartosz Białkowski at the other end, Lowton dragging an effort well wide after Millwall struggled to clear a Dwight McNeil cross.before McNeil intercepted a loose pass from Connor Mahoney and drilled a shot at the Polish keeper.

Smith headed a corner straight at Peacock-Farrell, before Vydra pulled a shot beyond the far post after twisting and turning on the edge of the area.

Josh Brownhill volleyed well over after a flowing Burnley move, which ended with a Charlie Taylor cross after being superbly picked out by the roaming McNeil.

And right on half-time, Brownhill gave Burnley the lead with his first goal for the club.

What a goal it was too, Thomas and Benson doing superbly in the corner to maintain possession, before coming out and allowing Brownhill to tee himself up and thunder a 25-yarder into the top right corner. Simply unstoppable.

Brownhillwas involved after the break as well, as he was booked after McNeil was left in a heap after being stamped on by Mahlon Romeo.

After Jack Robinson somehow avoided a red card last Thursday for injuring Johann Berg Gudmundsson, it was another potential dismissal which was missed by the officials, in the absence of VAR.

Böðvarsson smashed an effort over in a rare Millwall attack midway through the second half, before Burnley's second change, with 17 minutes remaining, as Ashley Westwood replaced Brownhill.

As Burnley looked for a killer second, McNeil broke clear down the left and whipped over a glorious centre which Wood headed down and wide.

Westwood picked out Vydra towards the centre of goal, but he could only poke the ball goalwards, with Białkowski able to save.

Jimmy Dunne came close to adding to his Premier League debut goal with a downward header from another McNeil ball, with his subsequent ball across the face cleared.

Anthony Glennon came on for his Burnley bow, replacing McNeil, and he was close to playing Wood, but there was a scare at the other end as Shaun Hutchinson's header drifted just beyond the far post, having looked for all the world to be destined to find the corner.

Glennon was again close to finding Wood with a superb cross after combining well with Vydra down the left, and Vydra squandered a chance on the turn in injury time.

However, Vydra wrapped things up with a tidy finish after Wood played him in, and Burnley will now face Manchester City or Bournemouth next week.

Burnley: Peacock-Farrell; Lowton, Thomas, Dunne, Taylor; Benson, Brownhill (Westwood), McNeil (Glennon), Pieters; Rodriguez (Wood), Vydra.

Subs: Norris, Long, Bardsley, Goodridge.