Stoke City 2, Burnley 0

It doesn't matter how you look at it, there's no dressing up Burnley's away form in the Premier League.

Saturday, 3rd December 2016, 4:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:42 pm
Andre Gray is fouled by Marc Muniesa

A fifth loss in six this term compounded the club's miserable record which now stands at 33 losses in 44 fixtures on the road in the top flight with just 19 points accumulated.

Boss Sean Dyche described the surrender at the Hawthorns as "weak-willed" and the display at the Bet365 Stadium was no better.

Despite a positive start, where the visitors looked to stretch City's three-man defence and exploit the holes in their loose formation, they were eventually brushed aside with ease.

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Andre Gray is fouled by Marc Muniesa

Dyche made four changes from the side that narrowly lost out to Manchester City with Jon Flanagan, Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray stepping in for Matt Lowton, Steven Defour, Johann Gudmundsson and Sam Vokes.

Within 40 seconds of kick off at the Potteries the Clarets had forced a great position on the edge of the home side's penalty area.

Barnes was the man that went down under pressure from Charlie Adam but Arfield's resulting set-piece was deflected wide by Marc Muniesa.

The Clarets were working some good openings, with the home side's central quartet refusing to track back, and Barnes was denied by Lee Grant and the linesman's flag after slipping on to Gray's pass.

Ben Mee challenges Jonathan Walters

Roles were reversed moments later when Barnes was the distributor for Gray but the returning striker sliced wide from the edge of the box.

And that was about it for the Clarets in the first half as they inexplicably dropped their standards and allowed the hosts to play.

The Potters were almost gifted the lead in the 10th minute when Bruno Martins Indi was afforded far too much space from Xherdan Shaqiri's corner but the Dutch defender somehow managed to guide his header on to the post from close range.

Mame Diouf went close with an effort from 20 yards out but then came the opener as the game entered its 20th minute.

The Burnley players paid tribute to the Chapecoense team who died in a plane crash earlier this week

Shaqiri and Diouf combined down the right hand side, the latter whipped in the cross and skipper Jonathan Walters applied a stunning touch that lifted the ball over Paul Robinson and in to the far corner.

Marko Arnautovic threatened to extend the lead as the fixture crept towards the half-hour mark when cutting in to the penalty area from the left only to see his shot blocked by the boot of Ben Mee.

Gray dragged a shot harmlessly wide for the Clarets as the away side sought a response but within minutes they were chasing a two-goal deficit.

Marc Muniesa started the move from his own half and was allowed to finish it when ghosting in to the Burnley box, without being tracked, and beating Robinson with a sweeping volley from Arnautovic's cross.

Andre Gray is fouled by Marc Muniesa

The visitors had the opportunity to reduce the arrears just before the break but Jeff Hendrick was denied by the outstretched arm of Grant after infiltrating the home side's rearguard from Stephen Ward's flick on.

Burnley were vastly improved in the second half as they pressed City, grew more economical in possession and picked out the intelligent runs of Gray.

Barnes's driven drive from the angle of the penalty area threatened to drop over the head of Grant, but the former Clarets stopper reacted well to turn the ball over the bar.

Soon after, the hosts were fortunate to still have 11 men on the field when goalscorer Muniesa, in a chase with Gray, had a fistful of the striker's shirt as the last man.

Referee Marc Clattenburg spotted the infringement, awarding a free-kick, but only punished the Spaniard with a yellow card.

Arfield's resulting free-kick this time clipped the wall and was diverted out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Mee fired in to the arms of Grant.

Ben Mee challenges Jonathan Walters

Then, in the home side's next venture forward, all the Clarets negative traits from the first half were brought back in to play.

Giannelli Imbula's pass caught Flanagan out of position as Arnautovic was fed in to the left hand channel and the Austrian international squared for Joe Allen but the substitute was denied by Robinson.

Mark Hughes's men then went close to inflicting the 100th goal conceded by the Clarets in the top flight soon after.

Erik Pieters supplied the diagonal, substitute Peter Crouch cushioned the ball in to Allen's path but the former Liverpool midfielder was thwarted by a fine save from Robinson.

As play switched to the other end, Gray's half-volley looked destined for the far corner but Grant did well to get a fingertip to the attempt to turn it around the upright.

However, it was another afternoon to forget for the Clarets and they'll now prepare for the return of former boss Eddie Howe with AFC Bournemouth the visitors to Turf Moor next weekend.

The Burnley players paid tribute to the Chapecoense team who died in a plane crash earlier this week