TALKING POINTS: Burnley 0, Leeds United 4.

Burnley were ultimately well-beaten by Leeds United as they suffered a ninth-successive home game without a win.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 8:55 am
Updated Sunday, 16th May 2021, 8:58 am
Referee Graham Scott speaks to Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa
Referee Graham Scott speaks to Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa

After confirming a sixth-straight season in the Premier League at Fulham on Monday night, the Clarets failed to hit those levels, on an afternoon to forget.

Here are the talking points:

HOME FORM

Burnley set a club record of nine-successive home league games in the top flight without a win, 10 in all competitions if you include the FA Cup exit to Bournemouth.

The Clarets have not gone nine league games without a win at Turf Moor since Stan Ternent’s first season in charge, a run which famously reached nine with three home defeats in a week against Gillingham, Manchester City and Preston, with 12 goals conceded and none for.

However, Burnley then went 11 games unbeaten, home and away, to end that season, and were promoted the next, with the club never looking back since - spending the next 21 years in the top two divisions up to date.

Why have results at home not gone Burnley’s way of late? It is hard to say.

You would suggest Sean Dyche’s side are another victim of the lack of supporters in stadiums - missing the backing of their fans at key moments.

Certainly in the last three home games, all defeats, Burnley could have picked up results - even against Leeds - if they had been more clinical with their chances, and not conceded goals you don’t expect Dyche’s side to concede.

Yes, after securing their survival on Monday night, they may have come slightly off their levels subconsciously, but they were well in the game until the hour mark, and the change which altered the complexion of the match, with the peripheral Patrick Bamford replaced by the £30m Spain international Rodrigo.

After going 2-0 down to a fortunate Leeds second, albeit Jack Harrison improvised brilliantly, Burnley had to open up, which played into the visitors’ hands entirely.

STANDING OFF

Burnley went in behind at half-time, after Leeds recovered from the Clarets’ positive start - winning most of the second balls and pinning the visitors back.

Marcelo Bielsa would have been expecting Burnley to get the ball forward quickly to Chris Wood and Matej Vydra, and it took Leeds time to get to grips with the game.

But there was little threat from Leeds, bar a misplaced header from Pascal Struijk from a glorious Kalvin Phillips cross, until Mateusz Klich broke from halfway, found no one willing to close him down, and curled a fine effort beyond former Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s left hand, into the corner.

It wasn’t dissimilar to the way Newcastle broke through Allan Saint-Maximin to score their winner recently, with Burnley preferring to drop off rather than engage higher up the pitch, only to fail to make a block or make the shot more difficult for the opponent.

They can’t say they weren’t warned either - the goal meant Leeds have now hit 13 from outside the area this season, the most of any Premier League club.

CLINICAL EDGE

We’ve all seen the headlines, about Burnley being “thrashed”, a Leeds “romp” etc, and the visitors could have scored more after claiming a decisive 2-0 lead.

But up to the hour mark, Burnley could and should have been at least level, with Matej Vydra combining well with Chris Wood before surging clear to force the save of the game from Illan Meslier.

Leeds were struggling to get Patrick Bamford into the game, with the forward seemingly more pre-occupied with a physical battle with James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, one which he was not going to win.

Bamford was replaced by Rodrigo, and he was instantly involved in a flowing move which won a corner, from which Ezgjan Alioski snatched hopelessly at a shot, only for Jack Harrison to react superbly and flick the off target effort in.

Burnley had a big chance to half the deficit only for Meslier to again save from substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson after a fine one-two with Ashley Westwood.

And Leeds were ruthless on the break as the Clarets were forced to chase the game, with Harrison’s superb pass splitting Mee and Tarkowski for Rodrigo to audaciously chip Peacock-Farrell.

Two minutes later, Phillips found Harrison, and from his ball in, Rodrigo, almost contemptuously, rounded Peacock-Farrell to make it four.

PEACOCK-FARRELL

With Sean Dyche not risking Nick Pope, due to knee and shoulder issues, Bailey Peacock-Farrell came in for his fourth Premier League start against his former club.

But he finished the day having picked the ball out of his net on four occasions, meaning he has now shipped 14 goals in those four appearances.

Bar a couple of goals in the 5-0 reverse at Manchester City, you could argue the Northern Ireland number one has been unfortunate, in that there has been little he could do to prevent being beaten.

Dyche hopes it will be part of his learning curve: “These are the challenges for keepers.

”He is aware of the challenge of being in the Premier League and that next step for his development, and you have to go through the fire and experience these events to learn as a keeper and progress, so it is how he deals with that as well.

"He's developed off the pitch in the way he has gone about it and physically developed.

”The game time is the next challenge for the next step, as it is for any player, but particularly when you are a keeper because it is a very individual role.

”Even the challenge of conceding and learning how to deal with that.”

CHILDISH OR MORE SINISTER?

Sean Dyche revealed after the game than a Burnley player had reported an incident to referee Graham Scott, which appeared to centre around a coming together with Dwight McNeil and Ezgjan Alioski.

McNeil felt aggrieved to have been pulled up for what looked a soft foul on the Macedonian, who went easily to ground, with his screams audible.

The Clarets winger got up and made his feelings known to the left back, who responded by appearing to pull a childish ‘raspberry’ - although some people on social media felt it could have been a ‘monkey’ gesture, based on some still images.

Neither manager would be pushed on the incident, with Dyche saying: “There is a report that has gone in to the the referee and that will be passed onto the FA.

"One of our players has made the report and I was just there to be a witness of the report and not of the incident.“

It remains to be seen what was actually said by either party, and whether it was the gesture, and how it was perceived, which caused any upset.