Brighton – Burnley saw the previously bottom-of-the-table Clarets come away with a rare point by playing 90 minutes of the beautiful game in the ugliest possible fashion on Friday.
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0-0 was the final score — enough to move Burnley up to 19th place with the second point of the season, despite the fact they still await their fourth goal of the season having played seven games.
2 things we learned: Brighton – Burnley
1. Brighton took ages to seize control: Credit to Burnley, in some sense, as they managed to dictate terms of the game for nearly an hour. Brighton have done well this season to possess and progress the ball through the middle third, but Burnley were having none of it on Friday. It wasn’t until around the 65th minute that Brighton got an extra body in midfield and started to dominate the way they needed to do from the opening whistle. Up until that point, it was all counter-attacking looks in hugely unfavorable one-on-three situations. You don’t have to like what Burnley do, but they do it well.
2. Burnley offer very little, again (re-post, times five): Sean Dyche had some rather critical thoughts about Burnley’s ongoing inability — or, perhaps, refusal — to move in a more timely manner to sign new players and improve the squad prior to the closing of the transfer window. Until such a change occurs, Dyche’s words are probably worth revisiting regularly.
Brighton should have taken a 1-0 lead after barely 30 seconds, and it would have been the cruelest possible return for star center back Ben Mee (injury). Mee slipped as the ball made it was back toward Burnley’s goal, allowing Danny Welbeck to sneak in and cut back for Tariq Lamptey. Unfortunately for Brighton, Lamptey skied the finish and let Burnley off the hook.
Burnley’s only chance of the first half came in the 30th minute, and it wasn’t a particularly high-percentage moment for the Clarets. A corner kick was fumbled around by Brighton ‘keeper Mat Ryan and it fell to Robbie Brady inside the box. Brady tried an acrobatic overhead kick, but got it wrong and bounced his effort wide of the past.
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Welbeck was heavily involved in Brighton’s moment’s of quality, and he nearly got his first goal of the season in the 34th minute. Neal Maupay won the ball back on the left, he quickly got it to Adam Lallana, and Lallana played Welbeck in on goal. Nick Pope was up to the task, though, as he pushed Welbeck’s shot wide.
After 45 minutes, the shots count stood as follows: Brighton – 12, Burnley – 2. The same story, again and again with Burnley.
There were suspicions of handball in the 58th minute, but Mee was let off the hook by a quick video review.