Dwight McNeil

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Premier League Preview: Chelsea v. Burnley

Leave a comment

Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea can climb third in the Premier League with a defeat of improved Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Monday (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are the first team to play their 35th match in the group of four Premier League clubs vying for third- and fourth-place this season.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Burnley meanwhile knows a win would seal its already-likely place in the Premier League for 2019-20. Even a draw would probably do the trick given Cardiff City’s immense disadvantage in goal differential.

It’s really a must-win for the Blues’ Top Four hopes, because Chelsea will want cushion given a four-match PL, Europa League run of Manchester United, Eintracht Frankfurt, Watford, and Eintracht Frankfurt again.

What they’re saying

Chelsea boss Sarri on the Europa-PL schedule congestion: “It’s not easy for us, we have to play only four matches but we have to try. I think in the last four matches it will be difficult for every team involved in fighting for the top four, not only for us. And so we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season; we have to fight and to see at the end.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche on transfer rumors for young star Dwight McNeil: “His worth to the team I’m more interested in, and that’s the way he’s delivering performances. I like his assuredness, he’s quiet, he’s calm, but there’s a toughness in there, particularly to have the ball. That’s something that can come and go with players, but he’s certainly got that desire to grip a game with the ball, ‘give me the ball, I want to do something’. That’s a powerful thing.”

Prediction

The Clarets will put up a good fight, but the extra day’s rest will be plenty for Chelsea, who may just claim a Top Four place and the Europa League… if it can deal with a tricky finish to the season. The tough run of fixtures means the Blues know at home to Burnley is a must-win. Chelsea, 3-0.

Red-hot Burnley beat Cardiff amid penalty kick drama (video)

Leave a comment
  • Burnley win third-straight match
  • Cardiff lose 6 of last 7 games
  • Penalty kick awarded to Cardiff, taken away

Burnley beat Cardiff City 2-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday, as the Clarets all but secured their Premier League safety with a third-straight win.

Chris Wood scored twice, once in each half, as Burnley battled past a spirited Cardiff side who came up short once again. Neil Warnock and his players were apoplectic with rage as Mike Dean and his fellow officials first awarded a penalty kick when it was 1-0, but after a lengthy consultation took it away as Ben Mee‘s handball was adjudged to have been accidental.

With the win Burnley move on to 39 points, while Cardiff have 28 points and are five points from safety. The play against the team they’re closest to, Brighton, on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley started off superbly and Wood should have put the Clarets ahead, as the in-form striker sent his close range header against the post.

Cardiff improved after a shaky start, but Burnley created the better chances.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Dwight McNeil picked up the ball on the edge of the box but curled just wide of the goal. Ashley Westwood then had a great chance to put Burnley ahead as he went clean through but hit his shot straight at Neil Etheridge.

Wood then put Burnley ahead, as McNeil’s in-swinging corner was nodded home by the New Zealand international to make it 1-0. Moments later Westwood then went clean through but his shot was saved well by Etheridge who rushed off his line.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Burnley then handed Cardiff a lifeline (literally) as Ben Mee twice handled in the box in quick succession, and on the second occasion a penalty kick was awarded as Mike Dean was helped out by the officials. But that decision was then overturned by Dean after talking to his linesman, much to the disgust of Warnock and the Cardiff players.

Harry Arter fired inches over soon after that contentious incident, as Cardiff came flying out of the traps in the second half.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Junior Hoilett then wasted a glorious chance as Kenneth Zohore picked him out but the Canadian winger skied the ball over the bar.

Ashley Barnes and Mee both went close late on for Burnley, while Cardiff appealed for a penalty kick in stoppage time as James Tarkowski appeared to block a shot from Bruno Manga with his arm.

Wood added his and Burnley’s second in stoppage time to complete the win and rub further salt into Cardiff’s wounds as they are hanging in the Premier League by a thread.

Burnley ease past dismal Bournemouth (video)

Leave a comment
  • Second-straight win for Burnley
  • 1 win in 9 for Bournemouth
  • Clarets now two points behind Cherries

Burnley came from behind to win 3-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Clarets left the Vitality Stadium with a massive three points.

Ashley Barnes scored an early own goal to put Bournemouth ahead, but then Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood each scored in quick succession to put them ahead with Asmir Begovic not covering himself in glory in goal for Bournemouth.

Barnes then scored after another Begovic howler to seal the win, as Sean Dyche‘s side now move eight points clear of the relegation zone and are on 36 points, just two points behind Bournemouth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth took the lead inside four minutes as a free kick was flicked on by Jefferson Lerma and under pressure from Nathan Ake, Barnes nodded into his own net. 1-0.

David Brooks was causing plenty of problems cutting in from the right flank, but Burnley then struck back. A corner caught out Asmir Begovic as it looped to the back post and Wood nodded home to make it 1-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Burnley were soon 2-1 up, as Dwight McNeil caused havoc on the left and his cross eventually found Westwood who struck an effort into the far corner to put the Clarets 2-1 up.

Before the break Bournemouth had a great chance to make it 2-2, but an unmarked Callum Wilson somehow nodded over from close range. Burnley went close on two occasions before the break as Begovic was almost caught out at his near post with a free kick, as the end-to-end nature continued.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Right at the start of the second half Barnes hit a shot goalwards which hit Ake on the arm and deflected wide, but no penalty kick was given.

Burnley did extend their lead, as Charlie Taylor‘s cross from the left was spilled by Begovic and Wood pounced to set up Barnes to slot home. 3-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The away side threatened to extend their lead further late on with some dangerous crosses, while Josh King nodded wide for Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke, Ryan Fraser and Wilson went close late on, but Bournemouth couldn’t launch another of their famous late rallies and Burnley secured a big win in their battle against relegation.

Burnley grab crucial win against Wolves (video)

Leave a comment
  • Burnley end run of four-straight defeats
  • Dyche’s 300th game in charge at Burnley
  • Wolves’ first loss in three

Burnley secured a huge win in their battle against Premier League relegation, as they upset high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

An early Conor Coady own goal set them on their way and Sean Dyche‘s side struck late on through teenager Dwight McNeil to grab a valuable three points.

With the win Burnley now have 33 points and sit five points above the relegation zone. Wolves remain on 44 points in seventh.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley took the lead within the first two minutes as a quick free kick from Dwight McNeil caught out the Wolves defense and found Chris Wood.

He rounded Rui Patricio and his shot hit the post, but Coady slid in and deflected the ball into his own net. 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Phil Bardsley went close with a low effort, while at the other end Wolves wanted a penalty kick as Romain Saiss‘ shot was blocked by Ashley Barnes‘ arm.

Not a great half from Wolves, as they were missing Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Wolves did improve after the break, as Diogo Jota curled a cross into the box which just went past the far post and then Ivan Cavaleiro smashed over from the edge of the box.

Adama Traore was causing plenty of problems down the right flank as Doherty and Jimenez came on to try and force a late equalizer.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

But just as Wolves looked more likely to score next, McNeil broke and jinxed past a few tackles before he smashed a low short into the net to make it 2-0.

A massive win for Burnley in their battle against relegation.

10-man Leicester snatch late win at Burnley (video)

1 Comment
  • Morgan scores stoppage time winner
  • Maguire sent off in 4th minute
  • Burnley lost fourth-straight game

Leicester City secured a battling victory at Burnley on Saturday, as Brendan Rodgers‘ side scored a stoppage-time winner after being reduced to 10-men in the fourth minute of the game.

Harry Maguire was sent off with less than four minutes on the clock, but James Maddison put Leicester ahead with a free kick.

Dwight McNeil scored a superb goal to equalize for Burnley but Wes Morgan popped up with a goal in second half stoppage time as Sean Dyche‘s were stunned.

The win for Rodgers’ side moves them into 10th place on 41 points, while Burnley remain just one place and two points above the relegation zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was the worst possible start for Leicester as Maguire, who was last man, clipped the heels of Gudmundsson, who was clean through on goal and was shown a straight-red card. Morgan was brought on as a sub as Demarai Gray was sacrificed to keep Leicester to four at the back.

Leicester’s backs were against the wall, as Gudmundsson’s effort from the resulting free kick deflected off the wall and hit the bar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Despite having an extra man, Burnley sat back and tried to hit Leicester on the counter. Wilfred Ndidi made a superb last-ditch tackle to keep Burnley out on one such attack.

The Foxes dug deep and caused problems as Harvey Barnes drilled wide and they were a real threat from set-piece situations. And that is how they went ahead. Maddison won a free kick on the edge of the box and he then stepped up and curled home a superb effort into the top corner. 1-0.

Vardy stung the palms of Tom Heaton before half time as Leicester were in the ascendancy, but then Burnley hit them on the break as teenager McNeil swept home from the edge of the box to make it 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Vardy was lively, as always, on the counter, but Burnley went so close to going ahead for the first time. Jack Cork was found in the box but his curler went just wide as the Clarets cranked through the gears.

Chris Wood then somehow sidefooted over from close range after a superb cross from McNeil and Burnley felt they should have had a couple of penalty kicks late on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Charlie Taylor went down in the box under a challenge from Ndidi but Michael Oliver waved played on and then handball calls against Wes Morgan were waved away as Peter Crouch made a nuisance of himself in the box.

McNeil hooked over the bar late on as Burnley poured forward in search of a crucial winner, but Leicester were the team to snatch victory.

Youri Tieleman’s deflected cross found Morgan, who nodded home in stoppage time to snatch a massive three points for the Foxes.