Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Dyche: “Strength of character” got Burnley past Istanbul Basaksehir

Leave a comment

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has his team one round from the Europa League group stage after another clutch goal from Jack Cork.

And the intense Clarets boss knows its down to their dogged work.

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

“The strength of character of the players is so important and before extra time I was talking to my group and they were all focused on me,” Dyche said. “I looked at theirs and there were bodies everywhere and two players catching eyes with their manager.”

“We have to do what we have to do to win games and we’ve never hidden from that. But in extra time I thought we were running all over them fitness-wise and therefore our play improved.”

Burnley moves onto play Olympiacos in the playoff round, and advancing past the Greek side would give them six more matches including three home dates at Turf Moor.

The Clarets bought Matej Vydra, Joe Hart, and Ben Gibson this summer. Ex-Middlesbrough defender Gibson made his Burnley debut on Thursday and  Hart has been sensational in posting three clean sheets in as many matches. Vydra is yet to debut.

Burnley’s status as a Europa League qualifier through Premier League play is about as impressive as anything this side of Leicester City’s miracle title run. The longer this goes on, the more strain it puts on their season, but it’s improbable to root against them.

Burnley drew Saints in its Premier League opener, and hosts Watford on Sunday.

Europa wrap: Burnley wins in extra time

Nick Potts/PA via AP
Leave a comment

Burnley left it very late but send the Turf Moor crowd home elated, earning a berth against Olympiacos in the Europa League’s playoff round.

[ MORE: Reyna’s son to BVB ]

Come for that, stay for the insanity in Russia.

Burnley 1-0 aet (1-0 agg.) Istanbul Basaksehir

Burnley’s first European run in 57 years continues thanks to more Joe Hart heroics and a Jack Cork extra time goal on Thursday at Turf Moor.

İstanbul Başakşehir out shot the hosts 18-10 but couldn’t solve Hart, who extended his clean sheet record to 300 minutes, making a number of saves in blanking the Turkish guests for the second time this season. He also shutout Southampton in the Premier League.

Cork managed a pretty 97th minute goal from a Jeff Hendrick feed, scoring a tie-deciding goal for the second-straight round.

Partizan Belgrade 3-2 (5-3 agg.) Nordsjaelland

American winger Jonathan Amon has his first Europa League goal, though it couldn’t help his Danish visitors overcome a 3-1 first leg deficit.

Molde 3-0 (3-0 agg.) Hibernian

American midfielder Emerson Hyndman played the final 50 minutes for Hibs, who could not earn a berth in the playoff round.

Zenit Saint-Petersburg 8-1 (8-5 agg.) Dinamo Minsk

Zenit bounced back in a big, big way after last week’s 4-0 loss in Ukraine. Zenit matched that marker over 90 minutes, but went into the extra time’s halftime down 5-4 on a goal by Dinamo’s Seidu Yahaya.

Sebastian Driussi leveled the score line in the 109th minute, before Russian World Cup hero Artem Dzyuba completed his hat trick and Robert Mak scored a pair of goals. The sixth and seventh goals came from the penalty spot, five minutes apart.

Elsewhere
Kairat Almaty 1-2 (1-4 agg.) Sigma Olomouc
Progres Niederkorn 2-2 (3-4 agg.) Ufa
AEK Larnaca 5-0 (7-0 agg.) Sturm Graz
HJK Helsinki 1-4 (1-7 agg.) Olimpija Ljubljana
Copenhagen 2-1 (4-2 agg.) CSKA Sofia
Universitatea Craiova 1-1 (2-4 agg.) RB Leipzig
Apoel Nicosia 3-1 (5-3 agg.) Hapoel Be’er Sheva
CFR Cluj 5-0 (7-0 agg.) Alashkert
Midtjylland 3-1 (5-1 agg.) New Saints
Kukesi 2-0 (4-5 agg.) Torpedo Kutaisi
Suduva 0-0 (1-0 agg.) Spartaks Jurmala
Zalgiris 0-5 (0-6 agg.) Sevilla
Luzern 1-3 (1-7 agg.) Olympiacos
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-1 (2-1 agg.) Pyunik
Dinamo Brest 1-0 (1-4 agg.) Apollon Limassol
LASK 2-1 (2-2 agg.) Besiktas
Atalanta 2-0 (6-1 agg.) Hapoel Haifa
Basel 1-0 (2-0 agg.) Vitesse
Brondby 2-1 (4-1 agg.) Spartak Subotica
F91 Dudelange 2-2 (4-3 agg.) Legia Warsaw
Zrinjski Mostar 1-1 (1-2 agg.) Ludogores Razgrad
Lech Poznan 1-2 (1-4 agg.) KRC Genk
NK Maribor 0-0 (1-3 agg.) Rangers
Steaua Bucharest 2-1 (2-1 agg.) Hajduk Split
Feyenoord 1-1 (1-5 agg.) AS Trencin
KAA Gent 3-1 (4-1 agg.) Jagiellonia Bialystok
Rapid Vienna 4-0 (5-2 agg.) Slovan Bratislava
HNK Rijeka 0-1 (1-2 agg.) Sarpsborg
Rosenborg 3-0 (5-0 agg.) Cork City
Valur Reykjavik 2-1 (2-2 agg.) Sheriff Tiraspol
Braga 1-1 (2-2 agg.) Zorya Luhansk

Playoff round
Olimpija Ljubljana vs. Spartak Trnava
APOEL Nicosia vs. Astana
Rosenborg vs. Shkendija
F91 Dudelange vs. CFR Cluj
Suduva Marijampole vs. Celtic
Sheriff Tiraspol vs. Qarabag
Malmo vs. Midtjylland
Torpedo Kutaisi vs. Ludogorets Razgrad
Sigma Olomouc vs. Sevilla
Sarpsborg vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv
Gent vs. Bordeaux
Partizan Belgrade vs. Besiktas
Rapid Vienna vs. Steaua Bucharest
Apollon Limassol vs. Basel
Atalanta vs. Copenhagen
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs. Molde
Trencin vs. AEK Larnaca
Genk vs. Brondby
Olympiacos vs. Burnley
Zorya Luhansk vs. RB Leipzig

Southampon 0-0 Burnley: Hart continues fine start

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Cork goal disallowed
  • Hart, McCarthy star
  • Ings debuts off bench

Southampton couldn’t find a way past Joe Hart, and Burnley’s only successful effort was ruled offside as the Saints and Clarets drew 0-0 at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Hart and Saints counterpart Alex McCarthy made a number of fine saves, and Jack Cork‘s eighth minute Burnley goal found the back of the net but came back via a questionable offside flag.

Danny Ings made his debut as a substitute, and was deprived a chance from the spot when a stoppage time stamp on his leg went uncalled.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Wood nodded a tame header to Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy within 90 seconds of kickoff.

Mario Lemina fouled Johann Berg Gudmundsson yards outside the 18 to give Burnley a promising free kick.

McCarthy was soon forced into a difficult save on Aaron Lennon, as the hosts were not impressive to open the match.

Saints finally got a chance in the Burnley end, with Lemina forcing Joe Hart to tip over the bar. And the move helped swing the pendulum in Southampton’s favor. A few Stuart Armstrong corners followed, and Oriol Romeu blasted a 42nd minute just wide of the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Southampton asked more questions in the second half, and substitutes Mohamed Elyounoussi and Danny Ings both boosted the energy.

Elyounoussi’s 61st minute corner was cleared off the line by Ashley Westwood. Hart was again on the scene when Jack Stephens headed down toward the back post.

Lemina headed another Elyounoussi corner on goal, but Hart made another save. Ings slipped Elyounoussi on goal, and former Basel man made a cutback before James Tarkowski blocked his effort.

Burnley brings in Boro star; Reportedly matches transfer record

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Burnley doesn’t make too many mistakes in the transfer market, and their cautious approach looks to have paid dividends again.

Ben Gibson is coming to Turf Moor from Championship side Middlesbrough, one year removed after a strong Premier League debut in Boro’s relegation season.

WATCH LIVE: Transfer Deadline Day show, August 9 at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com

Burnley had been slow to add players as it seemingly waited to see if it would progress in the Europa League.

Now assured of more matches in Europe and a congested schedule, the Clarets have added another experienced, composed player who won’t be questioned over his ability to handle the top flight. And at 25, he’s a player who can either be a long-term hero or sold if his value continues to grow.

Gibson logged more than 4,200 minutes in the Championship last season, a season after playing every PL minute for Boro.

From BurnleyFootballClub.com:

“I’m absolutely delighted. It’s a big step for me. I’ve played for Middlesbrough for 15 years since I was a boy so it’s a huge step and one I’m really, really excited about,” Gibson told Clarets Player HD.

“I’ve been to the training ground and met a few of the boys and the place seems like it’s certainly a club that’s on the up and certainly a club to be excited about playing for.”

[ MORE: 2018-19 Premier League previews]

The BBC reported Saturday that Joe Hart was due for a medical as Burnley attempts to answer its long-term injury for star keeper Nick Pope.

If the Clarets add Hart, it’d be unwise to bet against their analysis. From Chris Wood and Robbie Brady to Jack Cork and Pope, their risks are usually well measured.

Sean Dyche elated at Europa League victory

Getty Images
1 Comment

Burnley manager Sean Dyche couldn’t hold back his excitement after the Clarets advanced into the Europa League third qualifying round over Aberdeen in extra time.

“It’s on my CV too, a win in Europe, whatever way you look at it,” Dyche said after the match.

The Clarets hosted a European match at Turf Moor for the first time in 51 years, topping Aberdeen 4-2 on aggregate on a 3-1 victory in extra time. Jack Cork scored the winner in the 101st minute with a header, while Ashley Barnes added one more from the spot in the 114th minute.

[ MORE: Full Europa League roundup ]

“Our fans literally just wanted to get into Europe so they could have a European tour!” Dyche said. “I’m pleased we achieved that for them.”

Dyche was forced to temper his excitement slightly, however, aware of the pitfalls that could plague this team in the coming months. Mid-table Premier League sides that enter early-season Europa League play have often suffered in Premier League standings as a result of the brutal fixture congestion that can potentially take place. These teams often don’t have the resources to ensure the squad is deep enough to handle so many fronts, and it takes a toll.

“We’ve got to be careful, tonight was weird because we’re drawing and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve still got a Premier League campaign coming’,” said Dyche.

Two years ago, Southampton played Europa League matches early on, and it cost in league play as they lost five of their first six Premier League matches, with just two Premier League wins through December 3. Hull City back in 2014/15 qualified for the tournament and played four early-season matches, but they grabbed just two league wins by December 20 and ended up relegated. The year before that, Swansea City made a huge Europa League run through the playoff round, into the group stage, and beyond into the knockouts, but they suffered in league play finding themselves as far down as 15th in mid-January and eventually finishing just nine points above the drop. Even as far back as the 2011/12, Fulham reached the Europa League on fair play points, and it torpedoed their league season. They ended up playing 14 games in a run from the first qualifying round all the way to the group stage, but had just four Premier League wins by Christmas and were down in the bottom quarter of the table, eventually rebounding once Europe was completed to finish 9th.

Dyche is aware of what’s at stake. “It’s tough because we wanted to win,” he said, “but I can’t lose my players. Whatever happens this is still not as important as the Premier League and I’ve made that clear to everyone. As soon as I found out [Chris Wood] Woody [was struggling] he’s got to come off. Aaron [Lennon] had a tight hamstring and he almost ran back for one, so I’m shouting not to. The bigger picture still has to be there.”