James Tarkowski

Aston Villa secure huge win at Burnley

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Aston Villa beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor on New Year’s Day as Dean Smith‘s side put in a battling display to grab a crucial three points.

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First half goals from Wesley and the superb Jack Grealish were enough to win it for Villa, who had Wesley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton stretchered off late in the game. Chris Wood pulled one back for Burnley but it wasn’t enough as Villa secured their second win in their last three Premier League games.

With the win Villa move on to 21 points as the relegation scrap is now wild, as Burnley sit just three points above them on 24.


3 things we learned

1. Grealish is the real deal: He led by example with a superb goal and assist but it was the other stuff which was almost as important. Grealish ran his socks off and Villa needed him big time. The skipper was superb and his extra quality is capable of keeping Villa up.

2. Injuries pile up for Villa: Wesley and Heaton are big players for Villa and even though Smith will be delighted to get a win it came at a big cost. Just as Tyrone Mings returned from injury he has now lost his best striker and goalkeeper. Let’s see how Villa cope with this.

3. Sluggish Burnley slumping: Three defeats on the spin over the festive season suddenly has Burnley in a proper relegation scrap. A few weeks ago it looked like they would finish in the top 10 but things change very quickly and a sluggish first half cost Sean Dyche‘s side dear.

Man of the Match: Jack Grealish – He was everywhere. Set up the first, scored the second and when Villa needed him in the second half he ran with the ball to try and take the pressure off.


In a tough battle Grealish took an early whack from Jack Cork in midfield as Villa dug deep early on.

From a corner Burnley could only have clear and Konsa crossed for Grealish to head home but VAR intervened to first check a foul and then offside in the build up, as Wesley’s heel (half of it) was offside and the goal was ruled out.

Grealish then played in Wesley who was denied by Nick Pope and Burnley’s goalkeeper kept out Douglas Luiz‘s effort on the rebound.

Dwight McNeil and Chris Wood were off target for Burnley as the hosts struggled to impose themselves on the game.

Villa got the goal their dominance deserved as Grealish and Wesley combined to see the latter squeeze an effort past Pope and in to make it 1-0 and score his first PL goal in almost three months.

Before half time Grealish scored a stunner to double Villa’s lead as their star man cut inside and smashed home to delight the away fans at Turf Moor.

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Villa should have wrapped up the win at the start of the second half but Luiz shot straight at Pope, as Burnley brought on Jay Rodriguez at the break to try and get things going in attack.

Rodriguez had a shot deflected wide from a corner then somehow knocked James Tarkowski‘s cross over from close range.

Burnley dominated and peppered the Villa goal as Heaton flapped at a cross which flew just wide.

Kortney Hause couldn’t make the most of a glorious effort at one end then Chris Wood fired wide at the other and Tyrone Mings then stopped him going clean through as the game opened up.

Wesley was carried off on a stretcher late on after suffering a nasty injury in a huge blow for Villa.

Then it got worse as Wood got his goal late on with a fine header to set up a tense finale.

Former Burnley goalkeeper Heaton was then carried off on a stretcher as he was struggling with a leg injury throughout but Villa held on for a huge win despite late pressure from Burnley.

Manchester United beats Burnley to go fifth

Manchester United beats Burnley to go fifth
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Manchester United seized a chance to go fifth with a 2-0 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

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The Red Devils sit one point back of fourth place Chelsea, who plays Arsenal on Sunday.

Burnley’s 24 points are six clear of the drop zone after 20 matches.

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Three things we learned

1. Wasteful Red Devils survive nonetheless: Anthony Martial should’ve had a hat trick, but will be one of the few Manchester United attackers able to live with his day considering he provided a goal. With 63 percent of the ball, United had plenty of time to produce chances but often made baffling choices in the final third.

United were without Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, and perhaps a bit fortunate to be playing a Burnley side who’s scored thrice in its last seven league matches.

2. Teen left back Williams impresses: Brandon Williams played left back in his first league start since Dec. 1, and was very lively going forward. He passed at 87 percent on the day. He has a goal and an assist in just under 800 first team minutes this season.

3. Rashford gets his goal (again): Rashford scrapped his way to a stoppage time marker and now has 16 goals and six assists in 26 matches after sliding the insurance tally over the line. He’s been held off the score sheet just four times in his last 11 league outings. It wasn’t an incredible night for Marcus Rashford, merely solid, but boy has it been a solid four months.

Man of the Match: Daniel James — It was a day without a ton of starring performances, but the ex-Swansea City man was rampant up and down the wing and assisted Rashford’s late insurance goal.


James Tarkowski knocked down a free kick that David De Gea rescued from a goal to spring a counter.

United worked down the left with Martial, the ball finding its way to Rashford for a shot that curled just wide of the frame.

Martial then saw a ball cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley after a Daniel James shot deflected onto his path.

United took the lead in the 44th through Martial. Andreas Pereira picked the pocket of Burnley left back Taylor, drawing a pass behind the Clarets back line for Martial to poke past Pope.

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Martial had the ball in the net again but saw his 51st minute marker whistled for a foul. Pope saved a Martial shot three minutes later.

Burnley had a couple of chances and grew into the game. Unlikely striker Phil Bardsley tore into a low effort that required a superb save from David De Gea.

Martial and Lingard combined to throw away an 83rd minute chance to make it 2-0. James and Rashford teamed up for a stoppage time goal after United held firm against a late Burnley set piece surge.

Wood goal helps Burnley beat Newcastle, end mini-skid

Chris Wood Burnley
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
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Burnley got a little bit of luck and a finish from its big striker in a 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday at Turf Moorr, ending a three-match losing streak in the process.

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Chris Wood scored after a controversially-awarded corner, as the Clarets moved 12th on 21 points. That’s a point behind their Saturday visitors.


Three things we learned

1. Lucky Clarets cash in: Those who hate VAR and like a good old fashioned ref error that can’t be fixed by review will be loving this one. Burnley had little-to-nothing going for nearly an hour, but were given a corner when Federico Fernandez was shoved on the touch line and no whistle arrived to aid the center back. Ashley Westwood swept a corner over a sea of players and Kiwi star Wood rose to plant the ball in the goal at the back post.

2. Newcastle’s luck runs out: The Magpies entered this match on a 4-1-1 run and were beginning to entertain Top Seven ideas, but advanced stats said they had been quite lucky all season long. The misfortune of a call against Fernandez won’t sit well with Geordies, but perhaps there’s some comfort in knowing most calls had been going for Steve Bruce‘s men.

3. Gayle miss shows lack of depth: An injury to Allan Saint-Maximin was always going to be a problem for Steve Bruce, but minor injuries kept red-hot Jonjo Shelvey and lively-but-unconfident Miguel Almiron out of the team as well. Christian Atsu and Joelinton were far from clinical out wide, and Bruce turned to Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto off the bench. Gayle had one on a plate from Joelinton but fired wide on a chance which really should’ve provided a deserved point.

Man of the Match: James Tarkowski — The center back had his hands full and feet sore with the physical duo of Andy Carroll and Joelinton, but held firm in helping Burnley keep another zero on the board.


Andy Carroll captained the team and had the game’s first chance when he headed an inviting corner just wide of the frame.

Burnley’s Dwight McNeil forced Martin Dubravka into a save and a lively Isaac Hayden tore into a shot from 30 yards that sailed over the Clarets’ bar.

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Burnley went ahead on a corner that should’ve been a goal kick, but that doesn’t excuse an error from usually strong Martin Dubravka that allowed Wood to prod home at the back post.

Dubravka made amends when Sean Longstaff gave the ball to Cork in the middle of the park and dribbled himself into a 1v1 with the keeper.

Substitute Gayle butchered a chance to make it 1-1 when Joelinton bodied up Erik Pieters off a through ball from Carroll and sent the Englishman to the top of the six.

Burnley rebounds from ugly half to smash Watford

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Chris Wood, James Tarkowski, and Ashley Barnes all scored second half goals as Burnley rebounded from a rough first half to beat Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

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Burnley are now sixth with 18 points. Watford’s dead last with eight.


3 things we learned

1. Burnley is a zombie movie where the zombies win: I literally have no idea how the Clarets keep manufacturing incredible results. The stats and eyes say they are getting bossed all over the park, but Sean Dyche‘s men believe they can find an opening in any game. And a lot of times, they do. The Clarets are unable to be killed, and every time a losing streak sees them dip toward the drop zone, you need only wait 28 days later (movie reference, achieved) to see them flirting with the upper reaches of the table.

2. Watford a team of poor Fortune: The Hornets really have been much better of late, with their dominant first half featuring six of the match’s seven shot attempts. Obviously they did not find a goal there, and it’s what cost them a trip outside the Bottom Three.

3. Tarkowski with another monstrous day… at both ends: Burnley’s steady center back was credited with seven aerial wins and three shots, then closing out the scoring. He’s one of those players like Harry Maguire when he was at Hull City; A big club ought to take a look.

Man of the Match: Tarkowski.


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Burnley batter sorry West Ham

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Burnley beat West Ham United 3-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday, as the Clarets battered the Hammers to move above them in the table.

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Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood set them on their way in the first half, while an own goal from West Ham goalkeeper Roberto summed up an awful defensive display from the Hammers.

With the win Burnley now have 15 points, while West Ham remain on 13.


3 things we learned

1. Roberto continues to struggle: Lukasz Fabianski was the best goalkeeper in the PL early in the season. His injury have hit the Hammers hard. Roberto, in his debut PL season, is struggling and he was at fault for two of Burnley’s three goals.

2. Burnley show best version of themselves: This display was peak Burnley, as they whipped in dangerous crosses and Barnes and Wood bullied the West Ham defense. Burnley have quietly gone about their business this season and this was another example of them keeping the game simple. They sit in ninth place and when Barnes and Wood.

3. Pellegrini under pressure: West Ham have now lost five of their last seven games in all competitions and they are without a win since they beat Man United 2-0 on Sept. 22. It’s not just the defeats for the Hammers, but the nature of them as they’ve conceded six goals in their last two games. After another summer of big spending, the pressure is on Pellegrini.

Man of the Match: Dwight McNeil – His deliveries caused West Ham problems all game long, and he should have had three assists if Wood didn’t have a goal ruled out via VAR. The England U21 winger has matured superbly and is much more consistent in the final third.


Robert Snodgrass headed just wide as West Ham started well on the road.

But Roberto then punched a harmless effort out, via a deflection from Barnes which should have been a goal kick, but it was given as a corner and that’s how West Ham fell behind.

From the resulting corner Burnley went 1-0 up, Dwight McNeil’s cross found James Tarkowski who nodded it to Barnes who celebrated his new contract with a goal.

Andriy Yarmolenko had to replace the injured Mark Noble as West Ham tried to get back in the game.

Burnley thought they had gone 2-0 up as McNeil’s fine cross found Wood who headed home, but VAR ruled out the goal due the Burnley striker being just offside.

Wood did make it 2-0 just before half time, as Valbuena gave the ball away and McNeil crossed for Wood to smash home. The New Zealand striker then celebrated by putting his finger to his ear and mimicking a VAR check…

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Yarmolenko curled a shot on target at the start of the second half as the Hammers improved, but then they shot themselves in the foot. Again.

A corner from McNeil was punched into his own net by Roberto as Burnley sealed the win.

Aaron Cresswell should have scored but Nick Pope denied him, while at the other end Roberto did save well to keep out Phil Bardsley‘s long-range effort, then to deny Wood and Jeff Hendrick.

Overall, the Hammers put in a poor display and Burnley ran out deserved winners and it got even worse for the away side late on as substitute Manuel Lanzini suffered a serious looking shoulder injury.