Ashley Westwood

Crystal Palace - Burnley recap
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Burnley wins at Palace, boosts Europa hopes

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Burnley’s in the thick of another Europa League race after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday.

The undermanned Clarets found their winner from a surprising source, as captain Ben Mee headed a classy Ashley Westwood kick home in the second half.

CRYSTAL PALACE – BURNLEY FULL MATCH REPLAY

Burnley’s 45 points are level with seventh-place Tottenham and eighth place may be good enough for the Europa League this season thanks to Man City’s European ban.

Palace stays on 42 points, well clear of the drop zone.

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Three things we learned

1. Second half surge? Burnley and Palace are the two-lowest scoring first half clubs in this season’s Premier League, combining for only 19. No. 20 wasn’t even a glint in its father’s eye over the first 45 minutes.

2. Sean Dyche is a marvel: Burnley is again in the race for European football despite its small size and errors in contract talks leaving Dyche with very little depth in a super congested period. We’re not sure Sean Dyche is ever going to win the masses via clever football, but he’s improved upon the Tony Pulis scrappy recipe and is winning matches without the ball. This man will work until he’s ready to retire.

3. Rare match-winner: Ben Mee’s won plenty of points for Burnley by virtue of terrific tackles and clearances alongside fellow star center back James Tarkowski, but goals have been a rarity.

The 30-year-old captain has scored just seven times in 321 career appearances for the Clarets, and his headed winner Monday was his first goal in 112 matches dating back to Jan. 2, 2017. He played 90 minutes in all but one of those contests, and it feels even better after his inspiring response to last week’s ugly incident at the Etihad Stadium.

Man of the Match:

Dwight McNeil — The 20-year-old Burnley star was very good, again. McNeil was stuck into myriad duels, completed four-of-five dribbles and four-of-four long balls.


Crystal Palace – Burnley recap

Wilfried Zaha was active early in his return to the lineup but Burnley saw the first real danger.

The Clarets’ 19th-minute corner kick from Ashley Westwood nearly defied Vicente Guaita before Burnley star Dwight McNeil sailed the rebound over the bar.

Jordan Ayew spun a shot to force Nick Pope into a stooping collection before halftime.

Ayew was at the center of a long VAR review in the 50th minute that concluded with his escaping discipline for a forearm to the face of Josh Brownhill.

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Mee put Burnley in front with an excellent header off Ashley Westwood’s free kick, Guaita slow-to-react and getting just a piece of the ball on its way off the post and into the goal.

Burnley lost mainstay midfielder Jack Cork to a leg injury in a hit to its depth it can hardly afford.

Pope made a fine save in stoppage time after he flubbed a parry attempt and Kevin Long blocked the rebound to keep Burnley in front.

Burnley snaps losing skid with scrappy win over Leicester

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Burnley snapped a four-match Premier League losing streak with a 2-1 win over Leicester City at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Jamie Vardy missed a penalty for the Foxes, who are 2-2-2 in their last six matches. Leicester’s 45 points are three back of second place Man City.

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Burnley climbs to 27 points on goals from Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood, with Pope’s save of Vardy the moment of the match. The point total is good enough for 14th on the table, five points ahead of the drop zone.


Three things we learned

1. Barnes roasts Mee twice, but Pope offers clemency: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope had a strong day between the sticks, and the performance was required stuff as center back Ben Mee opened the door twice. Pope could do nothing about Barnes’ first goal, which came with Mee far too slow to react to a dribble. The second came when Mee hauled down Barnes, and Jamie Vardy came to the spot for what looked to be a surefire penalty winner. No, sir, as Pope guessed correctly to stop one of the better penalty takers in the leader.

Mee also could’ve conceded a penalty (see our third thing) on an uncharacteristically poor day.

2. Burnley as pesky as ever: The Clarets play scrappy football. They don’t care much for the ball and manager Sean Dyche demands fight in the air and on the ground. Burnley has let him down with poor defending this season, but the players remain feisty when following his plan of finding his forwards on the counter and through set pieces. The problem? Those opportunities are conditional, and the Clarets have not been finding them enough.

Of course, they did that twice on Sunday. Ashley Westwood’s long corner did not find Kasper Schmeichel at his best, and Westwood then scored when Jonny Evans also made an uncharacteristic error.

3. Leicester’s luck leaves them: The Foxes probably should’ve had a penalty. As far as we know, VAR did not have a closer look at Mee jutting his elbow out to block a shot late in the second half. Replays begged a penalty, but no review was signalled via television or referee.

Moments later the Foxes cringed as Evans, a decent enough defender, made a careless error to allow Westwood to thump home from close range.

Not only that, but Praet appeared to be fouled in the build-up to the opening goal. VAR didn’t find anything.

Man of the Match: Pope. He was fantastic, left for dead on Barnes’ opener but able to stop Vardy from the spot and then again point blank in the 78th minute.


Harvey Barnes fired a shot to Nick Pope from 10 yards within 35 seconds of the opening kickoff.

It was predictably all Leicester early, the Clarets again content to hemorrhage possesion in favor of counter attacking danger.

Barnes put the Foxes in front with a run down the gut of the Burnley back line, Ben Mee barely presenting an obstacle on the route to Pope’s doorstep.

It remained 1-0 into the break.

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Pope made a great save on Dennis Praet within two minutes of restart, then collecting a stray through ball before Jamie Vardy could reach it.

Wood leveled it with a typical Burnley goal, Mee nodding down a corner into the six for the Kiwi to prod over the line.

Mee was in the mix again as Leicester City took control back. Barnes roasted the center back to draw a penalty. Vardy doesn’t miss many of those, but Pope was there to stop the Premier League’s leading goal scorer from the spot.

Mee’s awful day should’ve gotten worse when he leaned to block a shot with his arm, but VAR didn’t see an error and the Clarets raced down the pitch to score soon after.r

It was Westwood, one of the league’s unsung contributors, who pounced on a Jonny Evans error in the 79th minute.

Rodriguez goal pushes Burnley past Bournemouth on dreary day

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Jay Rodriguez scored at the death as Burnley won one a dreary match over Bounremouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

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His header of an Ashley Westwood cross was the game’s lone shot on target, as Burnley moves 10th with 24 points.

The Cherries fail to build on their win over Chelsea and are four points clear of the Bottom Three.


Three things we learned

1. Teams embody the weather: On a cold, rainy December day, the Clarets and Cherries were more interested in projecting their misery on the opposition than playing any sort of football. Bournemouth passed at 77 percent, the visitors barely completing more than half of their passes (58%).

2. This was a bad game: Thirty-four fouls, one shot on target.

3. Bournemouth playing with fire: Eddie Howe‘s Cherries are one of the best stories in English football, but have been very poor this season. Losing matches like this at home isn’t just below them, it’s handing three points to a team in a similar predicament. Right now, Bournemouth’s best Fortune comes in the form of struggling Watford, Norwich City, and Aston Villa.

Man of the Match: Philip Billing was quite good in defeat again, but he was a bit lucky not to be sent off.


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It wouldn’t be dramatic to say that the entertainment level of the first half was nil, two sides coming off wins and hesitant to try much.

The hour mark saw little improvement, with 22 fouls meeting and four yellow cards out-performing the zero shots on target.

Philip Billing avoided a red card despite a VAR review, maybe the only moment of action before Rodriguez headed home in the 89th minute.

Wood brace sees Burnley past Norwich City

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Chris Wood scored a pair of early goals as Burnley punished Norwich City 2-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday.

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The Clarets rise seventh with eight points, while Norwich City has six points and will finish the weekend on the outskirts of the relegation zone.


Three things we learned

1. Wood comes good: Chris Wood entered the match with zero goals through five matches after scoring 10 in each of his first two Premier League campaigns with the Clarets. He’s got two now, using his noggin and boot to score a pair of typical Chris Wood goals. Very encouraging for the Kiwi striker, and his coach Sean Dyche.

2. Canaries defense undone: The many injuries to Norwich City’s back line have been well-documented, and the club would have the league’s worst goal conceded total were it not for Watford’s abject display at Man City on Saturday. Teemu Pukki and the win over Man City are great stories, but these are the concession numbers for Norwich over six matches: 4, 1, 3, 2, 2, 2. The one is lowly Newcastle.

3. Pope delivers a clean sheet: Twenty-seven year old Nick Pope isn’t even the first Nick Pope that shows up in a Google search, but he’s proven two England goalkeepers second-best in his time at Burnley. There wasn’t a lot for Pope to do, but his early save on Teemu Pukki is not something to be overlooked from the win.

Man of the Match: It’s Wood, but give a lot of credit to Ashley Westwood. The 29-year-old has been a service machine for Burnley the past two seasons, and also went in for five tackles on Saturday.


What a start.

You were almost putting 1-0 on the board when Teemu Pukki cut his defender to the inside and shot on goal, but Nick Pope made a fine save in the 8th minute.

Burnley went ahead two minutes later through Wood, who was the near post difference maker at the front of a sea of bodies from a corner kick.

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Wood made it 2-0 with another leaping header, the Kiwi finisher putting the defensively-solid Clarets in fine position with 76 minutes to play.

Liverpool outlasts Burnley at Anfield

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  • Westwood scores disputed opener
  • Firmino scores in each half
  • Gudmundsson pulls one back in stoppage
  • Mane answers back to complete brace
  • Reds back within one of Man City

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to punish sloppy Burnley 4-2 at Anfield on Sunday.

Burnley took an early lead when Ashley Westwood‘s corner kick sailed past an obstructed Alisson Becker, but the Reds got their just desserts to move one point back of leaders Man City.

The Clarets are 17th, two points clear of the drop zone.

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Burnley took a sixth minute lead out of nothing, and it’s a goal that never should have been awarded by referee

Roberto Firmino cut inside to rip a 14th minute shot at Tom Heaton‘s goal, but defender James Tarkowski blocked the effort.

Then Sadio Mane couldn’t quite turn a hard-hit Trent Alexander-Arnold cross on frame as the Reds continued their equalizer push.

Firmino put Liverpool level in the 20th minute, easily slotting home from inside the six when Tarkowski and Heaton made a mess of a Mohamed Salah pass.

Mane made it 2-0 in the 29th, his sixth-straight league home game with a goal, when he sent an arrow into the goal following a blocked clearance from Adam Lallana.

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Burnley kept it tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the dam broke when Heaton’s poor kick led to Firmino’s second of the day.

Alexander-Arnold crossed for Mane in the 82nd minute, but the Senegalese star’s sliding effort bounded off the bar.

Gudmundsson scored in stoppage time to allow a few nerves at Anfield, but Mane answered the bell quickly to restore the 2-goal cushion.