Jay Rodriguez

Burnley beats West Ham as Rodriguez, Pope keep Clarets in UEL race

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Nick Pope made several big saves and Jay Rodriguez scored again as Burnley moved ninth with a 1-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday in London.

The Clarets’ 49 points are three back of sixth-place Wolves and can still dream of a return to the Europa League.

WEST HAM – BURNLEY FULL MATCH REPLAY

West Ham remains four points clear of the drop zone, though Aston Villa and Bouremouth have a match-in-hand on the Irons.

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Three things we learned

1. West Ham fails to seize the day: David Moyes’ men couldn’t find their finishing boosts after scoring five goals over two matches in beating Chelsea and drawing Newcastle. The Irons have a very forgiving run into safety, but if they fail to deliver goals they might just be caught. Still to come are three teams in-and-around the relegation mix with Norwich City, Watford, and Aston Villa on the docket (Manchester United at Old Trafford completing the set).

2. Pope stays golden: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is almost certainly the best English goalkeeper right now, and took the lead from Alisson Becker in the Golden Glove chase with another clean sheet. Pope made four saves, at least two of them very good in a win Burnley might not have deserved.

3. J-Rod delivers again: Rodriguez’s seventh goal of the season might not’ve been pretty, but the Englishman has a goal or an assist in each of his last three outings. It’s a 10-goal season for Rodriguez including cup matches, and a tie for his best PL output since 2013-14 with Southampton (though he scored 22 for West Brom in the Championship last year). It’s nice to see the soon-to-be 31-year-old back amongst the goals on a regular basis after a frustrating time with injuries derailed his rise.

Man of the Match:

Pope, though a tip of the cap goes to Taylor for a fine assist and very decent day at left back against a lively West Ham right side.


West Ham – Burnley recap

Burnley’s Dwight McNeil put the ball into the hands of Lukasz Fabianski early after West Ham opened the day with the better of play.

Nick Pope made a solid reaction save before the half hour mark when Tomas Soucek turned a cross on goal, and Michail Antonio was also soon denied by the Burnley keeper.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Rodriguez put Burnley in front off a Charlie Taylor cross, the English striker redirecting home for a 39th-minute opener.

Haller came off the bench and nearly equalized in the 62nd minute, Pope making a fine leg save to deny the Frenchman.

Chris Wood had a goal taken off the board for offside in the 76th minute, keeping West Ham alive in London.

Sheffield United snares late point at Burnley

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John Egan’s late goal gave Sheffield United a 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

James Tarkowski had put the Clarets ahead in the first half.

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Blades stay above Burnley by two points but both will lament not strengthening their Europa League stock.

Sheffield United’s point gives it 48 points and eighth place, two points and one spot above the host Clarets.

BURNLEY – SHEFFIELD UNITED FULL MATCH REPLAY

Burnley has lost just once in 11 outings including a win over Manchester United and draws with Tottenham and Arsenal.


Three things we learned

1. Blades never say die: Burnley will lament not putting the game to bed with some promising chances but don’t take credit for the point away from Chris Wilder’s Blades. A late short corner routine involved four players on its way to goal, the last moves a clever Billy Sharp flick to the back post for Egan to finish with style. There were some stumbles out of the coronavirus pause and this result can fit in that camp but the resolve of United is real.

2. Burnley’s hopes of a Europa return take a hit: The Clarets booked a pair of 1-0 wins after a blowout loss to Man City and looked very much set for the same on Sunday before the late Blades corner kick. Burnley would’ve loved to directly affect a rival’s point total but has a lot of points available on the docket even considering upcoming matches with Liverpool and Wolves. And might success keep Sean Dyche around his beloved Turf Moor a bit longer despite recent drama with the board?

3. Deputizing skipper as Man of the Match: Tarkowski was quite good apart from his rare goal despite usual center back partner Ben Mee’s absence from the lineup. It was fitting that Tarkowski took the arm band in Mee’s stead, making nine clearances, an interception, two tackles, winning myriad duels including 13 in the air, and completing four of nine long balls (SofaScore).


Burnley – Sheffield United recap

Sheffield United had the best of the first 20 minutes, though Burnley had one solid chance that Matej Vydra was unable to convert.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope had a rare rough moment when a long throw-in made its way into the goal but he was saved by a foul in the build-up

VAR did not see an unknowing Erik Pieters handball off a corner kick reason to send Blades to the spot.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

So it follows that, in Burnley fashion, the hosts went ahead of a set piece. Tarkowski slid onto Jay Rodriguez’s flick of a free kick to give the Clarets a 43rd-minute lead.

Burnley kept the game in control and nearly doubled its advantage with a classic Rodriguez rip from distance, which Dean Henderson parried in a good place for a misfiring Dwight McNeil.

It was a really good goal to make it 1-1, a well-worked corner kick routine flicked to the back post for Egan to finish with authority.

Rodriguez goal lifts Burnley over Watford

Burnley - Watford recap
Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images
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Burnley is back within a win of eighth place, which could be a Europa League place, after beating desperate Watford 1-0 at Turf Moor on Thursday.

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Dwight McNeil set up Jay Rodriguez for a second-half goal as the undermanned Clarets took all three points from the visitors, who were lively early.

Watford’s 28 points are just above the drop zone. The Hornets sit 16th, one point ahead of three teams.

BURNLEY – WATFORD FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Clarets can’t make early chances count: Jay Rodriguez and Matty Vydra were each granted early chances by sleepy or foolish Watford errors in what were considered by SofaScore the only two “big chances created” in the first hour-plus. Both teams took five shots inside the box in the opening 70 minutes, both keepers made two saves.

2. Bad Burnley half buoyed by J-Rod: Dwight McNeil has been the Clarets’ shiny academy jewel for some time, and his cross to the top of the six for Rodriguez to turn past Ben Foster was sensational. The Clarets were miserable for most of the second half to that point.

3. Will Watford rebound? The Hornets were the better team in terms of threat aside from the goal, despite what the even statistics said. Watford has a lot of points on their remaining fixture list, but this zero should’ve been three. Southampton, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Norwich City are next before West Ham, Man City, and Arsenal to close it out.

Man of the Match

McNeil was very good. He completed 37-of-46 passes and connected on three crosses and long balls, one being the assist.


Burnley – Watford recap

Watford had some moments early but Burnley had a goal ruled offside in the 14th minute when Jay Rodriguez headed home.

The Clarets kept pouring forward, and Matej Vydra hit the pitch with an audacious shot before Michael Dawson cleared Rodriguez’s side volley rebound off the line.

Ismaila Sarr was a problem for Burnley’s left side, and Dwight McNeil and Charlie Taylor had to push and tug to keep him from delivering the ball inside. They failed once but Danny Welbeck couldn’t react quick enough to capitalize.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Hornets were all over Burnley in the second half.

Troy Deeney headed a corner that was blocked off the line before Will Hughes blazed the rebound over the bar from about 20 yards.

That’s when Burnley scored out of nothing, Rodriguez’s clever header fooling Ben Foster off McNeil’s terrific cross.

Burnley, Spurs split spoils at Turf Moor

Burnley v. Tottenham Hotspur recap and video highlights
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
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Chris Wood and Dele Alli scored as Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur split the points at Turf Moor on Saturday.

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Burnley is now unbeaten in seven Premier League outings and sits 10th on 39 points.

Spurs are two points clear of Burnley, but will finish the weekend at least four points back of the top four.

Tottenham gets its first result in five outings with the draw.


Three things we learned

1. Lo Celso changes the game: Tottenham was absolutely dreadful in the first half, and Burnley’s lead was well-earned. Jose Mourinho took out a pair of center midfielders and introduced Giovani Lo Celso, who was very good from Moment No. 1 and drove the play that led to Spurs’ penalty.

2. Burnley bolsters UEL hopes: The Clarets have a point or better in seven-straight league matches. While they failed in a bid to leapfrog Spurs, Sean Dyche‘s men are three points back of the top seven. Could tiny Burnley really make two European runs in three seasons?

3. Lucky Dele: Jose Mourinho again deployed Dele Alli as a center forward, and the player struggled in the first 45 minutes. Dele’s pass completion rate was barely above 50 percent and he lost all of his nine duels. His penalty finish was cool, though, and may jumpstart his stagnant month ahead of Bayern Munich.

Man of the Match: Burnley’s Dwight McNeil was consistent and thrilling on the wing, producing the match’s lone assist.


Chris Wood rocketed a 17-yard shot over the bar early to send a warning to Hugo Lloris and Co.

A Jay Rodriguez header off from the back post led to an unholy scramble in the box minutes later, but Spurs again cleared the danger.

It was all foreshadowing; Burnley went ahead when Dwight McNeil got two chances to send in a cross that bounded to Rodriguez. His laser was saved by Lloris but Wood pounced on the rebound for 1-0.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs got a chance to level the score as Lo Celso paid immediate dividends. The Spanish midfielder stole the ball and played a wonderful ball to Lamela, who was cut down by Ben Mee inside the edge of the box.

Dele Alli strode to the spot and stroked the ball past Nick Pope for his 50th Premier League goal.

Burnley had a strong chance when Matej Vydra was slid into the box, but Eric Dier intervened to push the ball away from danger.

Lo Celso then led a 60-yard charge upfield that fell apart when Dele couldn’t get the ball through traffic.

Wood then thumped a shot to Lloris, who was wise to the bounce. Vydra then knocked down a ball for Wood that the Kiwi hit to Lloris in the 81st.

Lo Celso came close to bending a shot inside the far corner a minute later.

A funny bounce forced Lloris to make a prime save of Vydra after the latter’s shot took a turn off the bottom of Toby Alderweireld‘s boot.

Newcastle cannot find way past Burnley

Newcastle v. Burnley recap and video highlights
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images
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Wasteful Newcastle United drew Burnley 0-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday

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The Magpies enjoyed a rare day of superior possession and out-attempted Burnley 21-8, but sit six points behind the ninth-place Clarets.

Newcastle is seven points clear of 18th-placed Aston Villa, who has a match-in-hand.


Three things we learned

1. Two dull sides fail: Newcastle and Burnley entered this game with horrific stats. Burnley entered the game passing at under 70 percent, with Newcastle the closest team to that 20th-ranked number. On the flip side, Burnley had been kept off the bottom of the possession table by Bruce’s packed-in Magpies. Newcastle showed a superiority, but the Clarets will happily take an away point.

2. Burnley block party a success: Newcastle’s more attacking system worked well in the first half, with the Magpies out-attempting Burnley 10-3. But Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope only had to make two saves and a couple of collections because his players got in the way of so many Newcastle bids. That defiance is what’s helped Burnley well clear of the drop zone despite what’s detailed in our first thing.

3. Gayle busy but sloppy in rare start: Magpies manager Steve Bruce has promised to make a proper run in the FA Cup, and sat star forward Allan Saint-Maximin as well as January signings Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb. It would’ve worked well, but surprise started Dwight Gayle took one too many touches time and again to deprive breaks of their flow.

Man of the Match: Almiron. The ex-Atlanta United playmaker was everywhere with four key passes on the day. He beats Burnley keeper Nick Pope and center back James Tarkowski.


Newcastle deployed four at the back for the first time in months, and also reinserted both Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle into the lineup.

Gayle almost had a terrific chance when Nick Pope slipped while racing to meet the striker’s heavy first touch, but Pope recovered to collect the ball.

Phil Bardsley blocked another Gayle effort in the 18th as Newcastle grew into possession against a Burnley team who rarely cares for it.

Newcastle continued to control the ball, Shelvey having two shots blocked and Almiron dribbling into the box to have a low shot caught by Pope.

Ritchie missed with a back post header in the 32nd.

A series of Newcastle corner’s saw the Magpies threaten goal. First a training ground corner led to a James Tarkowski block before Jay Rodriguez got in the way of a Ritchie drive.

Almiron then led a break to set up Gayle for a shot saved by Pope.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Shelvey’s 50th-minute free kick from 25 yards sailed over the bar.

A beautiful bit of interplay allowed Javier Manquillo to earn a corner, and Shelvey was saved by Pope on the ensuing set piece. Gayle soon flubbed a promising play as. Newcastle continued to knock.

A horrible back pass from Danny Rose sent Jay Rodriuguez on goal, but the striker somehow mailed it into the cheap seats.

Gayle missed an overhead kick attempt after a delightfully-chipped pass from Almiron. And Ritchie hit a laser wide of the far post with 10 minutes to play.

Substitute Allan Saint-Maximin hammered a shot into Pope’s lap in the 86th.

Almiron led a drive into the right of the box, but saw his shot blocked out for a corner, and Ritchie saw a stoppage-time effort blocked as well.