Nick Pope

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.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]


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.

Man City blasts undermanned Burnley

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Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden each scored twice as Manchester City clobbered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

The match was tainted by a vile incident just post-kickoff, as a plane with a banner that read “White Lives Matter Burnley” flew over the stadium moments after players from both teams took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

[ MORE: Ben Mee fumes after ‘White Lives Matter’ banner flown ]

Bernardo Silva had two assists and David Silva also scored for City, whose 63 points are 20 back of Liverpool. It wasn’t all good news for City, who lost Sergio Aguero to a first-half injury.

City maxes out at 87 points and plays Chelsea on Thursday before meeting Liverpool on July 2.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Liverpool now cannot win the Premier League title with a win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Here are the other dates and how the Reds can claim their first PL era title.

Burnley’s 39 points remain 11th and the Clarets remains three points back of the Europa League places.

MAN CITY – BURNLEY FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Young Foden continues to show promise: Left-footed. Low. Lethal. Foden’s third Premier League goal was a terrific shot from beyond the arc that left a flying Nick Pope clawing through air.

Foden has 13 goals and 10 assists in 64 first team appearances for Man City and he just turned 20 late last month.

His fourth goal of the season was a terrific bit of Pep-inspired team play.

2. Shorthanded Burnley victim to board errors: The Clarets started with just 17 of the 20 available players available to a match day squad during Project Restart, and five of the players on the bench had no Premier League experience while midfielder Josh Brownhill had one minute and was making his first start since arriving from Bristol City in January. Manager Sean Dyche did not mince words before the game in explaining how short-sighted delays from directors are costing Burnley.

3. City rests up for Chelsea: The fixture list worked out well for Pep Guardiola, who used most of its top choice guys in the win over Arsenal and kept Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, and Aymeric Laporte rested for Chelsea on Thursday. Liverpool is going to win the league but the question will be whether they are the best team to every do the darn thing. If Liverpool isn’t, it’s likely because City’s 2017-18 team holds the distinction. If City beats Chelsea and then Liverpool, the debate is a lot more interesting even if the Reds go 34-2-2.

Man of the Match

Riyad Mahrez — The Algerian’s incredible goal in the first half was a beauty and his penalty combined with it to give Mahrez 11 goals and 15 assists in 2585 minutes across all competitions. Read more on his extraordinary season here. He left after 60 minutes for Kevin De Bruyne.


Man City – Burnley recap

Burnley adequately stymied City for the first 15 minutes but the hosts should’ve been ahead when David Silva’s pass to Riyad Mahrez was ripped wide by an unwitting and charging Bernardo Silva.

Foden put City ahead with a lethal, low, left-footed strike from beyond the arc that a diving Nick Pope could not reach.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Mahrez got his goal in stunning fashion, barbecuing Charlie Taylor with a dribble before fizzing a shot past Pope.

Then there was an exit for Sergio Aguero, who was fouled by Ben Mee with a wayward foot in the box. VAR reviewed the non-call before righteously deemed it a penalty.

Aguero couldn’t take it — he was replaced by Gabriel Jesus — so Mahrez smacked the shot past Pope for 3-0.

It was 4-0 just after halftime when Bernardo Silva set up David Silva for another good-lookin goal.

Kevin De Bruyne led the drive for five when his outlet pass led to a tic-tac-toe, right-to-left, with Gabriel Jesus cueing up Foden for the finish.

Leroy Sane entered the match for Foden with 11 minutes to play, his first first team action since injuring his knee in a Community Shield defeat of Liverpool.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

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

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

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.

Burnley holds Arsenal in sloppy draw at Turf Moor

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
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Arsenal split points for the 13th time this year in a disappointing 0-0 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Gunners move 10th as one of four teams with 31 points. Burnley is also one of those teams, 11th on goal differential.


Three things we learned

1. The Arsenal rebuild project is truly difficult: Perhaps, like with the end of the Sir Alex Ferguson era at Manchester United, the exit of Arsene Wenger has left super long-lasting reverberations throughout the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta has a good mind and the Arsenal spirit. He’s solidified the Arsenal defense, and there’s talent in the squad. Not being able to break down Burnley for a league-best 13th draw.

2. McNeil shines again: Burnley’s 20-year-old wide midfielder was again tough and influential, and it seems only a matter of time before he either gets a chance with the England national team or has to angle to a move for a bigger club in order to do so. Let’s hope it’s the latter.

3. On the bright side for Mikel Arteta, he probably shouldn’t have gotten a point: After the first 15 minutes, almost all of the match’s bright chances were produced by Burnley. That includes Jay Rodriguez’s lash off the bottom of the bar.

Man of the Match: McNeil.


Arsenal might’ve been up 1-0 in the second minute, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s cross was thumped wide of the near post by the head of a point-blank Alexandre Lacazette.

Jay Rodriguez took a Chris Wood lay-off and forced a remarkable palm save from Bernd Leno.

The match played into Burnley’s playbook, as Arsenal’s choices with the ball were poor and the Clarets scrapped forward when given the opportunity.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

They got their best chances this way, a dangerous free kick whipped in but nodded wide in the 58th.

Lucas Torreira tore into a shot from distance, caught by Nick Pope, and the Gunners next effort was nowhere near the frame.

Rodriguez thumped a shot off the bottom of the bar from class range

Man Utd shocked by advantageous Burnley

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Manchester United never showed up at Old Trafford, and Burnley reaped all the benefits.

Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez scored as the Clarets stunned the Red Devils 2-0 on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

United fails to take advantage of Chelsea’s draw with Arsenal, and sits six points back of the Top Four.

Burnley climbs seven points clear of the drop zone, level with five teams on 30 points.


Three things we learned

1. Wood shines up top: It was a 10th goal to go with his first assist of the season for the New Zealand international, who used a half-yard of space from Harry Maguire to put Burnley in front. Burnley’s philosophy is to find their forwards at all cost, and when Wood is delivering that ethos looks genius.

2. United’s absent wings cost it dear (and jeer): Juan Mata and Anthony Martial were lively, but both Daniel James and Andreas Pereira did little to inspire hope of a goal for the home side. The Red Devils were the focus of crowd derision on the day, as they again wasted a chance to improve their Top Four credentials. Most teams will suffer without their top two attackers, but this is Manchester United. Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford missing or not, Wednesday was iugly stuff.

3. Jay Rodriguez’s new nickname is “Bangers Only”: Joking aside, it’s difficult to remember Rodriguez goals that don’t get you out of your seat. His insurance goal absolutely buried United, and gives him seven across all competitions. It also gives Sean Dyche plenty of competition in training, with Ashley Barnes on the periphery.

Man of the Match: Wood


United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka cut a promising 15th minute cross through the 18, but no teammate could get a foot to it.

Fred continued his lively play when he hit a low drive to Nick Pope in the 23rd, good endeavor without the required sharpness.

Daniel James forced Pope into a leaping save in the 32nd, and Martial couldn’t get his feet right when Nemanja Matic rolled him to the doorstep in the 34th.

Burnley took the lead out of absolute nothing, Wood taking advantage of Harry Maguire when Ben Mee flicked a long free kick to the Kiwi.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Rodriguez went bar down with a beauty in the 57th minute to make it 2-0, and real trouble arrived at Old Trafford.