In a week where he extended his contract with Leicester, Wes Morgan broke Burnley hearts as he planted a header beyond Tom Heaton in the 90th minute as the Foxes remain in the top half after three points at Turf Moor.
The story should have perhaps been a lot different however after Michael Oliver showed a straight red card to Leicester’s Harry Maguire on the 4th minute of the 90. The English defender took down Johann Berg Gudmundsson who had the goal at his mercy and Maguire left Oliver with no choice and received his marching orders.
Gudmundsson hit the frame of the goal from the resulting free-kick yet the Clarets failed to make their man advantage count as James Maddison broke the deadlock on the 33rd minute with a delightfully placed free kick, which Heaton had no chance of stopping in the Burnley goal. This strike woke Burnley up somewhat though and it only took them five minutes to respond as Chris Wood capitalised on a Jonny Evans mistake and the ball eventually worked its way to Dwight McNeil who tucked his strike into the corner past Kasper Schmeichel who perhaps should have done better.
The second half was all Burnley yet they failed to test Schmeichel in the Leicester goal with their only shot on target coming in the 93rd minute when substitute Matej Vydra forced the Dane into a smart save. This effort came in desperation though as Burnley hunted for a late equaliser after Wes Morgan leaped highest to plant the ball into the Burnley goal in injury time to sink Turf Moor to the ground.
What should have been three became nothing
After Harry Maguire marched off on four minutes, the Burnley faithful with Sean Dyche included must have felt confident in securing all three points. Although Leicester are no pushovers, in a fixture where three points was crucial in the battle for relegation, it should have really been plain sailing for the Clarets.
It looked like they would have to settle for only a point against the Foxes yet Morgan’s header meant Dyche’s men left their home with nothing and in a weekend where their closest relegation rivals were not featuring, three points would have been a huge relief for Burnley.
Rodger’s tactical masterclass
After Harry Maguire picked up the fastest red card in the Premier League since Gareth McAuley vs Manchester City back in March 2015, it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for Rodger’s men. Yet the sending off forced Rodgers into making changes and Demari Gray was sacrificed as Wes Morgan replaced him to sit alongside Jonny Evans. The club captain was solid at the back alongside the Northern Irishman and Rodger’s tactical masterclass worked a dream in Lancashire.
When the tie was level at 1-1, Rodgers bought on Christian Fuchs for some much-needed protection at the back and subbed off James Maddison, who although had been threatening was sitting on a yellow card and was perhaps at risk of a second one. He later took off Harvey Barnes for Nampalys Mendy who sat in front of the defence and soaked up all the Burnley pressure.
Although Rodgers may not have been planning on walking away with three points, that is what his tactics and his sides performance and resoluteness deserved and the result was in fact the fastest a side has ever gone down to 10 men and won a game in the Premier League era – a great feat for Rodger’s men.
Leaky defence lets Burnley down once more
Cast your mind back to a few months ago when the return of Tom Heaton was met with Burnley’s greatest ever run in the Premier League. The Clarets went eight games unbeaten, winning five and drawing three and relegation never looked a possibility. Yet fast forward a few weeks and Burnley are right back in contention and they are now without points in their last four Premier League fixtures.
This is partly to do with their defence which continues to leak goals at vital moments. Leicester’s 90th-minute goal yesterday was the 10th goal Burnley have conceded in 90 minutes this campaign – a league-high by three goals. The Clarets have also only kept only one clean sheet in 11 matches and have not kept a home clean sheet in 2019 in the league.
Dyche’s side have now conceded 11 goals in four games and if they are to remain in the Premier League, this defence needs to sort itself for their remaining fixtures. Bear in mind that Burnley still have three of the top six to play, they need to start picking up points soon.
Southgate keep watch
There were two particular impressive youngsters on display at Turf Moor and both of these were English youngsters. James Maddison opened the scoring with a perfectly struck free-kick before Dwight McNeil planted the ball past Schmeichel with a well-struck effort. The latter is only 19 years of age and has plenty of time ahead of him and has been called up to England’s u20 squad for their upcoming fixtures yet it may only be a matter of time before we see Southgate take an eye on him.
The midfielder has been one of Burnley’s stand out players this season and he now has two goals and three assists to his name. As for Maddison, the 22-year-old is already on Southgate’s watch list and after his goal at Turf Moor, he now has six goals and six assists for the season. He is also amongst some elite names in Europe’s top leagues in terms of chances created for his side and his ability to pick a pass and strike a ball is something England could do with.
The two were probably the best players for their respective sides at Turf Moor and it would be no surprise to see them continue to excel in the league and at international level.
Michael Oliver thick in the action
It is fair to say that it was a busy day for Michael Oliver at Turf Moor. After brandishing a red card to Harry Maguire on the fourth minute he also dished out one yellow card each to both sides with James Maddison picking up a booking for his goal celebration. It was in the second half though where he was called upon and Burnley may be left disappointed at a few of the referee’s decisions.
Charlie Taylor broke down the left-hand side during the second half and breezed past Wilfred Ndidi only for the midfielder to bring him down. Now there was minimal contact here and the clip may have occurred just outside the box but there were a few relieved people when Oliver didn’t point to the spot as most referee’s probably would have. Now it was a difficult one for Oliver but Dyche was clearly not happy with his decision but he did not blame the referee for his sides poor performance stating they lacked tempo throughout.
There were also claims for a Burnley penalty after Wes Morgan looked to have maybe handled the ball whilst challenging in the air with Peter Crouch. This one was also waved away and Burnley may feel hard done by to not receive a penalty kick.
Both sides welcome home fixtures after the international break as Burnley welcome Wolves to Turf Moor in a must-win whilst Leicester entertain Bournemouth.