Burnley were awarded their first league penalty in over a year as they came from behind to draw with Southampton at Turf Moor.a
Ashley Barnes’ 93rd-minute spot-kick was the last kick of the game and ensured the spoils were shared on a bitterly cold day in the North-West.
Southampton continue to look strong under Ralph Hasenhüttl and started the game brightly, taking the lead ten minutes into the second half through a Nathan Redmond strike.
Both managers will be disappointed not to come away with three points but as the gap between the bottom three and the rest of the division begins to widen, they will probably be content to just have the daylight between them and the drop zone.
More injury worries for Ings
It was a sad sight when Danny Ings was forced off just before the half hour mark. The England striker has had a career plagued by injuries coming at the worst possible time.
He suffered an anterior crucial ligament injury in his knee in his first training session under Jürgen Klopp whilst he was playing at Liverpool. This caused him to miss the entire 2015-16 season, and not long after recovering from that injury he suffered damaged in his other knee which kept him out for nine months.
Ings has generally always performed well when he has been fit, notching 26 goals in 2013-14 when Burnley were promoted to the Premier League. This season he has been an important player for a struggling Southampton side, making 15 league appearances and scoring seven along the way.
It is still unknown the extent of this latest injury but it will be a real concern that the only back up is Shane Long, who has one goal this season, and Charlie Austin who has a similarly poor injury record.
Southampton did not sign any strikers in the January transfer window and it may just come back to haunt them as they bid for survival.
Hasenhüttl getting the job done
Southampton have looked a different beast ever since Ralph Hasenhüttl took over. They are now unbeaten in five games and have climbed up to 16th place, five points clear of the drop.
There are signs of the exciting Southampton from a few seasons ago coming through with the players looking far more relaxed and happy than under Mark Hughes.
Nathan Redmond, in particular, has impressed. The winger is a fan’s favourite at Southampton and has looked especially potent since Hasenhüttl was appointed, not least when he scored the opening goal against Burnley.
Southampton at one point looked doomed to go down but now things are not quite so certain. Not only does it give us an exciting end to the season but is also another arrow to the quiver of the argument that recycling through the same five or six older British managers might not be the best business plan if you want your club to succeed.
Is Dyche right to complain?
With Mark Hughes being sacked by Southampton earlier in the season, Sean Dyche is quickly taking the mantle of wingiest Premier League manager.
He regularly talks openly about referees not giving his team decisions and especially diving from opposition players.
Whilst this approach may get tiresome Dyche might have a point. The penalty which saved them a point today was the first they have been awarded in the league in well over a season – 68 games in fact – longer than any other team who has been in the Premier League for this duration.
Whilst there is a chance that Burnley have been hard done by when it comes to refereeing decisions, it is worth noting that the Claret’s style of play is not particularly conducive to winning penalties or not conceding them.
Quite simply, if you don’t get your attacking players into the opposition box you will not be awarded penalties or free-kicks in dangerous positions.
There may be some truth in the fact that the so-called ‘big’ Premier League teams get preferential treatment from referees and that some players go down too easily, but you cannot let this get in the way of your own performances.
Burnley are much improved of late but Dyche needs to start shouldn’t the responsibility for his team when things don’t go their way.