Huddersfield made the short 25-mile journey West to Turf Moor on Saturday, with both sides on an impressive eight points after the first five matches.
Scott Arfield started for Burnley, playing against his former club, while Chris Wood was the danger man up front after scoring against his old team, Leeds, in the midweek Carabao Cup fixture. In the away camp, Jonathan Hogg got his first Premier League start of the season after recovering from an injury, forcing 21-year-old Philip Billing to the bench.
The game began a tad feistily with the ball mostly in Burnley’s possession for the first 15 minutes. A malicious stamp from Sabiri on Matt Lowton earned him the first yellow card of the game inside five minutes. The second was shown to Jack Cork for a weighty tackle on Sabiri a minute later.
The game began to even out after about 20 minutes with Huddersfield gradually seeing more of the ball, but it was the home side, in particular Chris Wood, to whom first chance fell to. A fabulous cross from Stephen Ward almost found its way perfectly onto Wood’s head, but the ball glanced over the Kiwi’s head who should have got over it in truth.
The same Burnley pair almost combined again later in the half, but the square ball from Ward was expertly prevented from reaching Wood for a certain goal with an acrobatic clearance from Chris Schindler.
There had been little to get excited about for either team going into half time, neither managing to hit the target, meaning that the game had been dull for the goalkeepers, as well as those watching.
Unfortunately for both sets of fans, the second half was not much better. At least we didn’t have to wait long for a shot on target when Tom Ince made a terrific run through the Burnley defence and pushed the ball through to Laurent Depoitre on the left side of the area. The Belgian tried to hit the bottom far corner but didn’t get nearly enough power or curl on the ball, and it was no trouble for Nick Pope in the Burnley goal.
Highlights for the rest of the match were few and far between, Tom Ince just firing wide from outside the box, Van La Parra receiving a booking for a blatant dive whilst looking for a penalty.
Huddersfield found themselves with a free kick 20-25 yards from goal in the last minute of regular time. The way the whole game had gone it was unsurprising that it ended up smacking the wall and not threatening the goal whatsoever.
The undisputable standout performer of the match was Chris Schindler in the Huddersfield defence. As mentioned, he saved his side with his clearance of Ward’s cross, and displayed many other instances of excellent defending to put a stop to many Burnley attacks.
It was a very even game in the end, and the two teams simply cancelled each other out, but the 0-0 draw means that both Burnley and Huddersfield will remain inside the top half of the table coming out of the weekend; a successful start to this years campaign for both sides.
Written by Harry Mahon.