Saturday the 24th of February saw Burnley host Southampton at Turf Moor.
With Sean Dyche’s side sitting in a very comfortable 7th place prior to the meeting, and Southampton yet to win against a side in the top half of the table this season (D6-L9), a result for Burnley looked nailed on. However, in the last 10 Premier League games, there are no teams that have picked up less points than Burnley (D5-L5).
Southampton were the more positive of the two sides in the first 20 minutes with Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic both getting efforts on goal, neither of which really testing the goalkeeper.
Hendrick almost latching on to a slightly over-hit through ball was about the only excitement Burnley fans could take from that first half, and with the half finishing 0-0 it was precariously lurking towards “one of those games.” With the second lowest goal average in the Premier League (2.2 per game) at Turf Moor, it is fair to say expectations may not have been at an all time high for either sets of fans.
The first sign of excitement arrived in the 67th minute with ex-Spurs player, Aaron Lennon, bursting down the left-wing and skillfuly playing a ball into the back post. Hendrick then steered the ball towards the Saints keeper who made a save. That save wasn’t enough as it was played straight back in to the danger zone. Barnes made no mistake of putting the ball in the net from less than 2 yards, leaving Wesley Hoedt and McCarthy scrambling.
Only minutes later Southampton burst in to life, evidently riled by the goal which they had just conceded. The move started with Redmond, and was skilfully flicked to Sims by new signing Carillo. Sims then forced a great save from Nick Pope, who tipped the ball onto the post, which may well have been flying in to the top corner.
Southampton finally managed to grab a goal back, but couldnt quite snatch the win. Mannolo Gabbiadini, who’s form for the saints recently has been questionable, popped up in the box, connecting with Carrillo’s header back across the box, and lashed the ball past the keeper to rescue a potentially vital point for the Saints,
With only 10 points separating 8th and 19th place, the relegation contenders are really anyone’s guess, and even West Brom cannot be written off. The amount of pressure on managerial shoulders at this stage of the season must be unimaginable, as every single game and every single point is crucial.
Written by Niall Henry.