Burnley 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Sean Dyche’s hard-working Burnley side were held to a draw at home against in-form Sheffield Wednesday, in a match that was played at a very high tempo. Neither side were allowed time on the ball, and the home side’s direct approach worked well with Vokes as the target man. They created plenty of chances, and will be cursing their lack of clinical finishing that prevented them from keeping all the points in Lancashire, along with Chris Kirkland’s superb performance in goal for Wednesday.

Burnley created the first chance of note after a cagey start, when the Owls’ debutant centre-back Oguchi Onyewu struggled for the first twenty minute of this intense encounter, and he let Ings in-behind after missing a routine header from a Vokes flick-on, but the former Bournemouth man was thwarted by Kirkland. The re-bound fell to ex-Wednesday loanee Keith Treacy, but his goal bound effort was heroically blocked by Glenn Loovens.

The visitor’s back-line was breached again soon after, this time Vokes played the industrious Dean Marney through, but he poked the ball past Kirkland’s right-hand post.

Dyche’s men broke the deadlock just before the break, when Jose Semedo was caught in possession by Marney, who dinked the ball over-the-top into the path of the impressive Sam Vokes, and the Welsh powerhouse calmly volleyed home his twelfth goal of the season from 14 yards out.

However, the away side responded magnificently, as Chris Maguire netted his fourth goal in five games just minutes later. Connor Wickham delivered an in-swinging  free-kick into the penalty area, and the ball found its way to Maguire via flick-ons from Onyewu and Mattock, who fired in a scruffy half-volley from point blank range at the back post.

Stuart Gray’s team did create other chances of their own, young forward Coalan Lavery’s deflected shot was tipped over the bar well from Tom Heaton, while at the other end, Liam Palmer crucially headed a David Jones strike off the line.

Then came the most controversial incident in the whole ninety minutes; Maguire again involved. The Scotsman was too tricky for the otherwise solid Jason Shackell when he took on his old Derby County teammate in the 18 yard box, only to be brought down by Shackell’s outstretched leg. Although that wasn’t the view of referee Stewart Atwell, who decided to book Maguire for diving, much to the disgust of the 1,800 travelling Sheffield Wednesday faithful.

After that, it was Sean Dyche’s turn to vent his frustrations, when Marney was seemingly hauled down in the area by Onyewu in an off the ball incident. Simultaneously, Danny Ings’ thunderous volley from Kieran Trippier’s long throw cannoned off the post.

The Yorkshiremen suffered a stoppage-time scare, when Ashley Barnes’ fantastic low cross fell to Ings, but he couldn’t beat Kirkland from twelve yards, with the inspired shot-stopper tipping his strike over the crossbar.

This was the last opportunity of an intense affair, in which Wednesday, who defended manfully and managed to keep Ings quiet, will be delighted with a well-earned point against a team unbeaten thus far at Turf Moor. That result meant that they remained 19th in the table, despite results going against them. Meanwhile, Burnley have dropped out of the top two, after promotion rivals QPR defeated Huddersfield 2-1 at Loftus Road.

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 Burnley

Tom Heaton – Didn’t have a great deal to do but made a few good saves. 6.5
Kieran Trippier – Showed why he is regarded as the best right-back in the division. Faultless defensively and a huge threat going forward, with pace and an end product to match. 8.5
Jason Shackell – An absolute rock at the back, Shackell did well to keep Wickham quiet and he won nearly all of his aerial duels. Showed good distribution as well 8.0
Michael Duff – Solid and along with his central defensive partner, kept Wickham quiet. 7.0
Daniel Lafferty – Steady-eddie at left back, passed the ball well and marked Maguire pretty well. 7.5
Scott Arfield – Struggled to get into the game, although he worked hard and tracked back. 6.0
David Jones – Pretty solid in the heart of Burnley’s engine room, unlucky not to score. Despite this, he gave the ball away a few times. 7.0
Dean Marney – Combined his industry and work rate with good distribution and vision. Claimed an assist for the opening goal before missing a great chance himself. 8.0
Keith Treacy – Showed touches of class on the ball, and his crossing was good. 7.5
Sam Vokes – Led the line and ran the channels excellently. Made the ball stick in the final third, created chances and capped off a great performance by demonstrating his composure in front of goal to give Burnley the lead. 8.5
Danny Ings – Looked lively and dangerous, missed plenty of chances however. Just one of those frustrating days for the Hampshire-born hitman. 6.5

Substitutions

Ashley Barnes – His introduction helped re-swing the game in Burnley’s favour, and his magnificent cross should have resulted in a goal. 7.0
   
   

Sheffield Wednesday

Chris Kirkland – Pulled off a string of superb saves to deny the home side three points. Had a lot to do in goal, a stark contrast to last week’s emphatic victory over Leeds. 8.5
Liam Palmer – Made a vital clearance off the line. Continuing to impress in his new role at full-back. 7.0
Oguchi Onyewu – Grew into his debut after a very shaky start. Superb in the air, and when the American reaches full fitness, he could be a great acquisition for Wednesday. 7.0
Glenn Loovens – Won most of his headers and read the game well. The Dutchman made just one mistake all afternoon (which unfortunately cost his team a goal) when he stepped out of defence, giving Vokes space to run in behind and open the scoring. 8.0
Joe Mattock – Defended reasonably well and he was decent on the ball. 6.5
Chris Maguire – Came alive in the second period after a quiet first half. Revitalised since Gray took charge, Maguire has bagged four goals in five games. 7.5
Jose Semedo – Struggled to get into the game as the ball seemed to bypass him a lot. Caught in possession in the build-up to Vokes’ goal. 6.0
Kieran Lee – Similarly to Semedo, the ball bypassed him for the majority of the afternoon. Nearly created a goal with a great ball to Lavery. 6.5
Jacques Maghoma – Didn’t manage to impact the game at all. 5.0
Connor Wickham – Had a few efforts from range, but the Sunderland loanee wasn’t his impressive self. 6.5
Caolan Lavery – Looked lively and pressed Burnley’s defenders. A tough game to make your first start in, especially against the defensive pairing of Shackell and Duff. 6.5

Substitutions

Jeremy Helan – Came off the bench to solidify the engine room and help out Mattock defensively, which he did pretty well. 6.5
Adthe Nuhiu – Gave the visitors a physical presence to battle with the two Claret central defenders. Made a ridiculous pass in a bad area which thankfully went unpunished. 6.0
Rhys McCabe – Wasn’t on long enough to make an impact. 6.0

 

Man of the Match

Sam Vokes – Held the ball up superbly, brought others into play and caused problems in the Wednesday rear guard. Took his goal very well, and created chances for others. 8.5


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