An afternoon of goals and a cup win
You never really know what to expect when it comes to the cup and so there was some trepidation ahead of yesterday’s home tie against Peterborough United in the FA Cup. In the end, we needn’t have had any concerns. As a contest it was all over with just a quarter of the game gone and it was good to see us shake off those defeats and get ourselves a win.
Given our recent record, I probably wouldn’t have fancied us to win this had it been in the League Cup but, Lincoln apart, there haven’t been any shock defeats for us in the FA Cup for some considerable time even though we do still make changes. Sean Dyche made eight yesterday from the team beaten by Aston Villa although the players coming in did included such as Matt Lowton, Erik Pieters and Jeff Hendrick who have all played a good number of league games this season.
Another early kick off, so for us we took the opportunity to have breakfast at Burnley Community Kitchen ahead of the game. It was enjoyable and also gave a couple of our Supporters’ Club reps the opportunity to see how things work down there and for us to take a look at the new refurbished foodbank area.
We’d sort of half guessed the team reasonably well. Sean Dyche had given enough hints in his Friday press conference and it meant just James Tarkowski, Jack Cork and Chris Wood remained from last Wednesday’s team.
It took just eight minutes for us to go in front. A Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson free kick came in from the right but Peterborough headed it out as far as the D on the edge of the box where Aaron Lennon, who was involved in just about everything that was good, headed it back in for Chris Wood who saw his header saved by Christy Pym. It went no further than the lurking Jay Rodriguez who scored from close range.
We then had a wait of what seemed forever before we could fully celebrate the goal while VAR looked for a reason to disallow it. It was the same for all six goals and if you ever wanted an example of VAR damaging football then this match was it. It became ridiculously tiresome.
Two more goals followed by the time we were midway through the half and the first of them provided Erik Pieters with his first Burnley goal although it was announced as a Jeff Hendrick goal as Pieters celebrated.
Reece Brown fired just wide as he tried to get Peterborough back into it but then came number three. Lennon brilliantly took hold of a long cross field pass and moved forward before sliding the ball to Wood in the box. He in turn got it out to Lowton and his lay off was met by Hendrick, another to play really well, whose shot went in via a deflection.
It looked all over but Peterborough did pull one back before half time when Lowton’s header back to Joe Hart was woefully shot and Ivan Toney, a player who has been linked with us, shot into the empty net.
That was it for the first half but just a few minutes after the break we restored our three goal advantage. Again it was Hendrick and Lennon involved with the latter playing a delightful ball in for Rodriguez who turned in his second to make it 4-1.
There was never any suggestion that they were going to get back into it and, ultimately, we were more than comfortable winners.
The talking points centred on a couple of the substitutions. The first came at half time when once again we lost Guðmundsson to injury in what had been his first start in months. It’s another hamstring injury and I suspect from what’s been said, it could be another lengthy absence for the third time this season. Charlie Taylor replaced him with Pieters moving into the left of midfield position when I think most of us expected it the other way round. It worked too.
Wood also felt a tight hamstring and came off with just over a quarter of an hour remaining. He was replaced by Matěj Vydra who came on to ironic cheers which were clearly targeted at the manager for not utilising the player as much as some would like.
The teams were;
Burnley: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long, Erik Pieters, Aaron Lennon, Jeff Hendrick, Jack Cork (Ashley Westwood 90), Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson (Charlie Taylor ht), Jay Rodriguez, Chris Wood (Matěj Vydra 74). Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Phil Bardsley, Ben Mee, Ali Koiki.
Peterborough: Christy Pym, Niall Mason, Rhys Bennett, Mark Beevers, Dan Butler, Louis Reed, (Kyle Barker 64), Reece Brown, George Boyd, Marcus Maddison, Ivan Toney, Mo Eisa (Archie Jones 58). Subs not used: Conor O’Malley, Serhat Tasdemir, Joe Ward, Frankie Kent, Harrison Burrows.
Yellow Card: Reece Brown.
Referee: Rob Jones (Wirral).
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