Clarets pay the penalty
Burnley bowed out of the League Cup last night against Leeds United, losing Turf Moor’s first penalty shoot out in five years, after the game had ended 2-2.
I suppose you could say the game had everything. Four goals, two penalties in open play, four substitutes coming on under new rules, the ABBA penalty system whilst not forgetting that the game was stopped 45 times for free kicks awarded by referee Darren Bond who was as bad as anything I’ve seen for some time.
And yet, for the most part, it was a forgettable night as Burnley again struggled to get something at home in a season that has started in a somewhat topsy-turvy way. All the four goals came from the 80th minute onwards just as we thought it was heading into extra time on the back of a goalless draw.
Sean Dyche said there would be changes and there were, seven of them in total from the team that drew against Liverpool at Anfield. Only goalkeeper Nick Pope, defender James Tarkowski and midfielders Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Scott Arfield remained.
It was back to 4-4-2 again with Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes up front but they were part of an attack in the first half that really should have put the game to bed. We dominated for virtually the whole of that 45 minutes but hardly troubled former Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan whose only save of note was to keep out an effort from Scott Arfield who was also guilty of the worst miss.
Our main threat came down the flanks. Both full backs got forward well and the link up between Phil Bardsley, my man of the match, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson on the right hand side was a feature of our performance.
Charlie Taylor on the left also did really well despite being targeted by the Leeds fans and their players with a couple of dodgy tackles in the game.
Unfortunately, the game was stop start at times due to referee Bond who blew not much fewer than fifty times in the game for infringements and he was to play a big part in the second half as the game ended with goals galore.
Nothing much changed for the second half. It was Burnley doing most of the attacking but we did look toothless at times although things certainly picked up with the introduction of Robbie Brady who started to get us into more threatening positions.
But with ten minutes to go it was looking as though it would end 0-0 when Leeds, against the odds, took the lead. We gave the ball away too easily allowing Pablo Hernandez to set Hadi Sacko on his way down the right.
With Nick Pope unsure whether to come or stay, Sacko took advantage and fired his shot straight through the goalkeeper and into the net.
Another cup exit loomed but incredibly we drew level in the 89th minute when Bond pointed the spot. There were no doubts as the Leeds defender had tried to pull Kevin Long’s shirt off. Against his former club, Chris Wood stepped up to equalise from the resulting penalty.
That’s it, extra time we all assumed. The board went up showing a further six minutes and that allowed Leeds to think they’d won it and us to equalise again.
Bond again pointed to the spot, this time at the other end. It might have been soft, as Sean Dyche suggested, and the ball might not have been anywhere near, but James Tarkowski was certainly grabbing Kemar Roofe and there could be no complaints.
Hernandez duly scored the penalty but the drama wasn’t over. Leeds conceded a needless free kick outside the box and Brady stepped up to score an unstoppable second equaliser.
So penalties it was with the police exercising their authority and determining which end of the ground they should be taken. So it was all eyes on the Jimmy Mac end for the shoot out.
Leeds went first and scored with Burnley responding with goals from Wood and Barnes. Leeds regained the advantage with two more goals before Brady scored for us. Then Tarkowski saw his effort saved leaving Leeds needing to score twice to win it and they did just that with Burnley having no need to take a fifth.
Another League Cup exit and four a fourth successive season we’ve gone out to a team from a lower division. We did at least have one positive this season, our first win in this competition for four years was against Blackburn.
It’s back to the league on Saturday with no more cup action until January. We should have won last night; we were better than Leeds but if you don’t take your chances this is what happens.
I suppose Ladbroke’s are offering good odds on the Yorkshire side to get to Wembley. They seemed to enjoy last night’s result. I’ll always call it the cricket field end.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood (Steven Defour 120), Jeff Hendrick (Jack Cork 90), Scott Arfield (Robbie Brady 72), Sam Vokes (Chris Wood 72), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Adam Legzdins, Matt Lowton, Ben Mee.
Yellow Cards: Phil Bardsley, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Kevin Long.
Leeds: Andy Lonergan, Gaetano Berardi, Luke Ayling, Conor Shaughnessy, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Hadi Sacko 60), Ronaldo Vieira, Mat Klich, Kemar Roofe (Ezgjan Alioski 104), Stuart Dallas, Pawel Cibicki (Pablo Hernandez 79), Jay-Roy Grot (Pierre-Michel Lasogga 85). Subs not used: Felix Wiedwald, Kalvin Phillips, Madger Gomes.
Yellow Cards: Jay-Roy Grot, Kemar Roofe.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire).
Attendance : 11,799.
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