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1920 burnley turf moor 01 1000x500When we lost at Crewe a week last Saturday, I reported that we shouldn’t read too much into it given that it was just pre-season, so I’m sure the same should be said following last night’s emphatic 6-1 win against OGC Nice as Turf Moor staged its first pre-season game.

Just a week ago we were having to cope with the hot, humid conditions at Fleetwood that were a reminder of our night at Olympiacos a year ago; last night we were rushing to get inside as the rain poured down in the couple of hours before kick off.

I took a quick look round and it seems as though the new disabled stand between the Longside and Jimmy Mac stands is now fully operational and there is progress on the one at the other side of the Jimmy Mac which will also house the control room is progressing although it looks to be some time away yet from opening.

The PUMA ads have gone from under the cricket field stand roof, they will need replacing with something while someone I’m sure will be working on the PA system today, it just didn’t really work.

What definitely did work was the performance and it was goals galore from a Burnley team once the game was underway. Ahead of kick off, Sean Dyche, as is customary, went to shake the hand of the visiting manager. It seemed to take an age and who know, Patrick Vieira might well have been telling Sean about his last visit when the game ended 6-1 in pouring rain. It wasn’t to be quite such a night for Vieira this time.

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We were only into the third minute when we got ourselves in front with a move that started with Aaron Lennon playing a superb ball out to the right for my man of the match Jeff Hendrick to run on to and lay back for Phil Bardsley. His cross was met by Ashley Barnes who hooked it up for Chris Wood. He headed it, got it onto his right foot, turned and fired home past the helpless keeper and it set the pattern for the night.

A one goal lead soon became two. Ashley Westwood this time got the ball out to Lennon . He rolled it back for Hendrick whose shot was saved as it headed for the far top corner. The goalkeeper could only parry it out to Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson to the left of goal; he rolled it back for Wood to stick it in from close range for his and our second.

With less than twenty minutes gone we’d just about wrapped things up with Hendrick this time the scorer. We won a free kick which Westwood took. It perfectly found Ben Mee in the box. His header across was chested down by Hendrick who then shot right footed.

It has to be said that Nice weren’t proving to be the toughest of opposition. There is no doubt that we were playing well but I can’t imagine Southampton will be giving us anything like this time and room to play in a week on Saturday.

I think they did have a shot at goal that Heaton saved but we had more opportunities to add to the goals and we did manage one more before half time from Guðmundsson. Ashley Barnes combined with Wood with Barnes playing in Guðmundsson whose left foot shot from the edge of the box was drilled across the goalkeeper and into the far bottom corner.

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That wasn’t bad, a 4-0 half lead. We made three changes at half time but before any further changes there had been two more goals, one for each side. Wood’s hat trick goal came next but this was all down to a poor decision from the a defender who, having received the ball from his goalkeeper, tried to pass it across his box to a fellow defender. He succeeded only in finding Wood who had the simple task of just finding target from around 15 yards out.On a night like this you hope to keep a clean sheet but it wasn’t to be. A ball came in from the left which went right across to the right. When it was returned into the box, it got a touch of Ben Mee to allow Allan Saint-Maximin an easy touch in.

We weren’t going to let them have the final goal though and number six got the biggest cheer of the night when substitute Jay Rodriguez netted for the second successive game. Again Hendrick was involved, this time playing a delightful ball out to Matt Lowton on the right. His cross was met by Jay Rod who struck home well.

That was it, a 6-1 win and some really good football from the Clarets and even the rain had eased off a bit for us as we left the ground.

We’re getting closer now to the new season; just one more game to go against Parma this Saturday.

The teams were;

Burnley: Tom Heaton (Joe Hart ht), Phil Bardsley (Matt Lowton 75), Kevin Long (James Tarkowski ht), Ben Mee (Jimmy Dunne 69), Erik Pieters (Charlie Taylor 75), Aaron Lennon (Jay Rodriguez 69), Jeff Hendrick, Ashley Westwood (Jack Cork 69), Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson (Dwight McNeil ht), Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood (Nahki Wells 83). Subs not used: Adam Legzdins, Matěj Vydra.

OGC Nice: Yoan Cardinale (Yannis Clémentia ht), Andy Pelmard, Christophe Hérelle, Bonfirm Dante, Rémi Walter, Barbosa Danilo (Paul Wade 67), Khephren Thuram (Wylan Cyprien 63), Pierre Lees-Melou, Alexandre Gameiro, Myziane Maolida (Evan Guessand 75), Allan Saint-Maximin (Ihsan Sacko 81).

Referee: Michael Oliver.

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