Late penalty rescues point
It’s another point for the Clarets from last night’s 1-1 home draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers but it needed a stoppage time penalty, converted by Chris Wood, to bring us level after we’d fallen behind almost twenty minutes earlier.
The penalty, given by referee Mike Dean for handball against Matt Doherty, came just after Wood had missed one of the easiest chances he’s ever going to get but he certainly made no mistake from the spot with an emphatic finish to take the current unbeaten run to six games.
There’s no doubt this was probably our toughest game overall in this run, even more so than in the draw we got against Liverpool. Wolves really are a good side and they made it tough for us on a night when we collected even more injuries.
I thought Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, having come on as a substitute at Anfield, might have started but when the team news was revealed it was same again with JBG on an unchanged bench and Erik Pieters continuing on the right hand side of midfield.
He played there for the first half hour and it was a half hour when Wolves were very much on top. They started well, put us under early pressure and we never seemed able to break their stranglehold on the game. The one saving grace was that they weren’t creating too many opportunities. When they did get through they failed to find the target and that left Nick Pope with not too much to do, probably a relief for him given the last two games at West Ham and Liverpool.
As the half drew to a close I thought we were just coming into things but the closest we came was when Guðmundsson found Rodriguez with a majestic ball in from the left only for a Wolves defender to react quickly to prevent us getting in a shot.
I do think we had to be happy to go in level at half time. They had been better than us and it was just about getting ourselves reorganised and making a better start in the second half. That’s what we did and probably had our best spell in the opening period of the second half.
That was interrupted when Rodriguez had to go off injured just a few minutes in. Matěj Vydra came on and for a while we looked as though the game might be going our way although it did eventually return to the patter of the first half with Wolves in control, having more of the play and dominating despite not really creating much of a chance.
They finally got the breakthrough in the 76th minute. There was a little bit of good fortune to the goal but definitely not with the finish. Wolves broke from their own half with Adama Traoré taking them forward. The dangerous player hadn’t featured too much but he progressed and found Matt Doherty who had not long been on as a substitute. This is where the good fortune came in; his shot hit James Tarkowski and dropped invitingly for Raúl Jiménez. There is little you can say about his finish other than it was brilliant. He hit a sensational shot on the volley to Pope’s left, leaving him helpless.
We got to ninety minutes at 0-1 with five more minutes to come. You hoped there might just be one big chance for us and there was. A cross from the right was headed down by Vydra beyond the far post for Wood to head home from no more than three yards out. Unfortunately, as difficult as it is to believe, Wood didn’t head home, he headed wide. Dyche looked stunned and Dion Dublin on commentary said he couldn’t believe it was Wood.
By the time the BBC had stopped showing replays, we were back on the attack. Brady played in a delightful ball for Phil Bardsley to head across. Again it was Wood; this time trying an overhead kick. There was no contact though but there was with ball and Doherty’s arm; there also was with whistle and referee Mike Dean. He gave us a penalty, the first referee to do so this season.
At Molineux back in August we conceded a stoppage time penalty which earned Wolves a point in a 1-1 draw. I wouldn’t say it was controversial; I’d say it was downright incorrect. This was one that possibly could have gone either way but once Kevin Friend, on VAR, had decided that Wood was some distance away from Doherty then there was no option but to support the referee.
Wood, having just missed that chance, wasn’t going to pass this one up. He stepped up to take his fifth penalty for Burnley, but the first ever in the Premier League and simply hammered it into the top right hand corner. Did I say Pope had no chance with their goal? Rui Patricio had just as much chance of stopping this one.
Since the draw at Liverpool, we’ve seen teams just above us all win, we’ve seen Manchester City avoid a ban, and with this draw I would think it ends any hope of us getting into Europe but that can never detract from this season and I’m looking forward to the final two games and hope we can still better the points total from two years ago.
They always say the good teams can pick up points when the game doesn’t go their way. I’ll take that point from last night.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor (Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson 30), Erik Pieters, Josh Brownhill (Robbie Brady 85), Ashley Westwood, Dwight McNeil, Jay Rodriguez (Matěj Vydra 51), Chris Wood. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Jimmy Dunne, Anthony Glennon, Mace Goodridge, Josh Benson, Max Thompson.
Wolves: Rui Patricio, Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Romain Saïss, Adama Traoré, Rúben Neves, João Moutinho, Rúben Vinagre (Jonny Otto 84), Diogo Jota (Pedro Neto 78), Raúl Jiménez (Leander Dendoncker 84), Daniel Podence (Matt Doherty 70). Subs not used: John Ruddy, Bruno Jordão, Morgan Gibbs-White, Max Kilman, Oskar Buur.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).
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