Saints take the points in disappointing opening home game
Danny Ings had the ball in the net in only the fifth minute of last night’s game against Southampton. It proved to be the winner in what was an uninspiring game of football and a major disappointment for the supporters of the Clarets.
It was poor from us. Ings, who scored twice last week in their defeat against Spurs, has been in prolific goalscoring form and he could hardly miss the chance presented to him by his co-striker Che Adams, once a Burnley target, when they got down the left hand side of our defence following a pass from Kyle Walker-Peters. It was his first Turf Moor goal since he scored our second in a 2-2 draw against West Brom in February 2015.
Sean Dyche had little in the way of options when he named his side. We now have seven players missing and I reckon, if fully fit, five of them would have started with the other two on the bench. With a squad our size, that’s a big ask and it meant Dale Stephens going straight into the team just two days after completing his move from Brighton while, on the bench, we had just two full backs with any Premier League experience.
It certainly took us a while to recover from that early goal and, in truth, we never really threatened to get back into it throughout the first half. Chances were at a premium and, while the better of the two sides, the saving grace was that Southampton offered precious little which ensured we didn’t go further behind.
A goal down at half time, there was a real concern as to how we might get back into the game. There is no doubt that we did improve in the second half but Alex McCarthy, the Southampton goalkeeper, still didn’t have too much to do although he was forced into an early save when Wood, who was looking to become the first Burnley player to score in five successive top flight games since Willie Irvine, got in a header to the left of goal very early in the half. I jumped up, I thought it had beaten the keeper, but not so and we remained a goal behind.
One incident that did get me on my feet was one when the officials got things badly wrong although ultimately came to the right decision. Wood burst through but assistant Scott Ledger, against all the regulations, flagged him offside. He’s supposed to keep his flag down. Andre Marriner blew but Wood went through and scored. He should not have blown his whistle. As it happens, he was marginally offside but the officials would have had egg on their faces had he been onside because VAR would not have been able to overturn their decision.
We did dominate for much of the remainder of the game, but Southampton weren’t stretched too much and ultimately we didn’t really force them into too much defensive work and it was Southampton who took the points courtesy of their one and only effort on target and we couldn’t do too much about it because we just didn’t have anything on the bench to change things.
We need new players, we all know that, we need some of those injured players back as soon as possible, we all know that too. What we don’t need is a run of performances like this one, if so we could be in some trouble.
One final thought. It was out first home league game of the season. Stuck at home, watching on television, it didn’t feel like that at all. All the excitement has gone.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Jimmy Dunne, Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Dale Stephens, Dwight McNeil, Chris Wood, Matěj Vydra. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Matt Lowton, Bobby Thomas, Erik Pieters, Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson, Mace Goodridge.
Yellow Card: Phil Bardsley.
Southampton: Alex McCarthy, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand, Stuart Armstrong, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Moussa Djenepo (Nathan Tella 77), Danny Ings, Che Adams (Michael Obafemi 77). Subs not used: Fraser Forster, Jack Stephens, Jan Valery, Will Smallbone, Shane Long.
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands).
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