Share this page :

Nathan Tella more than earned his stripes last night at the MKM Stadium, scoring all of our goals in a 3-1 win over Hull City to record our tenth away victory of the season.

Tella opened the scoring just a couple of minutes before half time and added two more in the second half to complete his second hat trick of the season, just 32 days since the first at home against Preston.

He was undoubtedly the shining light in a performance that didn’t reach the heights of some recently but ultimately was more than good enough to win three more points and move us ever closer to clinching promotion back to the Premier League.

It was a short midweek trip by coach for me last night. It should have been a short trip but the heavy traffic, coupled with roadworks, made it a longer journey than expected but we were still able to pull into the parking area just outside the stadium some couple of minutes after the team had been announced.

Embed from Getty Images
We were unchanged from the team that had started the previous league game against Wigan, only the fourth time Vincent Kompany has named an unchanged team this season in the league and two of those occasions were back in August. There were two changes on the bench; Charlie Taylor replaced Ameen Al-Dakhil while there was a welcome return for Manuel Benson who was preferred to Samuel Bastien.

On a cold night, it was good to see us playing an away game in claret and blue, but we didn’t know that until the Hull City light show which featured ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love With You’ and, hardly surprisingly, ‘Eye Of The Tiger’.

It was a scrappy start to the game with a couple of lengthy stoppages not helping but when it did get going we weren’t really able to create too much in terms of chances although Ashley Barnes might have done better with one half chance. At the other end, Hull failed to hit the target with two easy headers although the second of them was flagged offside.

We had shouts for a penalty. From the other end of the ground, it was impossible to see one way or the other, but television pictures have confirmed that Hull right-back Lewie Coyle clearly handled the ball and, given his position and view, it is hard to see how referee Tim Robinson, who otherwise had a decent game, didn’t see it.

Embed from Getty Images
As we headed towards half time, it looked as though we were going to go in goalless, but then we had Tella on the pitch. Hjalmar Ekdal played a ball forward for him down the right. He got the better of Callum Elder, moved into the box and then took a touch with his right foot before turning inside Sean McLoughlin before scoring with a left foot shot inside the near post that loan goalkeeper Karl Darlow couldn’t get near.

A lead at half time then, but one we probably shouldn’t have had with Hull then missing another headed chance which would have seen them draw level. When that half time whistle blew, I think there was a lot of confidence among the Burnley fans that this would probably be another win.

I think we all knew that one more goal would do it for us and it came just before the hour. It was a classic Burnley goal too as we worked the ball from right to left for Anass Zaroury who played the ball inside for Barnes. The ball back out wide from Barnes to Ian Maatsen was sublime and the cross from Maatsen superb. Tella met it around the six-yard box and made no mistake, turning it home with his right foot.

It gave Vincent Kompany the opportunity to make a triple change with Benson one of the three coming on to a terrific reception from the Burnley fans, but it was Tella grabbing the headlines again soon afterwards.

Embed from Getty Images
Maatsen played a ball inside for Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson who headed it back to the left-back. This time Maatsen volleyed the ball forward for Barnes but it flicked off his heel and that allowed Hull substitute Jacob Greaves to get on the ball. He looked to find McLoughlin but Tella nipped in, got to the edge of the box and made absolutely no mistake to complete his hat trick.

He’s become the first Burnley player to score two hat tricks in the same season since Charlie Austin bagged three in games against Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday just fifteen days apart in the 2012/13 season.

The game was won, the points were ours, but we couldn’t add to the three goals we’d scored, which proved to be our only shots on target all game. Two more substitutions followed, one of them allowing Tella to receive the ovation he deserved.

It was looking like another three goal win but in the last of three minutes added on, Hull pulled one back through Ozan Tufan, the player who’d scored in the 1-1 draw at the Turf in our second home game of the season. It just took a little bit of the gloss off the win coming right at the end but it shouldn’t have, while not being at our best, while this was no QPR or Norwich kind of away performance, it was still a good performance overall which brought us another three points.

Embed from Getty Images
The league table looks good doesn’t it? Now 83 points, that’s equalled the final total achieved by Jimmy Mullen’s team in 1992 with only Stan’s promotion season and the two from Sean Dyche to catch now, something we surely will.

It’s always enjoyable to be able to update the Hat Trick Heroes and having been forced to miss the Preston game through illness, and missing Chris Wood’s three at Wolves with the game played behind closed doors, it’s the first league hat trick I’ve seen since Andre Gray’s against Sunderland on New Year’s Eve 2016 and the first away from home since Austin’s at Portsmouth at the end of March 2012.

“Sign him on, sign him on,” sang the Burnley fans of Tella. Right now, we can’t do that due to the embargo placed on us by the Football League. That’s exactly what last night’s opponents Hull have done today. Xavier Simons has been enjoying a season long loan with them from Chelsea but they’ve turned that into a permanent move this morning.

When we travelled to Bramall Lane to play Sheffield United in November, we went there on the back of sixteen league games unbeaten. The run came to an end that day but amazingly we’ve not only done it again but now gone seventeen unbeaten, I believe the third longest unbeaten run I’ve ever witnessed as a Burnley fan. What’s astonishing is that when Tufan scored last night, it was only the sixth goal we’ve conceded in those games while scoring thirty-seven.

Embed from Getty Images
It should have been the derby this weekend at Ewood but instead we’ve just got the small matter of a sixth round FA Cup tie against Manchester City at the Etihad. It’s a tall order but no matter what happens, we’ll be back there next season in the league.

The teams were;

Hull: Karl Darlow, Lewie Coyle (Greg Docherty 53), Alfie Jones, Sean McLoughlin, Callum Elder (Jacob Greaves 63), Malcolm Ebiowei, Jean Michaël Seri, Regan Slater, Allahyar Sayyadmanesh (Ryan Longman 74), Adama Traoré (Ozan Tufan 63), Dimitrios Pelkas (Óscar Estupiñán ht). Subs not used: Lo-Tutala, Tobias Figueiredo.
Yellow Card: Dimitrios Pelkas.

Burnley: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal (Charlie Taylor 70), Jordan Beyer, Ian Maatsen, Josh Cullen, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (Lyle Foster 87), Vitinho (Jack Cork 70), Nathan Tella (Michael Obafemi 78), Anass Zaroury (Manuel Benson 70), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Halil Dervişoğlu.
Yellow Cards: Ian Maatsen, Hjalmar Ekdal.

Referee: Tim Robinson (Bognor Regis).

Attendance: 17,271 (including 1,812 Clarets).

Click HERE to vote for your man of the match.
Click HERE to post your player ratings.

Follow UpTheClarets:

Share this page :