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Christmas came early for Burnley fans as goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood secured a 2-1 win against the Wolves at Turf Moor, knocking the hosts out of the relegation zone.
The Wolves were the dominant team in the first 25 minutes, but it was Sean Dyche’s men who took the lead against the running of the game. Charlie Taylor’s cross was greeted by Barnes, whose header edged out Rui Patricio for his first Premier League goal in more than a year.
Burnley doubled his lead shortly after the interval as James Tarkowski drove the ball back through the six-yard box for Wood to attack.
Substitute Josh Benson’s bumbling defiance earned the Wolves a penalty in the later stages, allowing young Fabio Silva to remove one from the spot for the visitors.
Let’s get into some player rankings.
Nick Pope (POR) – 5/10 – He had very little to do as his team defended with determination.
Matthew Lowton (RB) – 6/10 – He turned down a good chance in the first half that cleared the crossbar. He did well against the spirited Daniel Podence.
Ben Mee (CB) – 7/10 – He was injured in the first half after the linesman failed to raise his flag. Mee made the tackle and was injured in the process. He struggled admirably and played the full 90s.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 7/10 – He kept the ball alive to set Wood up for Burnley’s second. Well defended against Traore.
Charlie Taylor (LB) – 7/10 – His harrowing run down the left flank allowed him to become a purveyor to the amiable Barnes, who nodded to give him the upper hand at his side.
Robbie Brady (RM) – 6/10 – He didn’t have a bad game but he lacked the end product and made some silly fouls.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 6/10 – I had a great opportunity to play Brady in the first half, but he was wrong. Also booked in the first period.
Josh Brownhill (CM) – July 10 – He nearly doubled his team’s lead with a free kick that narrowly missed in the top corner. He cut the crossbar with a 20-year curling effort and was extremely unlucky not to score.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 6/10 – He had a very uneventful first half and was momentarily injured trying to knock Podence down.
Ashley Barnes (ST) – September 10 – He forced a good save from Patricio in the first half after shooting in a bit of space. He had his chance just minutes later and scored his first goal in more than a year. Replaced by Jay Rodríguez in the second half.
Chris Wood (ST) – 8/10 – After a quiet first half, it came to life in the second with a strong finish. He got another save from Patrick after turning well and leaving Kilman for dead.
Erik Pieters – 6/10 – He came in to bolster Burnley’s defense as they watched the final minutes.
Jay Rodriguez – N / A – Nothing remarkable.
Josh Benson – April 10 – His inexperience showed when he collided with Fabio Silva in the area shortly after entering.
Rui Patricio (GK) – 7/10 – He produced a great save in the 28th minute from a well-hit Barnes effort from the edge of the area. He forced a series of saves in the first half and kept his side in it.
Nelson Semedo (RWB) – 5/10 – He had some joy at first, but kept quiet as the game progressed.
Max Kilman (CB) – 6/10 – Conceded a free kick on the edge of his own box in the first half after receiving a bad touch and then charging at Barnes. A night of discipline in general.
Conor Coady (CB) – 7/10 – He displayed his leadership qualities at all times and constantly shouted orders to those around him, unfortunately to little effect. He got a major block to stop Barnes and make it 3-0.
Romain Saiss (CB) – 6/10 – He took a good lead during the second half to try and add some physical presence to the Wolves’ attack.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) – 6/10 – He made some good interceptions and is another example of the young and fresh talent available to the Wolves. He was replaced by Fabio Silva in the second half.
Rubén Neves (CM) – 6/10 – He was very close with a volley from the edge of the area, although his wait for a first league goal of the season continues.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 6/10 – He played some good fly balls against Semedo in the first half and was his usual combative type. He was very lucky not to get sent off late in the second half after a blatant hit at Brownhill while trying to get the ball back.
Owen Otasowie (AM) – 10/6 – The young man has a great presence and was not afraid to move on the field. He was replaced by Traore in the second half.
Pedro Neto (ST) – 10/6 – He showed great threat of attack, but often lacked the killer instinct to finish off chances.
Daniel Podence (ST) – 7/10 – He was very lively down the left wing and caused trouble for Burnley’s defenders throughout the game. It was difficult for me to find a way with so many men behind the ball. His size didn’t help him against the gigantic Burnley back four either.
Fabio Silva – 6/10 – He won and converted a confident penalty to regain one for his team.
Adama Traore – 7/10 – Very encouraged after entering and delivering a great ball for Neto at the first back post, which he headed. He made constant runs down the right wing and floated in a series of crosses.
Vitinha – N / A – Nothing remarkable.