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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:04 21st March 2015

Southampton 2 Burnley 0

Burnley were brought back to earth as a Kelvin Davis-inspired Southampton eased to victory at St Mary’s.

An opportunist goal from Shane Long late in the first half and an unfortunate own goal from Jason Shackell early in the second meant the Clarets could not build on last weekend’s stunning win over Manchester City.

But they tell only half the story - and the Clarets were unfortunate to find substitute keeper Davis in stunning form in a rare first team outing.

The 38-year-old was an early replacement for the injured Fraser Forster – and rolled back the years with a stunning display.

Davis, making his first Premier League start since New Year’s Day 2014, twice denied Sam Vokes inside the opening 45 minutes and made a third, breathtaking stop before the break to deny Danny Ings a certain equaliser.

And the Clarets’ disappointing day on the south coast was complete when George Boyd was denied a strong first half penalty appeal.

Burnley were unchanged from the team that euphorically beat the champions at Turf Moor, while on the bench striker Marvin Sordell came in for the injured Stephen Ward.

But it was a confident start from the hosts, fresh from their own impressive draw at Chelsea, before an unfortunate injury to Forster halted play for five minutes.

The England keeper suffered an injury to his ankle after clearing under pressure from Vokes and after a lengthy delay was stretchered off to be replaced by veteran stopper Davis.

There soon followed a half chance for Ings, who just failed to get the ball out from under his feet as he advanced on goal from a terrific through ball from Ashley Barnes.

And as Burnley upped the ante, they were within a whisker of taking the lead twice in a matter of seconds.

Vokesy dejected 4x3 

Boyd spread the ball wide to Barnes, whose first time cross fell at the feet of Vokes, whose instant volley was superbly turned round the post by Davis.

From the resulting corner, Boyd then saw his snapshot deflected over the bar by Graziano Pelle.

Boyd 4x3

The Saints were rocking and survived a strong penalty appeal when Boyd cut inside from the left side of the box and had to take evasive action to avoid being clattered by Jose Fonte.

But, as often the case when teams don’t take advantage, the opposition capitalises and Southampton grabbed the crucial opener eight minutes from the break.

There was an element of fortune as the visitors failed to clear Dusan Tadic’s left wing cross, and when Clyne drove the ball back into the area, a deflection carried to where Long was lurking at the far post to rifle the ball into the roof of the net.

Burnley’s response was immediate and somehow Davis kept out Ings’ first time shot, which was destined for the bottom corner until the keeper dived full length to glove it to safety.

In five minutes of stoppage time, it was Burnley keeper Tom Heaton who performed heroics, arcing backwards to tip over Steven Davis’s looping header.

But a breathless end to the half saw Davis yet again deny the Clarets, as he turned over Vokes’ firm header from six yards.

Long ignited the second half with an early sighter from distance that thankfully whistled wide with Heaton scrambling.

And the Clarets had a mountain to climb just before the hour when Ryan Bertrand fired over a cross from the left and Shackell, sticking out a knee to intercept, saw the ball flash past Heaton for an own–goal.

That knocked the stuffing out of Burnley and the Saints’, with one of the best defensive records in the top flight, rarely looked like conceding their advantage.

And Sean Dyche’s men were left to focus on bigger battles to fight in the closing eight games, starting with the visit of Tottenham to Turf Moor next week.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Mee, Shackell, Duff, Trippier, Barnes (Wallace 83), Jones, Arfield, Boyd, Vokes (Jutkiewicz 73), Ings (Sordell 88).
Subs: Gilks, Kightly, Reid, Keane


SOUTHAMPTON: Forster (Davis 12), Clyne. Schneiderlin, Fonte. Long, Davis, Mane, Tadic (Wanyama 46), Alderweireld, Pelle, Bertrand.
Subs: Yoshida, Gardos, Djuricic, Ward-Prowse, Elia

REF: R East