PL REPORT: EVERTON 3-1 BURNLEY
Quickfire Everton comeback downs the Clarets
Ben Mee's goal on his 200th Premier League appearance was not enough to secure Burnley their first three points of the season as a quickfire Everton blitz saw the Clarets go down 3-1 at Goodison Park.
Mee was celebrating becoming the first ever player for the club to rack up 200 games in the top-flight but his second-half header - to give Burnley the lead - was met with a rousing response from the hosts.
Former Claret Michael Keane, Demarai Gray and an Andros Townsend screamer all combined in a seven-minute barrage to dashed the visitors’ hopes on Merseyside.
The result leaves Burnley 18th in the table with one point from four matches after the hard-fought draw against Leeds United secured before the international break.
It was a night of milestones for Sean Dyche’s visitors as Mee’s 200th top-flight match also saw flying winger Dwight McNeil, 21, bring up his Premier League century.
The Burnley boss resisted the temptation to hand highly-rated new signing Maxwel Cornet a debut while Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood led the line against Rafael Benitez’s unbeaten Premier League outfit.
Once again, Burnley started the game brightly as striker Wood looked his typically-dangerous self on a pair of early occasions.
The first came from a sumptuous delivery from centurion McNeil before Dyche’s men also had a penalty appeal turned down when James Tarkowski was hauled down in the box while challenging from a corner.
Josh Brownhill had a big chance inside the area 27 minutes in but the Clarets midfielder hit his shot straight at Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Just seconds later the ball was down the other end as opposite number Nick Pope was forced into action, with his strong right hand denying Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Clarets were otherwise rarely troubled by the hosts in quiet first half and finally got their reward shortly after the interval, with Mee celebrating his Premier League milestone by emphatically heading home the opener.
The skipper got on the end of an excellent in-swinging cross from Johann Gudmundsson from close range to deservedly haul the Clarets into the lead.
Few would have anticipated the rampant Everton response, however, with Benitez’s side almost immediately restoring parity when defender Keane headed home at the near post.
And then came Townsend’s stunning 65th minute strike to spin the game on its head, spectacularly curling into the top corner from distance to leave Pope with no chance and turn the tables on Merseyside.
Burnley rallied admirably but the points were all but wrapped up when Gray charged through one-on-one for his third goal in as many league games.
Dyche’s men continued to work hard under the lights but were unable to reduce the deficit as Everton, who have beaten Southampton and Brighton already this season, held on to wrap up the three points.
BURNLEY: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson (Lennon 76), Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil, Wood (Rodriguez 86), Barnes (Vydra 76).
Subs: Hennessey, Thomas, Bardsley, Cornet.
Sun, Dec 12, 2021