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Burnley 3 Hellas Verona 1

9 August 2014

Burnley finished their pre-season campaign on a high as they came from behind to beat Italian Serie A outfit Hellas Verona 3-1 at a sunny Turf Moor.

Matt Taylor scored on his Turf Moor debut to cancel out Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ opener shortly after the break, before Lukas Jutkiewicz gave the Clarets the lead with his sixth pre-season goal.

Substitute Ross Wallace then completed the scoring with a superbly-struck free-kick late on.

Earlier, Tom Heaton had made a stunning save to deny Juan Ignacio Gómez Taleb and keep scores level at half-time.

It was the perfect preparation for the Clarets, who now have a full week to prepare for their opening game back in the Premier League against title-favourites Chelsea on Monday, 18 August.

Danny Ings was back in the Burnley starting line-up after recovering from a knock to partner Jutkiewicz up front.

Meanwhile, Taylor was preferred to Wallace on the wing.

Hellas head coach Andrea Mandorlini named 2006 World Cup-winning striker Luca Toni in his first 11, while new signing and former Barcelona player Rafael Márquez began the match on the bench.

The game got off to a rather slow-paced start, with both teams looking to build from the back, but struggling to penetrate their opposition.

Hellas enjoyed the majority of possession, but it was Burnley who were first to create goalscoring opportunities.

On 18 minutes, Scott Arfield intercepted the ball inside the opposition half of the pitch before finding Jutkiewicz on the edge of the box. The new signing turned and saw his shot fly over the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards, Kieran Trippier’s lofted ball into the penalty area reached – this time – the head of the striker, but Jutkiewicz couldn’t keep his effort on target.

On 26 minutes, it was Ings’ turn to win the ball in the attacking third of the field. The Burnley number 10 then sent a curling effort from just outside the box marginally wide.

As the first half went on, however, the Gialloblù – loudly supported by several hundred of their travelling fans – showed signs of the quality that enabled them to finish last season in 10th place in the Serie A table.

On 38 minutes, Toni collected a delightful ball over the top in behind the Clarets defence, but - as Heaton came out of his goal - it took the veteran forward too much time to get his shot away. When he eventually did, it was cleared between three Burnley bodies covering their goalkeeper.

Not long afterwards, Heaton produced the best moment of the opening 45 minutes when he somehow denied Gómez Taleb from point-blank range.

The Argentine must have thought he’d given his team the lead after a good ball into the box from the right, only for the Clarets goalkeeper to brilliantly turn his header behind for a corner,

The visitors started the second half as they finished the first and took the lead almost straight after the break.

Lazaros played a one-two with Toni before bravely getting to the ball before the advancing Heaton and heading it into the net from close range.

As they did in the previous pre-season friendly against Celta Vigo, Burnley responded instantly, though, this time within 20 seconds.

Trippier played Ings into the right channel and the striker cleverly pulled the ball back to Taylor, who calmly slotted in the equaliser form 12 yards with the outside of his left foot.

Now it was Hellas’ turn to react quickly and they nearly did when Toni’s effort tested Heaton in the Clarets goal.

On the hour-mark, Taylor saw another strike – this time on his weaker side – parried by Hellas goalkeeper Rafael.

Moments later, Burnley went in front.

Ben Mee provided a superb cross into the box and there, among several Clarets, was Jutkiewicz to head the ball into the net with aplomb.

Shortly afterwards, Burnley’s top-scorer in this pre-season campaign made way for fellow new signing Marvin Sordell, to a standing ovation from the Turf Moor faithful.

Meanwhile, the visitors also refreshed their line-up with a host of substitutions.

On 71 minutes, Ings kept searching for his goal as Rafael did well to deal with the striker’s thunderous strike from distance.

Three minutes later, Ings dribbled his way through to the penalty area, but was once again denied by the Hellas Brazilian shot-stopper.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, Michael Kightly, now a permanent Burnley player, made his return to action following summer knee surgery, as he replaced Arfield.

But it was another substitute who settled the scoring.

After Dean Marney had won a free-kick in a central position about 25 yards away from goal, Wallace curled the ball beautifully over the wall and into the net – completely beyond the reach of the opposition goalkeeper!

And Sordell could have got his goal, too, right at the end as the Clarets warmed up to the start of the new season in style.

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Taylor (Kightly 77), Marney, Jones, Arfield (Wallace 69), Ings, Jutkiewicz (Sordell 63).
Subs: Gilks, Long, Anderson, Lafferty, O’Neill, Reid, Barnes.

Hellas starting XI: Rafael (Gollini 86) – Martić (Rodríguez 63), González, Marques, Agostini (Luna 63) – Obbadi (Ionita 63), Tachtsidis (Donati 63), Halfredsson (Valoti 78) – Gómez Taleb (Nenè 63), Toni (Fares 87), Lazaros (Zampano 63).
Subs: Nicolas, Márquez, Cappelluzzo.

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 4,602

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