Newcastle 3 Burnley 3Burnley defied all the odds to stage a second remarkable fightback in four days at Newcastle.
The Clarets trailed three times and had made three enforced substitutions by the 35th minute of a breathless encounter at St James’ Park.
But after being 2-1 down at the break - after goals from Steven Taylor and Jack Colback, either side of a comical Paul Dummett own goal – Burnley staged a stunning second half display to mirror their display at The Etihad Stadium.
Danny Ings grabbed a second equaliser and after Moussa Sissoko looked to have won it for the managerless Magpies – with their only attempt on goal after the break – George Boyd struck a sensational 86th minute point-saver.
And that was the least Burnley deserved, on a day when they struck the woodwork in incredible four times!
Ironically, given the setbacks that would follow, the Clarets were unchanged for the sixth successive game, with Sam Vokes missing out on a potential return through illness.
And within a minute the Clarets were a whisker away from grabbing the perfect start.
Ings incisive through ball released Ashley Barnes in the left channel and the in-form striker smashed a rising drive off the inside of the post with Jak Alnwick beaten.
At the other end in an explosive start, Tom Heaton clawed away Yoan Gouffran’s long-range effort and Colback’s low effort from a half-cleared corner was deflected behind off a Burnley boot.
And from a 14th minute corner a spell of pressure from the hosts paid off as, from an inswinging corner, Taylor rose highest to plant a header inside the far post.
In the build-up, Jason Shackell picked up an injury that saw the defender make way for Kevin Long, for his Premier League debut.
Remarkably, it was the first time in Sean Dyche’s reign that the skipper had not completed a game!
And as the Clarets reshuffled, they were gifted a way back into the game within five minutes.
There was no pressure on Dummett as Fabricio Coloccini’s looping header from a Heaton clearance dropped out of the sky, but the retreating left back inexplicably cushioned a header over his advancing keeper and into the gaping goal.
However, midway through the half the hosts regained the lead in sensational style as Colback squeezed a 25-yard effort just inside Heaton’s right hand post.
The Clarets were forced into a second change on the half hour mark and the armband changed personnel again to Kieran Trippier, as deputising skipper Dean Marney, suffering a sudden illness, was replaced by Michael Kightly.
Incredibly, 11 minutes before the break Burnley then used all three substitutes, after Long was nudged in the back by Emmanuel Riviere and looked to jar his knee badly on landing.
The now makeshift back four saw Reid immediately go to right back, with Trippier switching sides to the left to allow Ben Mee to drop into centre back.
Things could hardly have gone worse for Dyche’s side, who thankfully got to the break with no more collateral damage.
And after regrouping, the resurgent Clarets nearly got themselves level again within 60 seconds of the restart, as Kightly crossed from the right and Boyd stabbed the ball over at the near post at full stretch.
They came even closer seconds later!
Ings found space on the edge of the box and whipped a right-foot effort off the underside of the bar, before Barnes reacted quickest and out-jumped his marker, only to nod onto the foot of the post.
It was a remarkable let-off for the hosts, who were stunned by the response and forced onto the back foot from the off.
And the woodwork again came to United’s rescue just after the hour, when Mee became the latest to strike the woodwork with a towering header from David Jones’ corner that crashed off the crossbar.
Burnley were completely on top and from Boyd’s magnificent long-range effort in the 65th minute, Alnwick pulled off an equally impressive save to glove the ball over.
And the deserved equaliser finally arrived in the 66th minute, as Kightly swung over a cross from the left following a short throw-in and Ings got the faintest of glances to direct the ball in at the far post.
United, under the cosh for the whole of the second half, regained the initiative against the run of play 12 minutes from time.
Perez raided the left flank and from his cross substitute Adam Armstrong deflected the ball into the path of Sissoko, who drilled the ball home from six yards at the far post.
But there was one more sting in this incredible game and four minutes from time, following Ings’ driving run, the ball broke to Boyd, who lashed home from 18 yards as 3,200 Clarets saw in the New Year in style.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell ((Long 15, (Reid 36)), Keane, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Marney (Kightly 32), Boyd, Barnes, Ings.
Subs: Gilks, Wallace Sordell, Jutkiewicz
Booked: Ings 64, Mee 84, Trippier 84, Boyd 92
NEWCASTLE: Alnwick, Coloccini, Sissoko, Gouffran (Haidara 71), Colback, Perez, Janmatt, Tiote, Taylor (Williamson 61), Riviere (Armstrong 57) Dummett.
Subs: Santon, Anita, Cabella, Woodman
Booked: Janmatt 68, Williamson 90
Ref: M Dean