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JBG: It's Another Good Point

Gudmundsson so close to winning it but seventh place and Europe getting nearer

22 April 2018

Johann Berg Gudmundsson rued the one that got away but welcomed another big point as the Clarets edged their way closer to Europe.

Gudmundsson was only inches away from capping an outstanding performance with a late winner at the Britannia Stadium as he went close three times in a dramatic period of injury time.

Stoke survived to hang onto a 1-1 draw following Ashley Barnes’ second-half leveller which does little for their survival hopes.

But the Clarets are now unbeaten in six away games and extended their advantage over eighth-placed Leicester City back to nine points – safe in the knowledge following Chelsea’s FA Cup win over Southampton that finishing seventh in the Premier League will guarantee a Europa League slot next season.

“I had a few good chances and should have scored, to be perfectly honest,” said an honest Gudmundsson who is finishing the season on fire.

“It was a good point. Our first half wasn’t great but in the second half we created some great chances.

“We equalised, obviously, and I think we should have nicked it.

“They are down there and need points, so of course they were going to come out fighting.

“We were sloppy in the first half and gave them too many chances, but I think we fixed it second half and were much stronger.

“We just take each game as it comes but there are only three games left and two at home, so, of course, we try to get the points and try to reach Europe.”

Boss Sean Dyche again picked an unchanged line-up as his side faced a second game in less than 72 hours after a home defeat to Chelsea last Thursday night had ended their five-match winning run.

And they again stepped up to the mark to recover from an early Badou Ndiaye strike to outplay a Stoke side which is now five points from a position of safety with three games to go.

Barnes took his goal tally to six in eight games and 10 for the season when he pounced to score from close-range to end the heroics of Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.

And the in-form striker is looking to keep his run going ahead of next Saturday’s reunion with former club Brighton at Turf Moor when Burnley could – depending on how other results – guarantee a return to Europe for the first time since 1967.

“We knew it was going to be difficult, the situation they find themselves in and we needed to bounce back from Thursday night,” said Barnes, who is now level with Chris Wood in the race to finish as top scorer.

“We knew we would have to dig in deep and fight, but also concentrate on ourselves.

“In the first half we were a bit dull but we stayed in the game and came out a bit brighter and got our rewards.

“Their keeper made some fantastic saves. It was another great save from Tarky’s header from a set-play and Longy was just about to go and nick it off me and I managed to get my thigh there.

“For a striker it’s an amazing feeling to keep hitting the back of the net and long may it continue for the last three games.

“I don’t think we can dream yet. It’s close and hopefully we can pick up a few more points.”

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