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Match Reports

Swansea U23s 0 Burnley U23s 2

Superb win by Michael Duff's men keeps Premier League Cup hopes alive

22 January 2018

The Clarets’ Under-23s pulled off a magnificent win at Swansea to boost their prospects of reaching the last 16 of the Premier League Cup.

Michael Duff’s youthful side - boosted by the return from Australia under-23 duty of midfielder Aiden O'Neil - won 2-0 in South Wales on Monday afternoon thanks to first-half goals from Dwight McNeil and Ntumba Massanka.

Burnley bounced back from their 4-0 defeat to Newcastle United in the same competition last Thursday to make it three wins from four games in Group D.

As a result, they went level with Newcastle at the top of the group, six points clear of Swansea who have a game in hand.

The top two sides go through to the knock-out stages, with the Clarets still to go to Colchester United and then face Swansea at home in the return in their final group games.

Ntumba Massanka scored three times on loan at Wrexham this season

McNeil, 18, fired the Clarets in front with a superb strike after 20 minutes and Massanka, back in Wales following his recent loan spell with Wrexham, doubled the lead before the break as he converted a McNeil pass.

Duff’s side then stood firm to secure a first win in four games with Conor Mitchell, back in the side following a one-match ban, making a couple of fine saves to repel a Swansea side which plays its football in the top tier of Premier League 2 as a Category One Academy side.

"They’re a really strong side. We knew all about them before we came down and we have seen they’ve recently beaten Chelsea, so it is a good result for us," said Massanka, whose volleyed finish was his first for the under-23s this season.

"It shows we can compete at this level, against a top category-one team.

"It's always great to get a goal and from minute-one today the boys were brilliant.

"We just got in their faces and they didn’t like it. We worked our gameplan really well and it was just an all-round great team performance."

Massanka had gone close to giving Burnley an early lead with a shot which was deflected wide, but Duff's men broke the deadlock when Christian N'Guessan robbed Swans skipper Joe Rodon to set up McNeil for his fifth goal of the season.

Massanka then doubled the lead, which almost became 3-0 as Olatunde Bayode went close just after the break.

Swansea, who included first-team stalwart Leon Britton, looked to hit back with Rodon being denied by Mitchell, who blocked the defender's header, from the hosts' best chance as the Clarets secured only a second clean sheet since beating Colchester 4-0 at the start of November.

Burnley: Mitchell, Birch, Koiki, N’Guessan, Younger, Wilson, Bayode, O’Neil, Massanka (Wood 90+4), McNeil (Nabi 90+4), Jackson. Subs: Stone, Clarke, Chakwana.

Swansea: Thomas, Roberts, Paljk, Fulton,  Harries, Rodon, Britton  King 64), James, Biabi, Marić, Garrick (Cullen 79). Subs not used : Steven Benda, Marco Dulca, Brandon Cooper.

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