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Match Reports

Burnley 2 Everton 1

Second-half goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood seal stunning figthback

3 March 2018

Sean Dyche’s 250th game in charge of Burnley produced an even more critical statistic as the Clarets produced a storming second-half fightback to secure their first win in 12 league games and tighten their grip on seventh spot in the Premier League.

In 53 previous attempts under Dyche, the Clarets had not managed to come from behind to win a top-flight game.

But history was re-written thanks to goals from Ashley Barnes and substitute Chris Wood, who both scored their sixth goals of the season to cap one of the Clarets’ best performances of a season that is back in top gear.

The start of 2018 has been a testing time for Dyche’s men as their progress to matching the 40 points they managed last season had slowed.

But with Everton breathing down their necks they produced the perfect moment to rediscover the winning formula as they hit back from Cenk Tosun’s first-half goal to earn a first home win in almost three months on an afternoon when the feel-good factor came back in spades.

Everton – hoping to move level on points with the Clarets - had won away from home just once in 13 months but gave themselves the tonic of the game’s opening goal through the unlikely figure of Tosun.

The Turkey international – a £27m January signing – had started just two previous games to lead to suggestions that his stay in England might be a short one.

But Sam Allardyce, who left out Wayne Rooney in one of three changes to his starting line-up, showed his faith in the former Besiktas striker and that was repaid when Tosun powerfully headed home a cross from Theo Walcott which had been flicked on by Seamus Coleman after 20 minutes.

With the Toffees set up to play on the break that was the not only chance they made of an entertaining first half, Theo Walcott missing two excellent opportunities and Tosun forcing Nick Pope into a save low down to his left.

But Burnley saw more of the ball and produced one of their best opening 45 minutes at Turf Moor since the turn of the year – without being able to find a route to goal.

The Clarets worked some decent openings with Aaron Lennon a threat against his former club and Johann Berg Gudmundsson also constantly testing the Everton defence.

Gudmundsson, Jack Cork and Ben Mee all went close but the nearest Burnley came to equalising was a Barnes header from a superb Matt Lowton cross.

The Clarets’ striker thought he had scored but Jordan Pickford made a flying save to keep the ball out.

And the England man then stood between Burnley and a goal at the start of the second half as Dyche sent on Wood in a switch to a 4-4-2 formation.

Pickford made another top-notch save to deny the ever-dangerous Lennon  - enjoying his best game in a claret and bluue shirt - his first Burnley goal and from the corner that followed he then went full stretch to palm away a Mee header.

But 11 minutes after the break the Clarets did find a way to beat him and deservedly make it 1-1.

James Tarkowski, back in the side after a four-match injury absence, launched the move in typically composed style.

But it was a perfectly delivered through-ball from the immense Lowton that paved the way for Barnes to run in behind former Turf Moor team-mate Michael Keane and coolly slot the ball past Pickford with a polished finish.

Suddenly the Clarets were swarming all over the visitors and when Lowton played in Barnes again, it took another fine block from Pickford to keep the scores level.

Allardyce had sent on Rooney to try and stem the flow and the former England captain did bring a measure of control from a deep-lying position.

Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a decent chance to restore Everton’s lead in front of their increasingly disgruntled supporters.

But the Clarets kept going for the win and they were rewarded when Wood headed them in front with 10 minutes to go.

The striker’s absence has been felt, with the New Zealand international not having featured since just before Christmas.

But he has clearly not lost his eye for goal and his desire to get on the end of Gudmundsson’s corner was evident as Wood stood strong to head home from close range and join Barnes back at the top of the goalscoring charts.

Everton captain Ashley Williams was then sent off for throwing an arm into the neck of Barnes as the Burnley striker came back to defend a free-kick.

And the 10 men were not given a sniff of goal as the Clarets this time saw the game out in assured style to record a superb win which gave them a first double over the Toffees since 1960 and which could also be pivotal in what yet may be a race for Europe.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, Lennon, Hendrick (Wood HT), Barnes. Substitutes: Lindegaard, Nkoudou, Marney, Vokes, Bardsley, Long.

Booked: Westwood

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Williams, Keane, Martina, Gueye, Davies (Rooney 59), Walcott, Sigurdsson (Bolasie 84), Calvert-Lewin, Tosun (Niasse 69). Substitutes: Robles, Schneiderlin, Baines, Holgate.

Booked: Calvert-Lewin

Sent off: Williams

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 20,802


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