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Barnes: We Fight To The End

Clarets striker bounces back with penalty leveller after first-half controversy

2 February 2019

Ashley Barnes felt the Clarets’ storming Turf Moor finish gained them a fitting reward as they finally ended their mammoth wait for a Premier League penalty.

Barnes was denied what looked like a clear-cut spot-kick in the first half when he was upended by Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy before Burnley went behind to a 55th-minute Nathan Redmond strike.

But into the final minute of stoppage time in the 68th game since Sean Dyche’s side were last awarded a penalty in league football, referee Anthony Taylor detected a handball from Saints defender Jack Stephens and pointed to the spot.

Barnes kept his cool to stroke home his sixth goal of the season to secure a 1-1 draw and the point which keeps the Clarets two above the bottom three and level on points with a Southampton side who have lost just once away from home since Ralph Hasenhuttl took over as manager in early December.

And it offered some compensation for Taylor’s earlier decision, which denied the Clarets the chance to go in front and cost Barnes a yellow card for what was deemed to be diving.

“In my opinion it was a penalty. I took a touch. I didn’t even realise the goalie was out that far and as I took a touch, he brought me down,” said Barnes, who has now struck three times during the Clarets’ six-match unbeaten league run.

“I was disappointed it wasn’t given. The referee, in his eyes, and the linesman said I dived.

“So be it and you have to keep going. It was very frustrating, but you have to keep your heads and keep going as a team and luckily enough we got the reward at the end.

“Everyone knows, and the fans know, we don’t stop until the end and we give it our all and fight until the end and that’s what we’ve done today.”

Barnes led the fightback and on another day could have had a hat-trick, being denied by both McCarthy and the woodwork as the Clarets piled on the pressure late on.

And he was aided by Peter Crouch, who made a major impact after coming off the bench on his Burnley debut following a deadline-day signing from Stoke City.

“The big man was brilliant. You could see when he came on how many chances we got and he’s won the penalty for us,” added Barnes.

“He attracts a lot of the defenders away which gives you more space to get a few more chances and hopefully we can all get some game time.

“I had enough chances to put one away, but I had to keep going, which is what we do as strikers, and luckily enough I got my rewards at the end with the goal.

“I thought we thoroughly deserved the three points. Unfortunately, we didn’t get them, but we got a point at the end of the day, so we’ll go away happy.

“We’ve still got a long way to go until the end of the season and we need to keep picking up as many points as possible.”


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