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Match Reports

Burnley U23s 0 Liverpool U23s 0

Clarets extend unbeaten run to enhance Premier League Cup hopes

8 February 2019

The Clarets extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League Cup to four games as they moved second in Group C and kept their qualification hopes alive.

A repeat of last November’s draw at Melwood means Liverpool are still yet to win, while Burnley will go into their final group game against West Bromwich Albion later this month with a chance to go through to the last 16.

A win at Curzon Ashton on 25 February will guarantee progress, and should the Baggies lose at home to group leaders Bournemouth next Monday night, a point in their last game could yet take Steve Stone’s men into the knock-out stages.

The Clarets’ prospects could have looked even brighter had they secured the back-to-back group wins they deserved with an impressive performance which saw the best chances come Burnley’s way.

But a clean sheet – with former Liverpool youngster Anthony Glennon and teenager Bobby Thomas rock-solid at the heart of the defence – means the Clarets still haven’t lost since their 7-1 reverse in their opening game in the competition.

After Storm Erik had passed through and allowed the game at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium to go ahead, the Clarets had to weather some early pressure.

But they survived that with Adam Legzdins making one fine save to touch over a header from Liverpool defender Rhys Williams.

And having found their feet on a heavy pitch and repelled the Reds’ early thrust, Burnley went on to dominate the remainder of the first half.

Marley Blair, looking to impress against the club that released him, gave an eye-catching performance with his pace on the left wing creating the Merseysiders plenty of problems.

He was close to giving the Clarets the lead when hooking the ball just wide after Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher had dropped a corner from Josh Benson, who again proved the Clarets’ control in the middle of the pitch.

And just before the break Blair delivered a near-post cross which Dan Agyei flicked wide before Agyei then fired an effort not far over the top as Burnley pushed for the opening their performance merited.

Early in the second half the best chances continued to come the Clarets’ way as Tunde Bayode failed to make the most of an opening at the far post and Blair again burst into the box to force Kelleher to make his first real save of the afternoon to keep out a driven left-foot effort.

Kelleher saved the Reds again with a block with his feet to deny Rob Harker at the end of an excellent run and from the corner that followed the Irish international was called into action once more to keep out a header from Thomas.

That was the Clarets’ last real threat as Liverpool finished strongly.

But Burnley’s back line refused to buckle with Legzdins called into action only once more, making an excellent last-minute save to turn over a header from Juanma Garcia as the Clarets put another big point on the board.

Burnley: Legzdins, Cropper, Thomas, Glennon, Wilson, Bayode, Trialist (Taylor 60), Benson, Blair, Agyei, Harker (Fowler 72). Substitutes: Stone, Clarke, Perkins.

Liverpool: Kelleher, Randall, Garcia, Williams, Johnston, Coyle (Glatzel 76), Duncan, Sharif, McAuley, Lewis. Larouci (Longstaff 76). Substitutes: McKenzie-Lyle, Dixon-Bonner.

Referee: Paul Brown

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