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Match Reports

REPORT: Everton 2 Burnley 0

Early goals and failed penalty shout prove costly as Clarets' bid falls short

3 May 2019

The Clarets were unable to avenge their Boxing Day defeat to Everton, but this time didn’t go down without a fight as they wound up their campaign on the road.

The 5-1 loss to the Toffees at Turf Moor proved the turning point in Burnley’s season as they dusted themselves down to launch an unbeaten eight-game run which propelled them out of the bottom three and towards Premier League safety.

The outcome at Goodison Park was ultimately the same as Everton made it four successive home wins to keep alive their hopes of finishing seventh and potentially following the Clarets’ route into the Europa League.

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But despite conceding two early goals, there was to be no collapse this time as Sean Dyche’s men rallied and dominated most of the second half.

Critically, though, they were denied a blatant-looking penalty for a shove on substitute Matej Vydra and ultimately a slow start cost them dearly as the Merseysiders hung on to sign off in front of their own fans on a high.

With top-flight status already assured and a big effort behind them, there were fresh legs introduced in two changes to the Clarets’ starting line-up as Dyche swapped both his wide men.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson replaced Jeff Hendrick for his first start since mid-March, while Dwight McNeil was given a breather following his monumental contribution since coming into the side following the Christmas set-back against Marco Silva's men.

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That meant a first league start since mid-December for Robbie Brady, but for the first 20 minutes the wingers spent most of their time on the retreat as Everton made a flying start capped by the two goals which put them in control.

The first, claimed by Richarlison, took a deflection off Ben Mee as the Brazilian’s shot was diverted just inside the post by the Clarets’ defender, who continued his storming end to the campaign with another sublime performance.

And the second then came from a swerving strike through a crowd of players from outside the box which Tom Heaton could only parry for Everton captain Seamus Coleman to follow up and nod home.

The Clarets had been three down after 22 minutes of the reverse meeting and with Everton in rampant home form there was a fear that more could follow here before the break.

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But, to their credit, Burnley steadied the ship and while reducing the threat at one end had a chance to reduce the arrears at the other.

Ashley Westwood, who did his best to cajole the visitors back into the game, lifted a free-kick into the penalty area which Brady met with a header he guided just the wrong side of the post.

There still needed to be more from the Clarets, though, and Gudmundsson - seizing his chance in impressive style - almost laid on another opportunity for Brady with a low cross cut out by Morgan Schneiderlin in an upbeat start to the second half.

With the momentum going increasingly the Clarets’ way, Jack Cork then headed into the path of Chris Wood, whose shot lacked the venom to trouble England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

And when Brady swung in a magnificent cross, Ashley Barnes and then Gudmundsson were just unable to get a decisive touch when a goal would have had the visitors right back in the hunt.

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Dyche sent on McNeil and Vydra to try and maintain the initiative and within minutes Vydra should have been given a penalty.

His flick over Michael Keane had the former Clarets’ defender in trouble and as Vydra chased the ball into the box, Keane pushed him to the ground in front of a watching assistant referee.

With Everton not conceding in their previous four home games they weren’t likely to offer up many more chances.

And the failure to add to the only two penalties the Clarets have been awarded since getting a spot-kick at Everton in April, 2017 seemed to drain some of the energy and belief from the Clarets.

Everton almost added a third when substitute Ademola Lookman skimmed the bar late on, but with Mee and defensive ally James Tarkowski invariably in the right place at the right time to alleviate the danger it was only the hosts' opening salvo that proved the difference.

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Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Richarlison (Walcott 49), Sigurdsson (Jagielka 90), Bernard (Lookman 73); Calvert-Lewin. Substitutes: Stekelenburg, Baines, Tosun, Davies.

Booked: None

Burnley: Heaton; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson (McNeil 68), Westwood, Cork, Brady (Hendrick 80); Barnes (Vydra 72), Wood. Substitutes: Hart, Gibson, Crouch, Long.

Booked: Westwood, Tarkowski.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 39,303

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