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Season Review Part IV: Record Breakers

Longest unbeaten Premier League run keeps Clarets climbing

23 May 2019

Following their FA Cup exit, the Clarets were back in Manchester for the second time in four days at the end of January and this time left with a big result.

It could have been even better as a 2-0 lead with just minutes to go put Sean Dyche’s men within touching distance of becoming the first Burnley team to win at Old Trafford since 1962.

A Paul Pogba penalty and an injury-time strike from the unlikely figure of Victor Lindelof ruined that dream.

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But the Clarets became the first to deny Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a victory since he became Manchester United’s acting boss and prevented the former United striker from becoming the first manager to start a Premier League reign with seven successive wins.

More importantly, goals from the in-form strike duo Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood in an action-packed second half backed up a superb team performance to extend the Clarets’ unbeaten run to five games with a third successive draw at the home of the record 20-time league champions.

And it wasn’t over yet, with an injury-time penalty from Ashley Barnes earning another vital point at home to Southampton from a 1-1 draw laced with controversy.

Barnes was floored by Saints’ goalkeeper Alex McCarthy in the first half but didn’t get a spot-kick, only a yellow card for over-doing his protestations.

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And it took the introduction of new signing Peter Crouch from the bench to help ensure justice was done as his header was handled by Jack Stephens to earn the Clarets a first penalty in 68 Premier League games – Barnes belatedly accepting the chance to convert it.

The Clarets were still just one place above the bottom three – and momentarily dropped back into it before a tea-time kick-off at Brighton – but successive wins either side of February’s international break then put Dyche’s men within touching distance of safety as they again delivered the goods when it mattered.

Despite their remarkable run, the pressure was on when Cardiff City won at Southampton to put Burnley back in the relegation zone ahead of kick-off at the Amex Stadium.

But the response could not have been better as a 3-1 win made it a club record seven games without defeat in the Premier League.

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The former Brighton pair of Wood and Barnes again did the damage as they shared all three goals in the driving rain to put the skids under the Seagulls and get Burnley moving in the right direction once more.

If that was good, what was to follow was even better as Dyche’s men returned to Turf Moor to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 and all but knock the Londoners out of what would become a two-horse title race.

Wood made it four in four as he headed the Clarets in front as they looked to stay unbeaten since the turn of the year.

And even though returning England captain Harry Kane equalised for the eventual Champions League finalists, Burnley would not be denied a famous win as Barnes stroked home a late winner to score for the fourth Premier League game in a row and equal Sam Vokes’ club record run.

The result lifted the Clarets up to 14th – their highest position since October.

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And while a run of four successive defeats then stalled the momentum, the points were on the board to crank up the pressure on those scrambling to stay alive at the bottom of the table.

The Clarets’ 100th Premier League goal at Turf Moor – scored by Dwight McNeil following his first call-up to the England international set-up with the Under-20s – looked as though it had stopped the rot against Leicester City in mid-March.

But Wes Morgan’s last-minute winner ensured the wait for another win would go on as the Clarets headed into the final international break of the campaign still with work to do.


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