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Match Reports

REPORT: Burnley 1 Brighton 2

Brighton hold out to deny brave Burnley double prize

26 July 2020

On the final weekend of July, the Clarets lost at home for the first time since New Year’s Day as their record attempt came up just short and Nick Pope was denied a share of the Golden Glove.

Only a second defeat in 16 league games left Sean Dyche’s men on the same 54-point total they reached when finishing seventh two seasons ago.

This time equalling their highest points’ tally in the Premier League was enough for 10th place as Arsenal went past both Burnley and Sheffield United in the final standings.

But the Clarets could barely have done more to get the extra point they needed having twice gone behind to a Brighton side, whose opening goal from Yves Bissouma denied Pope the shut-out he needed to share the goalkeeper’s prize with Manchester City’s Ederson, who pipped him to the award with a clean sheet against goal-shy Norwich City.

Brighton goal.jpg

The Clarets went into the break level thanks to a 14th league goal of the season from Chris Wood before Aaron Connolly restored Brighton’s lead.

It was then all Burnley, though, as they looked to avoid ending a memorable season on a losing note.

Jay Rodriguez thought he had equalised before a second VAR decision of the afternoon went against him.

And Dyche’s men then bombarded the Brighton goal, taking their fight right to the end before finally running out of time at the end of the longest season on record.

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The Clarets had needed to raise themselves for one last effort at the end of a marathon season which concluded two years to the day since they kicked off their 2018/19 campaign in Europe.

A similar prize had just eluded them this time but there were still targets to play for – the first of which sadly looked to have slipped from view when Brighton took a 20th-minute lead.

The Clarets thought they should have had the chance to go ahead from the penalty spot when Rodriguez was nudged to the ground by Dale Stephens after working his way behind the Brighton defence.

Rodriguez fouled 2.jpg

But instead it was Brighton who struck first to spoil Pope’s chances of securing a 16th clean sheet of the season and a guaranteed share of the Premier League’s golden glove.

It needed something special to beat the England man and Bissouma’s strike into the top corner from almost 25 yards lived up to that billing, although the Clarets were disappointed to give the midfield man a shooting chance.

The goal briefly sucked some of the life from Dyche’s men and Brighton – also chasing the points that would give them a record points total in the Premier League – twice almost added to their advantage before the half-hour was up.

Teenage full-back Tariq Lamptey created both opportunities, but Burnley survived as Neal Maupay headed against the bar and Alexis Mac Allister then shot straight at Pope from the centre of the goal.

And the Clarets responded in typical style to get themselves back on level terms just before the break through ex-Brighton man Wood.

Wood goal PA.jpg

The striker has finished the season with a flourish and found the net for the third successive game as he neatly controlled a lovely floated pass from Erik Pieters before steering a first-time finish past Mat Ryan into the bottom corner.

Parity didn’t last long, though, as Brighton started the second half positively and were rewarded with a goal four minutes in.

The lively Aaron Connolly had just been denied by the legs of Pope with an effort from a tight angle and when he got in again down the inside left channel his finish across the Clarets’ keeper found the same corner as Wood to put the visitors back in front.

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Playing with a freedom afforded them by securing safety and a fourth successive top-flight season a week earlier Brighton certainly weren’t at Turf Moor just for a day out.

But again, the Clarets thought they had levelled when Rodriguez nodded home with almost an hour gone.

His flicked header from an Ashley Westwood corner nestled inside the far post but VAR ruled that Johann Berg Gudmundsson had obstructed Ryan’s movement from an offside position.

VAR No goal scoreboard.jpg

Brighton’s goal was certainly leading a charmed life as the Clarets upped the tempo and gave everything in a bid to avoid a first home defeat in eight games.

It took a superb block from Lewis Dunk to deny Kevin Long a first goal of the season and Adam Webster then kept out another Rodriguez header with a goalline interception underneath the crossbar.

Rodriguez kept hammering away with a couple of long-range strikes as Burnley refused to go down without a fight and Wood was next to go close as he glanced a Dwight McNeil cross just wide.

Substitute Robbie Brady also curled an effort just wide but despite throwing everything at the visitors, there was to be no final twist to get Burnley the point they needed to set modern-day history.

Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Pieters; Gudmundsson (Brady 74), Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Rodriguez (Vydra 78). Substitutes: Peacock-Farrell, Thompson, Dunne, Benson, Goodridge, Glennon, Mumbongo.

Booked: Brownhill, Bardsley, Pieters

Brighton: Ryan; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, Bissouma (Propper 73), Stephens, March (Bernardo 73); Mac Allister (Mooy 73); Maupay (Jahanbakhsh 90), Connolly (Murray 89). Substitutes: Button, Trossard, Gross, Montoya.

Booked: None

Referee: Jon Moss

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