Wolves 1 Burnley 1

Burnley were cruelly denied a hard-fought victory as a contentious 95th minute penalty salvaged a point for thankful Wolves.

The Clarets had led through Ashley Barnes’ sensational 13th minute strike – and could easily have been further in front following a dominant opening 45 minutes.

The hosts rallied after the break, but without troubling Nick Pope in the Burnley goal until he was finally beaten by Raul Jiminez’s spot kick, after the Mexican went down after being challenged by Erik Pieters.

It looked a harsh call, but with the Premier League insisting on a “high bar” for VAR decisions, any judgement by on-field referee Craig Pawson was always unlikely to be overruled – and Burnley paid the penalty!

Sean Dyche named an unchanged side for the third successive game, against a Wolves side that defeated Torino in Italy on Thursday in their latest Europa League venture.

And in temperatures more akin to the Mediterranean, the hope was that the hosts would be feeling the heat in their third game in six days.

And Burnley settled quickly into their task, with Barnes firing an early sighter just wide of Rui Patricio’s goal.

And in the 13th minute the in-form striker, who had scored in the two previous league games, found his range with a sensational finish to open the scoring.

Dwight McNeil’s composed, cushioned header guided the ball into Barnes’ path and he unleashed a magnificent low drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

That earned him the accolade of being the first Burnley player to score in the first three successive top-flight games since Frank Casper in 1967.

And the lead was inches away from being doubled just four minutes later.

This time McNeil hung up a cross to the far post and Ben Mee stretched his neck muscles to head the ball back across goal and off the underside of the crossbar, where a touch from a Wolves defender almost took the ball over the line before Patricio pounced.

Burnley continued to control the game and on the half hour, it was Wood’s turn to try his luck from Lowton’s raking pass, with a shot on the turn that fizzed wide of goal.

And the New Zealand striker had a glorious chance seconds later, controlling Nick Pope’s deep ball and cutting inside the last defender, only for Patricio to crucially save with his legs.

That would have been no less than the visitors’ deserved for their dominant first half display.

Burley would have expected a reaction, and Wolves immediately had more spark about them from the restart.

Morgan Gibbs-White fired a half volley just wide in the first moment of concern for Pope.

But Barnes was even closer as play swung to the other end, side-footing inches wide from Westwood’s superb ball into the box.

And Westwood, who was orchestrating all of Burnley’s best work in the midfield engine room, saw his fierce, rising effort fail to test Patricio following a measured counter-attack.

As the half progressed, and the game became stretched, Wolves began to build pressure.

But despite a flurry of substitutions, Pope was still being well protected by a disciplined rearguard.

Raul Jiminez drilled a ball across the six-yard box with nobody on hand to capitalise and Pope pounced on an interception from the impeccable Ben Mee, as another cross rained into the Burnley box.

As the clock ticked agonizingly towards the end of five additional minutes, a scramble resulted in Pieters clipping Jiminez’s heel and VAR sealing the Clarets’ fate.

BURNLEY: Pope, Pieters, Tarkowski, Mee, Lowton, Gudmundsson (Lennon 66), Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Barnes (Rodriguez 78).

Subs: Hart, Taylor, Hendrick, Vydra, Long.

Booked: Tarkowski 59

WOLVES: Patricio, Doherty (Traore 76), Bennett, Neves, Jiminez, Boly, Coady, Gibbs-White (Neto 66), Jota, Jonny, Moutinho (Dendoncker 59).

Subs: Ruddy, Vallejo, Cutrone, Vinagre.

REF: C Pawson

VAR Ref: Peter Bankes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: