THIS wasn’t the memorable night at Turf Moor we had been dreaming off, but Burnley went out of Europe with all guns blazing.

Think the Europa League doesn’t matter to these players and to this club? Think again. This was a performance of remarkable courage and intensity that deserved so much more than it got.

Burnley’s European run won’t extend to the group stages, but nobody who was there on Thursday night will quite know how.

From the first minute the Clarets poured forward. Chance after chance came and went, but still Turf Moor roared their side on.

Burnley had waited 51 years for a return to Europe. This had already been some adventure, but nobody was willing to give up on it just yet.

There was a burning sense of injustice amongst players and supporters about what had happened in Athens a week ago, with controversial refereeing decisions and the perceived intimidation of officials contributing to a 3-1 first leg defeat.

They should have put that right in the return leg. A lack of a finishing touch is all that was missing to a fine performance.

‘We can be heroes, just for one day’ had rung out at Turf Moor pre-match, as it always does. In the end there weren’t 11 Burnley heroes, but there were certainly 11 Burnley warriors. They went down on their shields.

Daniel Podence put a dagger to the hearts seven minutes from time, put still there was time for the Clarets to claw something back, Matej Vydra stabbing home from close range.

The day before this game Sean Dyche had called for a quick tempo from the very start from his side. They took those instructions to heart from the first whistle, Phil Bardsley winning a corner within seconds of the start.

Ashley Westwood and Jeff Hendrick were busy in midfield, and while there were a few nervy moments, usually of Burnley’s own doing, they began to force the visitors back.

Dwight McNeil was key to that, recovering from losing possession on halfway in the early stages to present Podence with a chance he put wide to become a key creative force. From one of his corners Sam Vokes hooked a shot over, before McNeil sent in a teasing left-wing cross which tempted Andreas Gianniotis to come for the ball. When he didn’t get there Vokes should have scored, instead he headed wide.

The chances were coming though. From a McNeil free-kick the lively Hendrick had a volley blocked at close range, before the teenager’s corner was flicked on by Kevin Long and headed over by Vokes from six yards. Just before the break Vokes found space on the left and squared for Ashley Barnes, who stabbed a shot inches wide.

The danger for the Clarets was being caught on the break. Podence slashed into the side-netting after his initial shot was blocked by Bardsley, before the Portuguese winger fired over from 12 yards in the dying stages of the first half.

The Burnley onslaught resumed early in the second period. Westwood fired a pass into Barnes’ feet, he laid it off to Vokes who curled a 20-yarder beyond Gianniotis but watched on agonisingly as the ball rebounded off the post.

McNeil was next to go close, driving forward and unleashing a 25-yard drive which Gianniotis had to tip over.

Burnley’s attacking approach certainly found favour with Turf Moor. Long’s free-kick found Hendrick in space, he squared to Barnes but the striker couldn’t force the ball home.

It was becoming one of those nights. Barnes found Aaron Lennon in space on the right side of the area, but instead of shooting he looked to square and Olympiakos cleared.

Vydra came on for his debut, but missed a golden chance when he side-footed over from 12 yards after Gianniotis had been forced to claw away a defensive header under pressure from fellow substitute Chris Wood.

The dangerous Podence effectively killed the tie, cutting inside Long to fire into the roof of the net from six yards, before Vydra poked home when Long’s header was blocked on the line.

Burnley: Tom Heaton 7, Phil Bardsley 6, Kevin Long 6, Ben Mee 7, Charlie Taylor 7, Aaron Lennon 7 (Jack Cork 75), Ashley Westwood 8, Jeff Hendrick 8, Dwight McNeil 8 (Chris Wood 75), Ashley Barnes 7 (Matej Vydra 65), Sam Vokes 6

Subs not used: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Stephen Ward

Olympiakos: Andreas Gianniotis, Omar Elabdellaoui, Roderick Miranda, Jagoš Vuković, Kostas Tsimikas, Mady Camara, Andreas Bouchalakis, Daniel Podence (Pape Abou Cisse 90), Kostas Fortounis (Vasilis Torosidis 88), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Miguel Ángel Guerrero (Ahmed Hassan 72)

Subs not used: Lefteris Choutesiotis, Bibras Natcho, Karim Ansarifard, Giannis Fetfatzidis