This was Burnley’s first Turf Moor defeat by a three-goal margin since Sean Dyche arrived at the club in October 2012.

In fact you have to go back to March 2011 for the last time the Clarets were beaten so handsomely at home. The difference being that that setback came against Millwall, this one was against a side that recently beat Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Dyche’s first task when taking over at Turf Moor was to tighten Burnley up and he achieved that, this is a side that rarely suffers heavy defeats, especially at home.

So while this wasn’t the Christmas present the Turf faithful were expecting, it is at least a very rare occurrence these days.


The bench on Saturday must have been the most attacking Dyche has ever picked at Burnley.

He has spoken of wanting attacking options available to him and he certainly had that. Matt Lowton and Ashley Westwood were the only defenders or midfielders amongst the replacements, with Jon Walters, Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes and Nahki Wells all there to be called on.

It was three of those four that come on, with Walters missing out, and it certainly gives Dyche the option to change the game in a multitude of ways.

The injury to Chris Wood might mean those options are reduced slightly come Boxing Day’s trip to Old Trafford, but Dyche will still have plenty of attacking reinforcements to call on.


Wood looks like being the latest name to be added to the Clarets increasing injury list this term.

Robbie Brady and Tom Heaton are both long-term absentees, with the Irish man out for the rest of the season but Heaton hoping for a return in the New Year.

Dean Marney, Wells and Walters have also spent substantial time on the sidelines in the first half of the season, while Ben Mee, Matt Lowton and Stephen Ward have all suffered recent injuries.

And while James Tarkowski is currently suspended he does also have an injury having had surgery on a broken hand.

Add Wood to that list and it shows some of the problems that Burnley have had to overcome this season.


There was plenty of frustration during last week about the rules that allowed Harry Kane and Dele Alli to line-up at Turf Moor despite tackles in Tottenham’s defeat to Manchester City that most observers felt warranted red cards.

But because Craig Pawson dealt with both incidents during the game at Etihad, booking Kane and Alli, that was the end of it. The referee got it wrong, but that can’t be changed now.

It’s a bizarre rule aimed simply at protecting referees. It’s burying heads in the sands and pretending officials can’t possibly be wrong.

Surely they can be big enough to accept a mistake might have been made? If Pawson saw those challenges back on video would he have booked Kane and Alli, or sent them off? If it’s the latter, which it surely would have been, then why weren’t they punished in that regard retrospectively?


This wasn’t the pre-Christmas result Turf Moor wanted, but it shouldn’t be allowed to take the shine off what an incredible 19 games it has been so far.

Only five of those 19 have been lost, with 32 points collected. That’s enough for Burnley to sit seventh in the Premier League.

It’s a far cry from what most of us were expecting on the eve of that opening day visit to champions Chelsea, but the win at Stamford Bridge has proved to be the start of something special.

Now the challenge is to keep this going between now and May. To fall away and slip down the table would be a disappointment. The Clarets are good enough to maintain a fight for a seventh place finish.