Tag: Burnley

Blackburn vs Burnley: Time To Burst The Bubble?

Blackburn Rovers play Burnley in the top flight for the first time in over forty years this weekend, but the fixture is being treated as a problem that needs to be dealt with rather than a celebration of a revival in Lancashire football which has taken many people by surprise.

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Match Of The Midweek 2: Burnley 1-0 Manchester United

Thirty-three years is a long time and in that time more than one generation of Burnley supporters has grown up on fading memories that have gone from glorious technicolor, through black & white and into sepia as time has come to pass. This evening, though, the top flight – so unrecognisable from the last time they were there – came back to Turf Moor. Burnley’s supporters, so long in the shadow of their neighbours from Blackburn and Bolton, as well as Manchester and Liverpool, had good cause for concern ahead of tonight’s match. They were outplayed at Stoke City on Saturday, and their opponents this evening were the team that most assumed would be the European champions until they ran into a red and blue striped wall in Rome last May. For all of the talk of inevitability, however, football has a habit of finding a way to confound and amaze, but Manchester United started brightly enough and Evra crossed from the right-hand side only for Michael Owen to slide in but make fail to make contact with the ball. Burnley, however, started to push forward and the stuttering that United had displayed in squeezing past Birmingham City at Old Trafford on Saturday started to show itself again. Michael Paterson was put through but was well blocked by Ben Foster. Burnley tails, however, were up and they took the...

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Match Of The Week 2: Burnley 1-0 Sheffield United

It has been a busy month for Wembley Stadium. So stratospheric were the costs of building it that there is an element of danger that it will lose its sense of mystique before it has the chance to develop one. This month alone it has already played host to three play-off finals, the FA Trophy and FA Vase finals and has the FA Cup final yet to come. Last month it hosted two FA Cup semi-finals. No wonder they’ve been having problems with the pitch. This match is the third to be played on it this weekend. On Saturday, Gillingham beat Shrewsbury Town in the League Two play-off final by a single goal, and yesterday Scunthorpe United booked their place in the Championship with a thrilling 3-2 win against Millwall. In the semi-finals, Sheffield United squeezed through against Preston North End by a single goal, while Burnley cruised through against Reading. Owen Coyle’s Burnley team are probably the form team, but Sheffield United finished the season in third place, four places above their Lancastrian rivals. In the build-up to the match, the Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell has expressed his displeasure at the decision to appoint Mike Dean as the referee for this match after Dean sent off United’s Matthew Kilgallon in a recent Sheffield derby match against Wednesday. “I’ve spoken to the people that matter, who do the...

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In Praise Of… Burnley Football Club

This evening’s Championship play-off semi-final between Reading and Burnley was a battle between old and new. In the blue corner were Reading, snatched from the jaws of obscurity by John Madjeski, who dropped them into a brand new stadium and gave them the means to challenge for a place in the Premier League. In the claret corner, representing “old football”, were Burnley. In many respects, Burnley are the anti-Reading. Stoically northern (it’s almost impossible to even say “Burnley” without lapsing into a cod-Lancastrian accent), they still play at the pleasingly onomatopoeic Turf Moor, which is one of the oldest football grounds in English football and which seems to almost sit overlooking the town as a reminder of glory days gone by. They are a club with a rich and deep history who, should they get promotion into the Premier League through the play-offs, would be taking their place in the top division of English football for the first time since 1976. Founder members of the Football League in 1888, they are one of just three clubs to have spent their entire history playing in that competition (with Preston North End and Notts County – one of the original twelve, Accrington, folded and was replaced while all of the others have managed at least one season in the Premier League). Every defining characteristic of the traditional football club is present...

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The Championship – The Final Day

They’ve been stumbling, lurching and tripping on their shoelaces, but Birmingham City are a Premier League club again. As it turned out, it was a surprisingly untense day. Kevin Fahey’s early goal at The Madejski Stadium meant that events at Selhurst Park, where former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock had a tug of love going on in taking two points off the club that he never tires of telling everyone that he supports. Kevin Phillips added a second Birmingham goal before Reading pulled one back, but by this time everyone knew that the game was up and that Reading, who had briefly threatened to look like a steamroller during the autumn, would join Sheffield United in the play-offs. The race for the final two play-off places was between Preston North End, Burnley and Cardiff City. Cardiff should have been absolutely nailed on for one of them, but they had failed to win in their previous three matches – seeing off Ninian Park in the process with a 3-0 home damp squib against Ipswich Town – and they failed again yesterday, going down 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. This result left a window of opportunity for the two Lancashire clubs, and they both took full advantage of Cardiff’s end of season implosion. Burnley brushed Bristol City aside by four goals to nil in the manner that one would swat at a...

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