Another Burnley game just another three points

l Clarets fans

According to my calculations, there are only three contingencies which could now prevent BurnleyÂ’s participation in next seasonÂ’s Europa League: a complete and utter collapse in form, Southampton winning the FA Cup or the outbreak of a massive global conflict

I will leave it to you dear reader, to decide which of these is most likely

YesterdayÂ’s game was far from a straightforward three points; it was hard earned against a Leicester team who are of a very similar standard to Burnley and who threw their all into their attempts to find a route back into the game after falling behind to two early goals from Chris Wood and Kevin Long

Burnley's Chris Wood seems to have redefined the skill of the one-two off the goalkeeper

As with his goal against West Bromwich Albion, he seized on a rebound off Foxes' goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and drilled his shot into the bottom corner of the net

The Claret’s opener was mainly about a “Kevin DeBruyne-esque” reverse pass from Ashley Barnes which created the opening for Wood and which would not have looked out of place on a Manchester City or Barcelona highlights video

BurnleyÂ’s second was a more routine affair, Kevin Long charging in and leaping to apply his forehead to Johann Berg GudmundsenÂ’s swinging far-post corner

Aside from the actual goal, it was an additional delight that LongÂ’s years of faithful and often unacknowledged service to the club be rewarded by this moment in the spotlight

The spotlight was where Nick Pope was thrust when Tom Heaton injured his shoulder early in the season

Since then Pope has performed to a level way beyond that which could have been reasonably expected

If there was any lingering scintilla of doubt in Gareth SouthgateÂ’s mind that Pope has been consistently the best of the goalkeepers at his disposal for the World Cup, then his assured display at repelling the waves of Leicester pressure yesterday must surely have banished them

The saves he made from Mahrez and Vardy were discharged in his usual unfussy manner, but were in fact very difficult and not for the first time Nick Pope was instrumental in preserving BurnleyÂ’s lead

He was eventually undone by a typical Vardy goal, in which the England striker peeled away from James Tarkowski and shot past Pope from an angle

It was a well taken goal, and probably a proportionate reward for LeicesterÂ’s efforts

But the victory and the points belonged to Burnley, their fifth in succession and an emphatic response to those who thought that BurnleyÂ’s season would fade into mid-table obscurity in those dark winter days when the Clarets went eleven games without a win

Burnley need to win only two of their remaining five games to make seventh place a mathematical certainty

The Passport Office in Liverpool had better prepare themselves for a huge spike in applications from the Burnley area

This article was written by uber Burnley fan Dave Thornley who contributes regularly on behalf of Clarets Mad (TEC).

Source : DSG