A VAR befuddled Clarets Mad resident feature writer Dave Thornley reflects on yesterday's point gained (or three lost) at the Foxes’ King Power Stadium.
Some drawn games feel like victories, whilst others feel like defeats. It is however hard to determine if Burnley’s 2-2 draw at Leicester’s King Power Stadium fits into either of those categories.
It is true that Burnley led the game twice and were in front as late as the 85th minute, but equally emerging with a point from a stadium where Burnley have an awful record, against a home team who are, despite being currently out of form, one of the better outfits in the Premier League could be considered a worthy result.
The Yin and Yang of life in the Premier League was readily apparent in yesterday afternoon’s game; Leicester’s Jamie Vardy inadvertently put the Clarets ahead when his flicked header diverted Ashley Westwood’s corner into his own goal.
Leicester and Vardy had clearly not learned from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s folly from last season of placing a striker, rather than a defender, on the near post when Westwood is swinging corner kicks in that direction. Vardy atoned himself shortly afterwards by finishing off a precise move to equalise when Nick Pope perhaps could have done better.
Burnley would then re-take the lead when Maxwel Cornet volleyed in Mattej Vydra’s intelligent cross. A spectacular goal from Burnley’s Ivorian winger and one which he almost reprised soon afterwards, but this time he slightly snatched at the opportunity and saw it sail over the bar.
Just as Burnley fans were still basking in the warm glow of Cornet’s goal and looking forward to more of the same from him in the second half, he pulled up with a hamstring injury and was forced to hobble off. It must be earnestly hoped the injury is not too severe. There’s that Yin and Yang again.
The second half then took on a familiar pattern when Burnley have the lead; stoic defending, bodies on the line; blocks, tackles and saves and little in the way of attacking intent.
When this occurs, as it does with infuriating regularity, it seems only a matter of time before the other team equalises. This time the wait was a long one; but an unpunished foul on Johann Berg Gudmundsson allowed Leicester to break and find Vardy in space. Nick Pope rushed from his line, but uncharacteristically mis-judged his timing and his angles, allowing Vardy to take the ball round him and slot home.
Such chances are bread and butter to Vardy, and there are few better strikers in the Premier League at converting them.
Burnley however weren’t quite done; with the last move of the game, some defensive uncertainty in the Foxes penalty area allowed Chris Wood to head in via the post.
For a delerious few seconds it seemed as though the Clarets had snatched a win, until that is, those nit-picking spoil-sports at Stockley Park took out their rulers, drew their lines and decreed Wood to be offside.
So, as alluded to earlier, it is hard to know how to feel about the point Burnley came away from Leicester with. Hard-earned? Yes, encouraging? Certainly, would we have settled for it at three o’clock? Undoubtedly. But at the same time, it had the tinge of an opportunity lost and another winning position surrendered.
With points proving so hard to come by and the severity of the injuries to Cornet and Vydra (who also took a knock) as yet unknown, it is a result which is hard to feel too buoyant about.
A more positive note on which to end; Jay Rodriguez’s four goals in the midweek League Cup win over Rochdale is an impressive personal achievement for the Clarets striker and opens up the prospect of a home tie against Spurs in the next round of a competition which has flung together these two teams a number of times in the past and with memorable outcomes.
I can feel an upward curve in the Clarets fortunes and Maxwel Cornet may well be the catalyst. (TEC.)