Mitrovic at the dou­ble as Ful­ham stun Burn­ley

Hen­drick strike can’t stop Cot­tagers from seal­ing sig­nif­i­cant vic­tory

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - Nick Ames at Craven Cot­tage

The thought will be anath­ema to most foot­ball ro­man­tics, but Burn­ley’s hopes for the sea­son may hinge on an honourable de­feat. This par­tic­u­lar re­verse, against a Ful­ham side that could have scored twice as many, did not re­ally fit the cat­e­gory; eyes at Turf Moor will now be on the two-goal deficit they must over­turn against Olympiakos on Thurs­day, though, and on cur­rent ev­i­dence a pro­long­ing of their Thurs­day-to-Sun­day reg­i­men would put them at risk of se­ri­ous trou­ble.

A rel­a­tively kind start to the cam­paign has now brought just one point and, not helped by the kind of de­fend­ing that will set alarm bells ring­ing, they were out­ma­noeu­vred here by op­po­nents whose pass­ing and move­ment, led by the mar­vel­lous Jean Michaël Seri, was sim­ply on a dif­fer­ent level.

Bring re­lief

That fact will bring re­lief to Slav­isa Jokanovic, who will feel con­fi­dent of his team’s prospects after see­ing goals from Seri – with a stun­ning strike – and An­dré Schür­rle sand­wich two head­ers from Alek­san­dar Mitrovic.

Replies from Jeff Hen­drick and James Tarkowski pre­sented com­pli­ca­tions but the home team rarely looked short of an­swers.

In pre­vi­ous games, Seri had shown flick­ers of the play­mak­ing abil­ity that, a year ago, brought him to the verge of a move to Barcelona but a goal of such stu­pen­dous qual­ity felt like his an­nounce­ment to the Premier League. His early strike, ar­rowed across Joe Hart from about 25 yards, was achingly clean and Burn­ley’s leg-weari­ness was about to be tested to the full.

As it hap­pened their re­sponse was only seven min­utes in com­ing. Coun­ter­at­tacks have been an early-sea­son achilles heel for Jokanovic’s side and the same proved true when Aaron Lenno made ground down the right. His cen­tre reached Hen­drick, who ap­peared to have squan­dered the chance by al­low­ing De­nis Odoi to block; the ric­o­chet fell kindly, though, invit­ing an an­gled fin­ish. Ful­ham would go on to prove de­ci­sive vic­tors, how­ever.

Ire­land mid­fielder Jeff Hen­drick cel­e­brates his early equaliser for Burn­ley

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