Hendrick wonder goal makes Burnley feel at home again
The story of this match and clash of contrasting styles was wonderfully depicted in a few first half minutes when Jeff Hendrick’s superlative goal put Burnley ahead after Bournemouth had woven neat passing patterns, but failed to make their superiority count.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder’s coruscating volley was described as a “worldie” – football slang for world class – by his manager, Sean Dyche, and it was easy to appreciate why.
Collecting the ball 25 yards from goal, Burnley’s £10 million record signing unleashed an effort of sublime pre- cision and power. It left Artur Boruc, the visiting goalkeeper, as a mere bystander. Dyche’s only gripe was that Hendrick may not receive the national acclaim his special strike deserves. “It was a fantastic goal,” Dyche said. “That goal is certainly worthy of the Premier League it’s just a shame that we’re not Arsenal because it’d be shown a thousand times instead of maybe four.”
In reality it was a big moment, in a big win for Burnley, with Dyche citing his team’s “fast start” as pivotal to the outcome. Thereafter they enjoyed home comforts once again, to arrest a run of three consecutive defeats, that had sent them drifting down the Premier League table. The Clarets have now collected 16 of their 17 points this term at Turf Moor and have won as many games in east Lancashire as both Manchester clubs combined (at home).
“The key for us was to have a fast start and a good start because they’d just come off the back of a really big result and they’re going along nicely. We knew we’d have to play well but overall I felt we deserved the win,” Dyche said.
After their exploits last week, Eddie Howe’s team were once again protagonists in an enthralling encounter, yet here they could not repeat those heroics despite managing 17 shots to the host’s 16. It had been an unsettling opening for the Cherries, who almost conceded a penalty in the first minute when Harry Arter tangled with Hendrick, but who then appeared to have hit their stride, showcasing a brand of silky smooth passing and movement.
Dan Gosling dragged a shot wide when well placed. Ryan Fraser then bustled past several defenders cutting in from the right flank, with a chance presenting itself to Benik Afobe, after the Scot’s initial effort had deflected into his path. England goalkeeper Tom Heaton – restored to the Burnley side after nursing a calf injury – sprang to his left to deny the Bournemouth forward. Gosling then wastefully drove a shot over the bar after a well-worked corner-kick routine had left him in acres of space. That profligacy was punished clinically by Hendrick and Stephen Ward added a second goal in the 16th minute, after poor defending allowed Ben Mee a free header on goal.
“The most disappointing thing is the second goal, a free header in the box from a corner – it’s criminal for us to defend in that way,” Howe said.
However, his team, with “a mountain to climb”, rallied and were aided by some generous timekeeping from the officials, who allowed play to develop after added time at the end of the first period had expired. Afobe was the beneficiary, clinically dispatching a cut back from his captain, Simon Francis. Dyche vented his fury in the direction of referee Martin Atkinson as the teams marched off at the interval.
After last week you would have thought that Bournemouth would have learnt their lesson. Or perhaps they are galvanised by the thrill of the chase? Either way they found themselves in exactly the same predicament when George Boyd struck a wonderful third goal for Burnley in the 75th minute.
Charlie Daniels again reduced the arrears with a thunderbolt, again in added time, but this week the fightback ended there. “We don’t want to become a team that plays well when we’re chasing the game. We want to be the team that’s dominating the game from start to finish and leading games and seeing them out in a professional way,” Howe said.
Weaving his magic: Jeff Hendrick had everyone singing his praises after a classy opening goal