Ful­ham re­write record books for wrong rea­sons in Burn­ley loss

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Premier League - By Mike Whal­ley at Turf Moor

This was a Ful­ham de­feat to be­muse even Opta’s finest minds. In 15 years of keep­ing records, the sta­tis­tics provider could find no pre­vi­ous ex­am­ple of a team con­ced­ing two goals against op­po­nents who had failed to man­age a sin­gle shot on tar­get.

The Premier League’s leaki­est de­fence en­dured per­haps their most hap­less af­ter­noon yet of a trau­matic sea­son. Ful­ham scored all three goals – un­for­tu­nately, two went into their own net.

“This pe­riod is very strange,” said Ful­ham man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri. He was re­fer­ring to the three-minute firsthalf spell in which Joe Bryan and De­nis Odoi both scored own goals, al­though he could just as eas­ily have been dis­cussing the club’s en­tire sea­son. A quick re­turn to the Cham­pi­onship is in­evitable un­less Ranieri finds a way to hide his team’s self-de­struct but­ton.

The Ital­ian coach must have found the de­feat par­tic­u­larly galling given the qual­ity of the goal his team opened the scor­ing with in the first two min­utes, cour­tesy of a breath­tak­ing piece of skill from An­dre Schur­rle.

The winger’s ca­reer has suf­fered a few set­backs since he crossed for Mario Gotze to score the win­ner for Ger­many against Ar­gentina in the World Cup fi­nal five years ago, but his class is as ap­par­ent as ever.

He showed that with the way he con­trolled Odoi’s long pass with the out­side of his right boot, let it bounce and then struck an un­stop­pable dip­ping shot in off the bar.

That was the sub­lime. What fol­lowed was largely ridicu­lous. Good­ness knows what Gareth South­gate, the watch­ing Eng­land man­ager, made of it. Burn­ley just about kept their heads when Ful­ham were los­ing theirs, and were re­warded with a third straight Premier League vic­tory, keep­ing them clear of a rel­e­ga­tion zone in which Ful­ham are deeply em­bed­ded.

Sean Dy­che’s side were helped by the fact that Ful­ham de­fended like strangers.

Burn­ley equalised as Jeff Hen­drick’s an­gled shot was di­verted into his own net by Joe Bryan, who had just es­caped a penalty ap­peal for drag­ging over James Tarkowski as they chal­lenged for Dwight McNeil’s cross from the left.

If any­thing, Odoi’s own goal was even more com­i­cal, pan­ick­ing as Hen­drick tried to cut a cross back from the left and send­ing a per­fectly an­gled header into the cor­ner of his own net. A re­play on the big screen was met with a gale of laugh­ter from the home fans.

“That sec­ond goal was a strange one,” Dy­che ad­mit­ted. “Ev­ery­one needs the rub of luck and to­day we had that with the sec­ond goal. Over­all I’m pleased with the win. That’s three straight wins and that’s dif­fi­cult in the Premier League. Two of them have been from one goal down so that’s good for the men­tal­ity, good for the points and good for the ta­ble, of course.”

Un­lucky strike: Chris Wood cel­e­brates af­ter De­nis Odoi put the ball in his own net

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