Burnley made it 3 wins out of 3 today after they hit five past a struggling Nottingham Forest.
The Clarets have hit form at exactly the right time. We are now at the business end of the season and the Clarets recent form has thrust then into the top 6 and has given the fans every reason to believe they will be in those playoff places come the end of the season.
Today’s game started slowly, and saw both teams hitting the long ball up field in hope rather than expectation. Burnley tried to get the ball down and pass it, but too many stray passes and a packed midfield somewhat prevented that.
The Clarets were dealt a blow around the 15 minute mark when in-form striker Steven Thompson was left on the deck in pain after stretching for the ball. After a short delay Thompson was unfortunately stretchered off and local Youngster Jay Rodriguez replaced him.
Soon after that the Clarets were given a free kick by the touchline. Robbie Blake looked to swing in the free kick, but the bail sailed
over the keeper and into the net. A freak goal form the tricky Burnley
man, whether he meant it or not is debatable.
The first half died down, and no team created any clear chances with neither goalkeeper having to make a massive contribution, however in the 38th Robbie Blake was to become influential, again. He picked up the ball just outside the Forest area and ran at the defenders, he twisted, and turned, and left the defenders on their backsides. He got to the by-line and put the ball across the face of goal for Wade Elliot to tap home.
In the half time break Forest gaffer little Billy threw on a new striker, which sensed that Forest were going to attack in the second half to try and rescue the game. No such attacks came and in the 51st minute the Clarets were 3-0 up thanks to Clarke Carlisle’s 2nd goal in as many games following Paterson ‘s delightful lob towards the back post.
Four minutes later, the game was put to bed thanks to a wonder strike from Jay Rodriguez. The youngster picked up the ball on the edge of the area, a couple of step overs later he cut inside and unleashed a powerful strike past the helpless goalkeeper which nestled in the side netting, putting Jay in with a massive shout for goal of the season.
The goals annoyingly dried up for a few minutes and the Clarets didn’t add to the score line until the 72nd minute when substitute Joey Gudjonnson found the net. After a run from Eagles the ball was left bobbing around the Forest defence who failed to clear, Eagles was there again to take full advantage and prod the ball to Joey who was waiting on the edge. Joey made no mistake and gave the fans the pleasure of witnessing the third great strike of the game.
Burnley took their foot off the gas after that and it wasn’t until now that Forest started to play football. They had a fantastic spell of possession and pressed the Burnley defence but still manage to create nothing worth writing about.
That was until they were awarded a free kick in the 79th minute. McGuan had the honours of taking it, and he almost created an exact carbon copy of Blake’s first half strike, but luckily Jensen was more alert than his opposite number and he managed to tip the ball over the bar.
Burnley nearly made it six late on when Alexander caught the defence napping with a quick free kick. He played in Paterson who was now in behind the defence, but his turn was too slow and his accuracy wasn’t up to scratch and he fired wide extending his goalless drought.
Burnley sent out a statement to the rest of the Championship with this result- we ARE serious promotion contenders.
The Clarets have now secured nine points out of nine available and these points will be valuable when you consider there next 3 games are all away from home. If Burnley are still in the mix after those three games then who would bet against them to finish in the top 6 come May?
Burnley 5-0 Nottingham Forest