Burnley vs Newcastle match report: George Boyd on target as Clarets glimpse life outside drop zone

Burnley 1 Newcastle United 1

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Burnley’s return to the Premier League has gone in stages. 30 August: their first point; 8 November: their first win; 3 December: their first morning outside the relegation zone.

It might not last more than 24 hours – Hull City play at Everton this evening – but a few short weeks ago Burnley’s ambitions stretched little further than not being bottom at Christmas.

They finished the match with their backs to the wall, pressed hard by a Newcastle side that required radical surgery at half time before coming to terms with the evening. However, the style Burnley displayed before the interval deserved something and Saturday’s game at strugglers Queen’s Park Rangers now takes on considerable significance. After that comes a real reckoning: Southampton, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City.

When Sunderland had come to Turf Moor in September, Burnley had held them to a goalless draw, their third in succession. Then, it had seemed like progress but, having taken seven points from their three previous matches heading into tonight’s game, their manager, Sean Dyche would have hoped for something more than a stalemate with Newcastle.

Turf Moor was loud and filled with optimism. Newcastle had not come to Turf Moor since 1983 and they travelled down from Tyneside looking vulnerable, without the suspended Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko, and freighted down with injuries.

Dyche was happy despite Cisse's equaliser


They were a different proposition after striker Papiss Demba Cissé had seized on Daryl Janmaat’s low cross to finish a move Burnley should have cleared long before the ball finished in the back of Tom Heaton’s net.

That may have been because of the actions Alan Pardew had taken in the away  dressing room during half time. The Newcastle  manager had made a double substitution, bringing on Steven Taylor for Mike Williamson, and Rémy Cabella for Ayoze Perez.

Pardew looked worried during a difficult first half for his side


It was a dramatic reaction but it was necessary. Before kick-off, Pardew had remarked that Burnley “are a team you cannot help but embrace”. For most of the first half Burnley were throttling, rather than embracing, his side.

With goalkeeper Tim Krul another name on Pardew’s injury list, Rob Elliot’s participation was threatened by the fact that his wife is expecting their baby.

Newcastle’s second-choice keeper will soon have his hands full every day, but here they were employed early on pushing away David Jones’ shot in front of the thousands of supporters who had journeyed from the Tyne.

Boyd wheels away after opening the scoring


Midfielder Jones ought to have scored before the interval and it was a miss Burnley were to regret shortly after the restart. Danny Ings, linked with a move to St James’ Park, was impressive in the first half and it was his knock-down that midfielder George Boyd drove home to put Burnley 1-0 in front in the 34th minute.

Nevertheless, when the teams went off at half time, Dyche would have known they should already have delivered a knockout blow.