Burnley vs Southampton match report: Ashley Barnes makes Dusan Tadic pay for penalty miss with Saints now winless in five

Burnley 1 Southampton 0: Clarets show bottle to down stuttering Saints

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The Independent Football

There were patches of snow on the moorland high behind the Bob Lord Stand and for Southampton's players cold reality is sinking in fast.

After losing to both Manchester clubs and Arsenal in the past fortnight, Ronald Koeman’s team slumped to their fourth successive defeat thanks to Tom Heaton’s penalty save from Dusan Tadic and Ashley Barnes’s deflected winning strike with 17 minutes remaining.

It was a miserable afternoon of cold and sheeting rain in east Lancashire but Burnley ended it with a spring in their step, climbing out of the bottom three on the back of their third victory in six games and giving themselves a significant injection of belief ahead of a daunting Christmas schedule against Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City.

For the Southampton manager Koeman, by contrast, this latest setback was “the same story as the last few games”. He lamented his side’s failure to profit from their best spell of the match when, after a dull first half, they took control on the restart.

 However, Sadio Mané and Graziano Pelle were wasteful with their shooting when set up by their colleagues’ clever passes and in between, after George Boyd had tripped Ryan Bertrand inside the Burnley box, Tadic was foiled by Heaton who threw himself low to his left to keep out the Serbian’s spot-kick.

“From the start of the second half till missing the penalty we played great football and had the best chances,” Koeman added. “It’s all about [not] scoring chances and more mistakes in defence. That is the difference.”

Dusan Tadic rues his saved penalty

The crucial mistake came when Southampton failed to clear their lines from a throw-in deep in their own half. The tireless Danny Ings charged down Nathaniel Clyne’s attempted clearance and the ball span to Barnes whose shot from the left side of the box took a deflection off the heel of Toby Alderweireld and deceived Fraser Forster at the near post.

Saints might have salvaged a point but England right-back Clyne grazed a post and Victor Wanyama missed a free header in stoppage time.

Koeman, though, acknowledged Burnley’s “unbelievable spirit” and the home manager Sean Dyche had no complaints about his battling side riding their luck. “You need a scratch of luck and we got that with the goal,” he said. “I think the penalty was an outstanding save and their lad has then put one over late on. Those are the margins and we’ve been on wrong side sometimes this season.”

Burnley: (4-4-2): Heaton; Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee (Lafferty, 74); Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield; Barnes, Ings.

Southampton: (4-2-3-1): Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand; S Davis, Wanyama; Tadic, Hesketh (Ward-Prowse, 32), Mané (Long, 78); Pelle.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Ings (Burnley)

Match rating: 6/10