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Thread: Dave's take on a 3-3 draw...

  1. #1

    Dave's take on a 3-3 draw...

    Clarets Mad resident feature writer Dave Thornley gets his mojo on to reflect on yesterday’s English Premier League emotional roller coaster ride at Turf Moor.

    If Dante were alive today, there would be much of yesterday’s Premier League match between Burnley and Crystal Palace that he would have recognised and felt moved to write about; there were angels and there were demons; some of it was comedy, some of it was tragedy, but much of it was divine.

    The shroud of misty rain which the hills of East Lancashire served up, and under which the match was played, only added to what became an epic drama of brooding intensity.

    This was a match which took on a life of its own; it was a frantic, frenzied, fascinating encounter of fluctuating fortunes (too much alliteration?) a veritable roller-coaster ride of emotions.

    Football teams often take on the characteristics of their managers; Burnley under Sean Dyche are known for their resilience; their resolve and their rigidity. Crystal Palace have recently come under the charge of Patrick Vieira; a wonderful player in his time; a fluent, imposing, aggressive driving force in the Arsenal midfield.

    It was apparent from watching his team yesterday that he has made considerable progress in his brief tenure in instilling some of those characteristics in the players under his control.

    None more than Christian Benteke; in previous matches against the Clarets, he looked cumbersome and disengaged. Yesterday, however, he seemed to have re-discovered the hunger that made him such a dangerous adversary in his Aston Villa days. He looks to have lost a bit of weight and seems fitter and sharper as a result.

    And as early as the eighth minute he had put his team ahead.
    Maxwel Cornet’s miscued defensive header allowed the ball to be passed to Benteke whose first time shot slipped into the Burnley net via a deflection and the post.

    Palace looked secure and polished in possession and Burnley’s defence groaned and creaked under the pressure. But with virtually their first attack, Charlie Taylor won a corner for the Clarets, which Ashley Westwood plonked neatly onto Ben Mee’s forehead at the far post for an equaliser.

    Soon afterwards, Burnley were ahead; another set piece, another far post header – this time by James Tarkowski – who found Chris Wood unmarked to steer a neat header into the corner of the Palace goal.

    Palace were stung by this. Wilfried Zaha, a wonderfully talented player but one whose fuse is shorter than the opening credits of Mission Impossible, took exception to a challenge and a pushing and shoving episode ensued. Tarkowski assumed the role of peacemaker and ended up joining Zaha in a close-quarter view of referee Hooper’s yellow card.

    Some of Tarkowski’s previous yellow cards have been hard to argue against; but this one was clearly unjust and will cause him to miss next week’s Sunday encounter with Conte’s Tottenham Hotspurs.
    The incident turned the atmosphere at Turf Moor up to eleven, a level at which it remained throughout the remainder of the match.

    Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher is the footy pundits’ current darling de jour and fresh from his England debut, he undoubtedly found Burnley to be a more challenging proposition than San Marino could muster.

    He is undoubtedly a very talented footballer and when his close control and neat turn drew more Burnley defenders into his orbit than was wise, he was able to nudge the ball into the path of an unmarked Benteke, who had the straightforward job of equalising.

    Before half time, Palace were ahead. Working a crossing position from a short corner, the first shot at goal was pushed away by Nick Pope; but none of the Burnley defenders on a crowded goal line felt the need to attack the loose ball and allowed Palace’s Guehi to shovel the ball home.

    The Palace players’ celebrations in front of the Jimmy Mcilroy stand were prolonged and unnecessarily provocative but were somehow in-keeping with the febrile texture that the match had assumed.
    Any thoughts that the half time interval would restore a measure of calm were dispelled soon after the re-start when a deep cross to the far post was met sweetly on the volley by Maxwel Cornet.

    As he shaped to strike the ball, an assumption flashed across my mind that his shot would come to rest in the top tier of the stand. I should have had more faith, because Cornet has proved in his relatively short time at Burnley that he is a cut above such mundanity. Instead, his shot speared into the top of the Palace net for a truly memorable goal.

    As the second half developed, Burnley were the slightly better of two utterly committed teams. Chris Wood chasing down a through ball got himself ahead of his marker, Andersen, causing the Palace defender to haul Wood to the ground as he bore down on goal. Incredibly referee Hooper waved play on, and more incredibly still, VAR endorsed his decision. No red card, not even a free kick.

    VAR officials are also referees and close ranks quicker than government ministers covering up sleaze and corruption. But when a striker’s toe-end strays offside they pounce with the speed and insensitivity of a DWP inspector curtailing a single-parent’s benefits.

    The game never drifted towards a draw, both sets of players continued to slug it out right until the end, when the Burnley substitute Matej Vydra expertly controlled a long ball down field to put himself through on goal but didn’t make sufficiently fulsome contact with his shot and allowed Guaita in the Palace goal to make an excellent save low to his right.

    It was Vydra encapsulated in one moment, brilliant and infuriating in equal measure. If he was just a tad more clinical what a striker, he would be.

    Okay, it was a draw and not a win, and yes, it was another lead conceded. But I would suggest than none of that seemed to matter yesterday, it was a rumbustious, no holds barred, thoroughly enjoyable game of football.

    Fans of other teams are often inclined to taunt Burnley supporters by asking (usually after they’ve been beaten) “How can you watch that every week?” Well, if yesterday was anything to go by, I could, quite happily.

    I slept well last night, but with recurring dreams of a Cornet released Exocet burying its way into the roof of the Eagles net. Dreams are made of such out of this world stuff. (TEC.)

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  2. #2
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    While it may be that Hooper did not see the incident between Wood and Andersen clearly, but the linesman was alongside and had no problems seeing it, he just bottled it.

    As for VAR I think Dave sums it up perfectly, it is being used primarily to spot offside offences but when it comes to the big calls there is clearly a lack of action from there.

    It is time that match referees and VAR Referees should have to perform post match interviews and explain the logic, that is if there is any logic, behind their interpretation of the rules of the game.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage Claret View Post
    While it may be that Hooper did not see the incident between Wood and Andersen clearly, but the linesman was alongside and had no problems seeing it, he just bottled it.

    As for VAR I think Dave sums it up perfectly, it is being used primarily to spot offside offences but when it comes to the big calls there is clearly a lack of action from there.

    It is time that match referees and VAR Referees should have to perform post match interviews and explain the logic, that is if there is any logic, behind their interpretation of the rules of the game.
    It would be much more interesting to have the fans perform post match interviews to explain their logic as to the officials' performances and their knowledge of The Laws of the Game!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supersub6 View Post
    It would be much more interesting to have the fans perform post match interviews to explain their logic as to the officials' performances and their knowledge of The Laws of the Game!
    I'd love to see players interviewed on their knowledge of the Laws, especially the Hand Ball Laws. They do not appear to have a clue, but to be fair they never have had, 'but he gained control of the ball ref' could be heard quite often even when I was playing, back in the 60s and 70s.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinkov View Post
    I'd love to see players interviewed on their knowledge of the Laws, especially the Hand Ball Laws. They do not appear to have a clue, but to be fair they never have had, 'but he gained control of the ball ref' could be heard quite often even when I was playing, back in the 60s and 70s.
    Very true sinkov, however, many of them, like Fernandes at United, Zaha at Palace et al, still keep telling the ref what he should be doing and they get away with it! They didn't when I was reffing! OK it was at a semi-pro level but you just shut them upand tell them to get on with the game.

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