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O’Neil frustrated with Wolves owners: We needed help in January

Burnley’s unlikely survival bid stalled as they were held 1-1 by Wolves which leaves them six points from safety with games running out.

After a run of three games unbeaten, hope has emerged of Burnley being able to preserve their Premier League status and things looked even better when Jacob Bruun Larsen fired them in front on 37 minutes.

But Burnley’s weaknesses at defending set-pieces came back to bite them as Rayan Ait-Nouri rose to head home a Pablo Sarabia free-kick on the stroke of half-time. It was their 16th goal conceded from a set-piece this season – only Nottingham Forest have shipped more.

With Forest winning against Fulham, the gap between them and Burnley increased to six points.

Player ratings

Burnley: Muric (7), Taylor (6), O’Shea (6), Esteve (6), Vitinho (7), Cullen (6), Berge (7), Bruun Larsen (7), Odobert (7), Fofana (6), Foster (7)

Subs used: Benson (6), Rodriguez (6)

Wolves: Sa (8), Semedo (7), Kilman (7), Toti (6), H.Bueno (6), Doherty (6), Gomes (7), Lemima (7), Sarabia (7), Ait-Nouri (7), Chiwome (6)

Subs used: Cunha (6), S.Bueno (6), Traore (6)

Player of the match: Jose Sa

A missed opportunity for Burnley in great escape mission…

Burnley came out with a confident swagger but lacked a cutting edge. As Burnley fans in one block of the Jimmy McIlroy stand behind Aro Muric’s goal were being evacuated due to a strip of metal left hanging from the roof, Joao Gomes headed just wide of the target and towards the newly-emptied seats.

Lyle Foster then slipped the ball for Vitinho to run at goal but his shot was too close to Jose Sa.

Burnley did beat Sa with their next attack. The goalkeeper could only watch as Bruun Larsen, on loan from Hoffenheim, met Dara O’Shea’s ball from deep on the volley to sweep it into the far corner.

The momentum was with the home side but they couldn’t get into half-time with the lead. A very soft free-kick was awarded against O’Shea but Burnley then failed to properly defend the set-piece as Sarabia’s cross was headed in by Ait-Nouri, who has just about stayed onside.

Ait-Nouri should have scored a second early in the second half but Arijanet Muric stood firm to block the Algerian’s strike.

The goalkeepers were becoming the busiest players on the pitch as Sa had to be very alert to swat away another Bruun Larsen effort following some superb wing play by Vitinho.

Matheus Cunha came off the bench to make his first Wolves appearance since mid-February following a hamstring injury. But you sensed Gary O’Neil was happy with his side in the final stages, with Wolves defending deep and resolutely.

And, Burnley ran out ideas. They are also running out of games.

Opta stats: Ait-Nouri’s goal rush

  • Burnley are now unbeaten in four Premier League games (W1 D3), after losing four in a row before that. They have picked up six points in their last four fixtures, as many as they accrued in the 12 before that.
  • Burnley have enjoyed just two wins in their last 18 Premier League home games (D3 L13), keeping just one clean sheet in that run.
  • Aït-Nouri has netted two goals in his last three Premier League appearances for Wolves, as many as he managed in his previous 87 games in the competition.

What’s next?

Burnley are back in action on Saturday, taking on Everton in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm.

Wolves also play on Saturday, hosting West Ham in the Premier League; kick-off 3pm.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source