3 things we learned as Burnley beat Wolves
Burnley - Wolves went just about as expected: the visitors had plenty of the ball but Burnley punished them with two finishes after high balls into the box.
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Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scored in either half, while Fabio Silva pulled a late goal back for Wolves to make it interesting.
The win pushed Burnley out of the bottom three, while Wolves continue to struggle without Raul Jimenez.
Three things we learned
1. Burnley back to their brutal best: This was vintage Burnley. They had less of the ball but didn’t look any less dangerous than Wolves, as Wood and Barnes finished their chances and were a real threat whenever the Clarets played long. They have kept three clean sheets in their last four games and have a solid foundation to build from. Sean Dyche’s side are now four games unbeaten and have lifted themselves out of the relegation zone, as they’ve gone back to doing what they do best.
2. Owen Otasowie makes impact as false nine: The USMNT teenager made his first Premier League start and was played up top in a false nine. Usually a midfielder or defender, Otasowie put himself about and held the ball up well. He was booked and was fouled himself on multiple occasions as the towering American certainly let Burnley’s defenders feel his presence, and that isn’t easy against the PL’s most-bruising team. Otasowie, 19, will be getting plenty more minutes for Wolves as he followed up his impressive cameo versus Chelsea with an all-action display at Burnley.
3. Wolves miss Jimenez badly: As well as Otasowie did as an emergency striker, Wolves are really missing Raul Jimenez as he will be out long-term after suffering a fractured skull. Wolves have won one of their last five games since Jimenez suffered that horrendous injury, and their entire team just doesn’t feel the same. Podence and Neto were buzzing around like usual, but there was a lack of a focal point up top and we are now realizing just how important Jimenez was to this slick Wolves machine. It seems likely that Nuno Espirito Santo will have to bring in a player to cover for Jimenez in the January window. If he doesn’t, then Wolves can kiss goodbye to their European dreams.
Man of the Match: Ashley Barnes - Went close on multiple occasions and ended his long goal-drought as he continues to battled back from injury. He set the tone for this Burnley win.
Wolves made a fine start as USMNT teenager Otasowie started really well with driving runs from midfield and he won a free kick in a dangerous area. Burnley got going before half time as Dwight McNeil whipped in a great ball which Chris Wood directed wide.
Podence then wriggled free and whipped in a dangerous cross which almost found Otasowie in the six-yard box, then Pedro Neto ran forward but his shot was saved by Nick Pope.
A big chance arrived for Burnley as a long ball over the top set Ashley Barnes free, but Rui Patricio saved down low with his feet. Barnes did finish the next chance, though, as Charlie Taylor’s clipped cross found him at the back post and he nodded home.
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In the second half, Josh Brownhill clipped the top of the crossbar with a curling effort.
Burnley doubled their lead form a free kick as Ben Mee nodded the ball into the six-yard box and it dropped to Wood who smashed home.
Wolves brought on Adama Traore and Fabio Silva to try and get back in the game, and Traore’s cross was nodded just over by Neto but they left themselves wide-open at the other end.
Patricio denied Wood and Barnes had a shot blocked, but at the other end Podence went close and then Burnley substitute Josh Benson gave away a penalty kick with his first act as Silva smashed home his first Premier League goal and became Wolves’ youngest-ever PL goalscorer.
In stoppage time Romain Saiss fired an effort wide when he should have pulled the ball back, as Burnley held on for a big win.