What an experience that was. I feel like it took five years of my life, but hopefully the three points should allow for a less stressful end of the season. We can only hope with Newcastle United.
See below for my players ratings and please allow for a slight bump for each player due to the result!
Dubravka – 8 – It was an excellent performance from the goalkeeper, as he was bombarded aerially and dealt with it well. There were some authoritative punches and a few key saves, stopping a potential Dummett own goal and tipping over from Lowton’s second half strike. His distribution was poor, but we’ll forgive him for that.
Murphy – 8 – I’ve been one of his biggest supporters since pre season. He stepped up his game at Sheffield Wednesday and he now looks every inch a Premier League player, with his second half strike a stunning one to start the comeback. His defensive work needs more coaching and he gave away a few too many fouls in the first half, but he does put a shift in.
Fernandez – 7 – It was a testing game to be brought back in for. He did well. His decision making was good and he provided some leadership in Lascelles’ absence. Won some big headers late on as Burnley piled the pressure on.
Clark – 5.5 – This may seem harsh, as he made some key contributions and he improved as the game progressed. However, in the first half, his defensive headers were poor. He was culpable for the Burnley goal, allowing Wood to beat him way too easily, and was fortunate some of his weak clearances weren’t punished.
Dummett – 6 – Another solid performance from the local boy. He put his head in when he needed and was okay in possession. Poor marking for their goal but recovered well in the 2nd half.
Ritchie – 6 – He wasn’t as eye catching as last weekend. Matt Lowton did get a lot of joy in attack. We should probably move away from this formation as we were very vulnerable down the flanks.
Shelvey – 5 – The game sort of passed him by. There were some good progressive passes to start attacks, including a nice ball into Saint-Maximin for the winner. The fact Burnley were picking up a lot of loose balls in midfield should concern Bruce.
S Longstaff – 7.5 – Put in a combative display, with his energy and commitment shining through as we battled to hang on for all three points. His recall has led to an improvement in passing in the final third. Longstaff is very intelligent in his movement and takes up dangerous positions, but also showed he can put in a shift defensively. Denied a blatant penalty after putting his head in where it hurts.
Almiron – 6 – Bruce spoke about how dangerous he is in the advanced midfield role and he hasn’t been as effective in the deeper role. Worked hard and came close to getting on the scoresheet when Burnley were chasing the game, highlighting his qualities on the counter, but he didn’t get in good areas enough to hurt them.
Joelinton – 5 – It wasn’t as good as last weekend, as he struggled to get into the game. He did show good energy and picked up more loose balls than others on the pitch. May find himself out of the side if we stick with this formation now Wilson and ASM are fit.
Gayle – 5 – Fans clamoured for him to get back into the team, but he missed another big chance in the first half. His movement is good, but he should now drop to the bench.
Saint-Maximin – 9* – This was a reminder of his quality. He is our most important player and his decision making continues to improve. Set up Murphy’s equaliser with some good wing play and scored a stunning solo goal, before coming close to getting another assist in the closing stages as he set up Almiron’s shot blocked on the line.
Wilson – 6 – It was good to see him back on the pitch, but he struggled to get into the game. Wilson did make a great run to create space for the winner and offers far more of a presence up top than Gayle.
Hendrick – N/A – On for the final few minutes as we looked to hang on.