Vokes strikes again but Burnley continue away struggles at Cherries
Burnley fell to their 14th away Premier League defeat of the season, with Josh King's late goal earning Bournemouth a 2-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. The Clarets deserved little from a game in which they were second best for the most part, with Sam Vokes' headed equaliser putting them on level terms only briefly before King's late intervention.
Another loss on the road for Sean Dyche's team means they end the campaign with just seven points away from Turf Moor all season, a record that will need to be improved next season. That is assuming Burnley survive, with their place in next year's Premier League not quite assured, although only an extraordinary series of results involving Hull City could consign them to relegation.
Once again the Clarets showed off their battling spirit to stay in the game against more-composed opponents. By levelling the scores with a well-made goal they gave themselves a chance of taking what would have been an undeserved draw.
The underpowered defence, with regular centre-backs Ben Mee and Michael Keane still missing through injury, held up reasonably well again but has now conceded four goals in its two matches.
Burnley's away form continues to be baffling considering how strong they have been at Turf Moor all season and it is incredible that they are almost certainly going to survive with just one away victory. A safety-first approach continues to undermine the quality that is available in the Clarets squad and there is a sneaking suspicion that more could be squeezed out of the group.
It took until 77 minutes had been played for Dyche's team to win their first corner of the match, which was a sign of how little impact they made on the front foot.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- With Keane and Mee ruled out, Dyche named an unchanged team from last weekend's 2-2 draw at West Brom. It is becoming increasingly odd that all of his most creative players -- Robbie Brady, Steven Defour and Johann Gudmundsson -- are on the bench rather than in his side.
Dyche did at least make attacking changes earlier than usual, with Andre Gray thrown on at half-time and Brady given plenty of time to make an impact, but those two players should be in the team. Tactically, the Clarets are extremely tough to watch away from home due to Dyche's overly cautious game plans.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Tom Heaton, 6 -- Slow to react for both goals, although that is nitpicking given how consistent the captain has been for the whole season.
DF Matt Lowton, 5 -- Given a torrid time by former Claret Marc Pugh and was out of position for King's later winner. His worst performance in months.
DF Kevin Long, 6 -- Made an important interception in the opening minutes but on the whole looked like a player with very little Premier League experience.
DF James Tarkowski, 6 -- Found it hard to get to grips with King, who has been one of the league's most in-form strikers in recent weeks.
DF Stephen Ward, 5 -- Lewis Cook's long ball caught him out in the build-up to Junior Stanislas' opening goal and the left-back was unusually sloppy on the ball.
MF George Boyd, 5 -- Barely involved after missing a decent chance in the first minute, he was substituted early in the second half for Brady after giving a tired-looking performance.
MF Ashley Westwood, 6 -- Kept the Clarets ticking over on the rare occasions they had possession for any spell, with the Cherries dominating the ball for much of the game.
MF Jeff Hendrick, 5 -- Quiet in midfield and struggled to impose himself on the match, the Irishman is ending the season in a below-par run of form.
MF Scott Arfield, 6 -- Went close twice but arguably should have made Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc work on both occasions.
FW Sam Vokes, 7 -- Followed up last week's brace at home to West Brom with a superb glancing header to move clear at the top of the club's goalscoring charts with his 11th strike in all competitions.
FW Ashley Barnes, 5 -- Withdrawn at half-time after making little impact on the match.
FW Andre Gray, 5 -- Offered no improvement on Barnes but was rarely given any decent service.
MF Robbie Brady, 5 -- Booked for diving and found it tough to make a positive impression.
MF, Johann Gudmundsson, NR -- Created the Clarets goal by cutting in off the right flank and whipping a terrific ball into the box for Vokes to flick in. The Iceland winger should be starting, fitness permitting.