Ashley Westwood’s stunning strike saw Burnley come from behind to beat Leicester and earn their first points in five games.
The midfielder’s emphatic finish in the 79th minute and goalkeeper Nick Pope’s penalty save from Jamie Vardy marked a brilliant recovery by the home side who went behind to Harvey Barnes’ 33rd-minute goal.
The Burnley-born player gave the Foxes the lead with a superb individual effort after Jack Cork had been dispossessed just inside his own half.
Burnley improved after the break and equalised when Chris Wood poked in his ninth league goal of the season after Ben Mee nodded into his path from a corner.
However, Mee then fouled Barnes in the box to give away a penalty, which was verified by VAR. Vardy, without a goal in his previous three games, saw his firm strike palmed away by Pope.
With their tails up, Burnley surged forward and was rewarded 11 minutes from time when Westwood thundered home a low drive.
The win lifts Burnley to 14th – five points above the relegation zone. Leicester have now lost four times in their last six league games.
At the start of the 2018-19 season, Sean Dyche feared his team could be priced out of the Premier League.
Since their return to the top flight in the 2016-17 season the Clarets have been frugal with their spending. Their most expensive signings to date remain the £15m they spent on both defender Ben Gibson and striker Wood. The primary thought for a club the size of Burnley is to use their Premier League income to secure their future.
Dyche has, as a consequence, been rightly lauded for keeping the Clarets in the division, but the question is for how much longer can the 48-year-old perform miracles?
His motivational abilities were tested at Turf Moor as he faced five successive league losses as Burnley boss for the first time. Every small decision could have a big impact for his side from here on in, and Dyche looked aggrieved on the sidelines when Dennis Praet’s challenge on Jack Cork in midfield went unpunished in the build-up to Barnes’ goal.
But rather than let their heads sink, Burnley came out bouncing after the break. Wood went close with a header before he was in the right place at the right time to poke in.
Leicester’s penalty came against the run of play, but Pope ensured the momentum stayed with his side as he made a terrific save.
Then came the goal that resulted in the biggest cheer of the afternoon. Charlie Taylor broke down the wing and fired a cross into the area which Jonny Evans could only clear into the direction of Westwood. The former Villa player ran on to the ball and lashed it past Kasper Schmeichel.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers kept stating his ambitions were largely in check when his side was on an eight-match winning run and looking the most likely to challenge Liverpool.
However, he must have thought his side were guaranteed a top-four finish – perhaps this run of results makes it less certain.
Vardy had scored 11 goals in eight matches before Christmas, but he has only managed one in the past seven in all competitions and missed a golden chance to end that run at Turf Moor.
James Maddison touted to make England’s Euro 2020 squad, was poor by his standards and wasted a couple of opportunities to shoot.
Barnes was the Foxes’ best performer. He did brilliantly keep his composure, after running 50 yards, to fire past Pope for his goal and also went close with an effort earlier in the game.
Rodgers needs Vardy and Maddison to be back on song for his side to finish in the top four for the first time since they won the title in 2016.
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Source – BBC