Burnley ground-out a 1-0 victory over Stoke last night to drag themselves away from the relegation mire and onto a handsome looking 35 points.
A moment of magic from Jeff Hendrick to beat two players and then set up George Boyd, who swept home, turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.
Like Saturday, it wasn’t a great performance from the Clarets, but the grit and determination that was lacking at the weekend, shone through last night.
Below, I will rate our starting 11 on a scale of 1-10…
Tom Heaton: 7 – Had very little to do, but produced when called upon to keep out Charlie Adam. Slightly hesitant to come off his line though. Could have relived pressure on several occasions.
Matt Lowton: 7 – Solid defensively but did allow Marko Arnautovic to have too much of an impact on the game. Got forward well to supplement the attacks, however.
Michael Keane: 8 – Nullified most of Stoke’s attacking threat alongside Mee. Distribution was mainly long balls, but that was no fault of his own.
Ben Mee: 9 MOM – Won everything in the air and cleared everything out the box. Marshalled the Stoke front line very well. Very, very good performance.
Stephen Ward: 8 – Another solid performance from Ward. Hardly put a foot wrong but was sloppy in possession at times, which cost him a yellow card.
George Boyd: 8 – Put a huge shift in on the wing. Took the winner very well coming in off the right. Much improved on Saturday. Always in and around the action.
Joey Barton: 7 – Uncharacteristically sloppy in possession but showed grit and determination. Put his head in where it hurt. Typical Barton performance.
Jeff Hendrick: 7 – Great play to set up the goal. Looks to be getting back to how he was playing before suspension. Huge improvement on Saturday.
Steven Defour: 6 – Played out of position on the wing but doesn’t even look like he’s interested in playing. Did okay on the ball, but offered no width at all.
Andre Gray: 6 – Struggled to do much right. Touch was missing again and offered very little in terms of being a goal threat. Again, looks disinterested.
Sam Vokes: 6 – Won very little in the air. Had very little bearing on any Burnley attacks. Put himself about, but to very little effect.