Scott Arfield scored a last-minute winner as Burnley snatched an unlikely 2-1 Premier League victory over Everton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman’s side were the better side for much of this encounter, but came away from east Lancashire with nothing after the Canada international fired home first time from the edge of the box after Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s effort had come back off the bar.
It was a bitter pill for Everton to swallow, after the visitors had deservedly cancelled out Sam Vokes’ first-half opener through Yannick Bolasie’s first goal for the club just prior to the hour.
Vokes tapped home his third goal of the season after visiting goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg – last week’s hero after saving two penalties in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City – parried into his path.
Everton got the equaliser they deserved when Bolasie had the confidence to take the ball off Romelu Lukaku and produce a convincing finish to open his account for his new club.
Burnley were without regular starters Steven Defour and George Boyd through injury and, with Andre Gray serving the last of his four-match ban, Sean Dyche’s side were a little devoid of an attacking spark.
But it was one of the men recalled, Arfield – after also playing a key role in Vokes’ opener – who proved the hero with a fine effort to hand Burnley a potentially crucial three points in what looks set to be another battle to avoid the drop.
Kevin Mirallas was one of two Everton changes from the draw at City and the Belgian should have rewarded that decision in the second minute when he shot straight at Tom Heaton following a mix-up between Ben Mee and Michael Keane.
Burnley were forced into their two changes and it was the other newcomer, Michael Kightly, who volleyed over from a corner.
Heaton was forced into smart stops from Lukaku and Ross Barkley as Everton pressed for an opener, but it was the home side who broke the deadlock in the 39th minute.
A smart touch from Gudmundsson released Arfield, who danced away from one challenge as he approached the edge of the box. His attempt deflected off Ashley Williams and wrong-footed Stekelenburg, who could only touch the ball for Vokes to slot home.
The visitors were again the brighter side after the restart and levelled matters two minutes prior to the hour.
Gareth Barry’s pass set Lukaku away, but Bolasie took the ball off his team-mate before bearing down on goal and thumping a low right-footed shot across Heaton into the far corner.
Having claimed his first Everton goal, the winger went close to a second with 10 minutes remaining when his curling effort was tipped over by the impressive Heaton.
After withstanding a spell of pressure, it was Burnley who once again scored against the run of play to steal it, Arfield sending the home crowd into raptures with a fine left-footed finish after Gudmundsson’s effort had struck the woodwork.
Key Opta stats:
– Burnley scored a 90th-minute winning goal for the first time in the Premier League.
– Vokes has scored in back-to-back Premier League games, having scored just once in his previous 33 in the competition.
– The Clarets have scored in each of their last 19 home league games against Everton, their third longest current run (Aston Villa 35, Fulham 24).
– Arfield’s goal was his first in the Premier League since 10th January 2015, scoring in a 2-1 win against QPR at Turf Moor.
– Bolasie and Lukaku have combined for four Premier League goals this season, more than any other duo in the competition.
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