Ashley Barnes’ stoppage-time penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Burnley as they halted Southampton’s charge away from the Premier League relegation scrap.
Having been denied what seemed to be a clear spot-kick midway through the first half at Turf Moor, Barnes made no mistake from 12 yards to secure a share of the spoils late on.
Nathan Redmond’s strike 10 minutes into the second half had looked set to be enough for Southampton, but Burnley rallied – Barnes denied by Alex McCarthy and the crossbar before debutant Peter Crouch headed into Jack Stephens’ arm.
And with referee Anthony Taylor this time showing no hesitation in giving the decision Burnley’s way, Barnes stepped up to ensure their unbeaten league start to 2019 continued.
Danny Ings should have put his former club behind six minutes in, but failed to lift his effort over Tom Heaton, who had reacted sharply to close the angle, and Burnley were convinced they should have had a penalty with just over half an hour played.
Having taken down a long ball, Barnes drew a clumsy challenge from McCarthy, but despite Southampton’s goalkeeper getting none of the ball, Burnley’s claims fell on deaf ears.
Here’s the talking point of the first half…. pic.twitter.com/LPlfXwc23E
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) February 2, 2019
Phil Bardsley cleared off the line and Heaton denied James Ward-Prowse after the interval, and Southampton’s pressure told when Redmond arrowed a low finish into the bottom corner 10 minutes into the second half.
Barnes continued to pose Burnley’s greatest threat and forced a brilliant save out of McCarthy before hitting the crossbar.
However, there was to be one more twist – Stephens’ handball from a Crouch knock-down giving referee Taylor little choice but to point to the spot, and Barnes duly slammed home in the 94th minute.
What does it mean? Burnley’s fighting spirit should be enough
Southampton’s decision to appoint Ralph Hasenhuttl certainly seems to have paid off, and although they lost the lead late on, they are now five points clear of danger as it stands. Burnley, likewise, are in the same position, and their performance after going a goal down will surely give Sean Dyche enough encouragement to suggest they can avoid getting dragged into a relegation scrap in the final stages of the season.
Barnes’ persistence pays off
Having been harshly done by with the referee’s first penalty call, Barnes put in an inspired second-half performance, and after missing two gilt-edged chances, kept his composure at the vital moment.
Ings hit by injury yet again
Ings’ time at Southampton has so far been punctuated by several spells on the touchline, and having missed an early chance, the striker was forced off with an injury midway through the first half, meaning former Burnley forward Charlie Austin – who was linked with a move away from the club in the January window – may well get an extended run in the side.
Key Opta facts
– Southampton have won eight points in their last four Premier League away games (W2 D2), as many as they managed in their previous 11.
– Burnley’s penalty ended a run of 67 Premier League games without a spot-kick which was the longest current run of any side in the 18/19 edition of the competition.
– Crouch became the second oldest player to play for Burnley in the Premier League (38y 3d) after Graham Alexander in May 2010 (38y 211d).
– Barnes has scored 15 goals for Burnley in the league since the start of last season, more than any other player at the club.
A trip to Brighton and Hove Albion awaits Burnley on Saturday, while Southampton host Cardiff City in what is a huge game at the bottom of the table.
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