EVERY once in a while you get a scoreline which gives a totally false impression of what has gone before – not this one.
It couldn’t have been more correct had it been screamed from the highest point of the Pennines.
No goals, precious little entertainment, and neither side genuinely doing enough to snatch it.
You it’s hardly edge of the seat stuff when the referee signals two extra minutes and the crowd groans – because it’s too long. You get the idea…
Huddersfield had struck only one goal in their last four, and the Clarets added only three to their opening day tally, so anyone expecting a goalfest was always going to be disappointed.
In truth, Burnley should have gone ahead midway through the opening half, with a man who has made a habit of finding the net against the Terriers.
But when Stephen Ward drilled over the most inviting of crosses, Chris Wood – eight goals for four different clubs against them – totally failed to connect as he leapt unmarked.
At least he managed to find his head, as he covered it with his hands.
Mind you, he would surely have made amends as he lurked at the back post to meet another Ward delivery, only for Christopher Schindler’s acrobatics to cut out the danger.
Centre back Schindler was – as he has been all term – an absolute rock at the heart of the Huddersfield defence, and an immovable force in the face of all Burnley threw at him.
To be fair, that wasn’t a lot in terms of clear chances, and one of the best fell to the Terriers just four minutes after the break.
But when Tom Ince teed up Laurent Depoitre, Clarets keeper Nick Pope got down well to smother his effort.
Ince then fizzed a 25-yarder a foot or so wide, as Huddersfield began to scent a third win of the season. It was rarely anything more than a sniff of one for either side.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- This was the first top-flight meeting between these two clubs since March 1971 and the first in the top-tier at Turf Moor between Burnley & Huddersfield since November 1970.
- Robbie Brady has created seven goalscoring chances for Ben Mee this season in the Premier League; the most by one player to a teammate in the competition.
- Huddersfield have won just three of their last 19 league meetings with Burnley (W3 D5 L11).
- Excluding own-goals, none of Huddersfield’s first four Premier League goals have been from English players. Only four teams have had a longer wait for an English scorer in the Premier League – Stoke (none of first 17 goals from an Englishman), Wolves (9), Birmingham (6) and Hull (5).
- Chris Wood has scored against Huddersfield Town in both of the last two seasons, for Leeds in the Championship – but both have been netted away from home.
- Burnley have won the same number of Premier League home games as Manchester United (11) since August 2016 and only one fewer than Manchester City (12) in this period.
WHAT THEY SAID
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: “We were searching for that cutting edge. Chris Wood had a great chance and there were some other close moments but, overall, I’m pleased with the result.
“My only gripe is that they have to change rules about retrospective diving. I’m talking about Rajiv van La Parra. If they got a penalty from that and he scores, he gets banned. Because they didn’t get a penalty, nothing happens.
“It should be talked about. It has to go out of the game. The ban should be effective from now. It’s not about the player, because I don’t know him. It was a good decision to book him, but they should have more powers after the match has finished. We have to get that out of the game.”
Huddersfield manager David Wagner: “It was a tight game, very even. Maybe they were the better side in the first half and we were better in the second half.
“I’m very pleased with our defensive work. Maybe we made too many mistakes in the first half. We spoke about it, then we had out moments.
“Everyone knows this is a difficult place to play. I’m OK with the result.
On the Van la Parra dive: “I was too far away, not able to see it. It was very quick. If it was a dive, it’s not what we want to see.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
BURNLEY: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Arfield (Gudmundsson 77), Cork, Hendrick (Barnes,74) Defour, Brady, Wood.
Subs not used: Vokes, Westwood, Long, Bardsley, Legzdins.
HUDDERSFIELD: Lossl, Smith, Hogg (Billing,80), Kachunga (Hadergjonaj 80), Mooy, Sabiri ( van La Parra 63), Lowe, Depoitre, Ince, Zanka, Schindler
Subs not used: Green, Malone, Whitehead, Hefele.