Leeds savour relief of victory over Burnley but face investigation after missile hits Matthew Lowton

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Everton Brighton Leeds Burnley premier league live score goals clockwatch - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith 
Everton Brighton Leeds Burnley premier league live score goals clockwatch - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
  • Harrison puts Leeds ahead after Tarkowski error

  • Cornet equalises with free-kick, Lowtob struck while celebrating

  • Dallas and James seal victory and extend gap to eight points above relegation places

Leeds United could savour a late victory after their enforced winter break but the afternoon was tainted by Burnley full-back Matthew Lowton being struck by a bottle in the fourth consecutive match at Elland Road with a crowd flashpoint.

Stuart Dallas and Dan James sealed the win for Marcelo Bielsa’s team, who had not played for a fortnight following a Covid-19 outbreak. Jack Harrison had opened the scoring before Maxwel Cornet’s equaliser, with Lowton hit during the celebrations.

The referee asked for Lowton to be treated by physios, so the Football Association are certain to look into the incident when it is included in the referee’s report.

“He [Lowton] is OK. It is very disappointing but I don’t want to keep advertising these things because I thought the crowd were magnificent,” said Burnley manager Sean Dyche. “There was one who let themselves down.”

The governing body are already looking at the incident in which Brentford’s Sergi Canos was hit by an object while celebrating, and alleged racist abuse aimed at Arsenal substitutes during the last home game. Leeds also condemned their fans who aimed homophobic abuse at Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher.

Despite the flashpoints off the pitch, Leeds are at least breathing a sigh of relief after putting distance between themselves and the bottom four of the Premier League. After defeats by Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, this was the type of game where they needed to pick up points.

Jack Harrison of Leeds United scores their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road - George Wood/Getty Images
Jack Harrison of Leeds United scores their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road - George Wood/Getty Images

Their goalscorers were all from the Home Nations, starting with Stoke-born Harrison, who was forced off in the first half against Arsenal but recovered in the two weeks without a game and made his impact on the game just before the half-time interval.

Bielsa’s pressing game pushes players to the limit and can take its toll physically, yet without it there would have been no goal for Harrison. With James Tarkowski on the ball, the temptation would be to retain shape and be set for Burnley to attack.

Instead, Harrison put pressure on the Burnley centre-back and forced a mistake. The Leeds winger still had work to do but first forced Wayne Hennessey into a save before putting the rebound into the near post.

Dyche’s response at half-time was to bring on Cornet, who had been nursing a thigh injury and had been a doubt for the game. The Ivory Coast forward curled in his 25-yard free-kick and set off the incident that marred the game.

Cornet could be accused of goading the home fans with matador’s flourish to celebrate his goal. As his team-mates mobbed him, a Coca-Cola bottle flew down from the stands and hit Lowton above the left eye, with the full-back requiring treatment.

Burnley's Maxwel Cornet scores their first goal from a free kick  - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Burnley's Maxwel Cornet scores their first goal from a free kick - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

It was Cornet’s last contribution before heading off to the African Cup of Nations, highlighting how badly he will be missed in the next month. With him leading the attack, Burnley had chances to snatch their second win of the season before conceding their late goals.

“You can’t just look at Maxwel, before we had Maxwel we had players who kept us in the Premier League. We have to make sure we perform without him when he goes away,” said Dyche.

Despite those half-chances, Leeds will feel victory was deserved. They went ahead again when Dallas curled into the top corner from the edge of the area after Raphinha put a short corner his way, sparking wild celebrations.

Bielsa’s substitutes combined for the third goal. Joe Gelhardt crossed to the far post where James headed on target and Hennessey’s parry was not strong enough to prevent a goal. Bielsa admitted to an element of relief when the goals went in.

Daniel James of Leeds United scores their sides third goal whilst under pressure from Matthew Lowton of Burnley - Stu Forster/Getty Images
Daniel James of Leeds United scores their sides third goal whilst under pressure from Matthew Lowton of Burnley - Stu Forster/Getty Images

“Yes of course I don’t ignore the situation that we are in and I also don’t ignore what my responsibilities are,” he said. "It was a necessary victory in a game that’s very important at this stage of the season. It was very difficult to win but the victory was deserved.

"With the dominance that we had and the chances we created, to play against Burnley is very difficult, they know very well how they want to play. It’s a step forward but it’s insufficient if we don’t give consistency to the performances."

For Burnley, they recorded the least amount of points for the teams in the top four divisions during 2021 and the new year had not started well. Dyche is also wary of the January window saving them.

“It still doesn’t change the rules,” he said. “There has to be the finance, a team that wants to sell a player. The market is the market. The only way you can change the rules is if you put a lot of money in, even the superpower teams sometimes can’t sign a player in January.”

03:56 PM

Which leaves the PL table looking like this:

03:54 PM

Result

Brentford 2 Aston Villa 1

03:54 PM

Result

Leeds 3 Burnley 1

03:54 PM

Result

Everton 2 Brighton 3

03:51 PM

Dan James scores from a diving header

Turning in Gelhardt's cross.

03:51 PM

GOOOAL!!

Leeds 3 Burnley 1 (James)

03:51 PM

John McGinn picks up a booking

Which will rule him out of the Manchester United match.

03:48 PM

Here's Everton's second

Anthony Gordon of Everton scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion - Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Anthony Gordon of Everton scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion - Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

03:43 PM

Burnley replace their strikers

Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra replace Aaron Lennon and Chris Wood.

03:42 PM

Fine finish again for Brentford

Mads Roerslev, the right wing-back and one of three Bees' Mads men, with what could be the winner.

03:42 PM

GOOOAL!

Brentford 2 Aston Villa 1

03:41 PM

Excellent strike from Dallas

03:40 PM

After eight months out

Trezeguet returns for Aston Villa, coming off the bench for Traore. It's still 1-0 at Brentford.

03:36 PM

Leeds regain the lead

With Dallas's curling shot from a corner.

03:36 PM

GOOOAL!

Leeds 2 Burnley 1 (Dallas)

03:35 PM

GOOOAL!!

Everton 2 Brighton 3 (Gordon) Clever finish from Jonjoe Kenny's cross.

03:32 PM

Raphinha hits the side netting at Elland Road

When it looked easier to score. What a miss!

03:31 PM

A special goal

From Alexis Mac Allister and now the boos are ringing around Goodison Park.

03:30 PM

GOOOAL!!

Everton 1 Brighton 3

03:27 PM

Cornet has a good chance from a corner

But can't convert. Still 1-1 at Elland Road.

03:26 PM

Anthony Gordon or Adam Lallana og?

Here's Everton's first:

Anthony Gordon of Everton shoots to score during the Premier League match between Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion - Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images
Anthony Gordon of Everton shoots to score during the Premier League match between Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion - Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

03:22 PM

Another Leeds substitution

Dan James replaces Jack Harrison on the left wing.

03:20 PM

Cornet equalises for Burnley

Leeds should have had more men in the wall.

Burnley's Maxwel Cornet scores their first goal from a free kick - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Burnley's Maxwel Cornet scores their first goal from a free kick - Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

03:17 PM

Leeds substitution

Joe Gelhardt replaces Tyler Roberts with half an hour to play.

03:16 PM

At Goodison

It was Anthony Gordon, the fount of all hope at the moment, who drove into the box to shoot and score via a deflection off Lallana's toe.

03:14 PM

Lowton struck with a missile

A plastic bottle thrown from the Gelderd End while celebrating the equaliser.

03:13 PM

Cornet scores from the free-kick

He steps up 25 yards out and bends the ball around the wall and into the net.

03:12 PM

GOOOAL!

Leeds 1 Burnley 1 (Cornet)

03:12 PM

GOOAL!

Everton 1 Brighton 2 (Lallana og)

03:12 PM

Booking at Elland Road

For Llorente bringing down Cornet.

03:11 PM

Chance at Goodison

Coleman hits a good pass across to Gray who feeds Calvert-Lewin in the area but he fires his shot wide.

03:08 PM

Half-time substitution for Burnley

Cornet replaces Gudmundsson.

03:02 PM

Wissa's goal is a ripper

02:52 PM

And the natives are restless at Goodison

Everton 0-2 Brighton

I can't help but be reminded of this whenever I think of Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park:

Aston Villa fans display a banner stating "We're Not Fickle, We Just Don't Like You", refering to manager David O'Leary during the Barclays Premiership match between Aston Villa and Fulham at Villa Park on March 25, 2006 - Getty Images
Aston Villa fans display a banner stating "We're Not Fickle, We Just Don't Like You", refering to manager David O'Leary during the Barclays Premiership match between Aston Villa and Fulham at Villa Park on March 25, 2006 - Getty Images

02:49 PM

Half-time at Brentford

It's all square: Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa

02:48 PM

Half-time at Elland Road

Leeds go in, leading 1-0 and playing well.

02:47 PM

Leeds have been peppering the Burnley goal

But Burnley have just had a decent chance when Wood is fed again by Richardson but blazes over the bar.

02:46 PM

Here's the Leeds goal

Harrison turns in the rebound after his first shot was saved - George Wood/Getty Images
Harrison turns in the rebound after his first shot was saved - George Wood/Getty Images

02:44 PM

Wissa the scorer

With a wonderful finish after a sensational first touch from Yoane Wissa.

02:43 PM

GOOOAL!!

Brentford 1 Aston Villa 1

02:40 PM

Jackie 'Haradona' strikes

It's Harrison's first league goal of the season, finishing from a tight angle after an error from Tarkowski. Leeds' first goal of 2022 is scored by their No22.

02:39 PM

GOOOAL!!

Leeds 1 Burnley 0 (Harrison)

02:39 PM

Great save from Pickford

To dive low to stop Lallana after a mistake from Coleman which fed the Brighton midfielder.

02:37 PM

Emi Buendia

Is having his best game in a Villa shirt by most accounts. He'a fantastic player who needs a role.

02:35 PM

Two good chances at Elland Road

Meslier saves with his knee from Wood and Roberts misses a sitter with his head from Ayling's cross, six yards out.

02:33 PM

Contrasting scenes at Goodison Park

Dan Burn doubles Brighton's lead:

Dan Burn  - Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Dan Burn - Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

And Calvert-Lewin squanders a chance to equalise from the spot:

Dominic Calvert-Lewin misses from the penalty spot - REUTERS/Phil Noble
Dominic Calvert-Lewin misses from the penalty spot - REUTERS/Phil Noble

02:28 PM

At Elland Road

Raphinha tried to chip Hennessey from 35 yards and from the ensuing corner Hennessey and then Lowton denied Junior Firpo, once with a glancing header, the next with a goalline clearance from a stabbed shot.

02:25 PM

Calvert-Lewin strides up to take the pen

And he blazes it over the bar!

02:24 PM

Penalty at Goodison?

Corner glanced on by Mwepu and Burn arrives at the back post to turn it in with four Everton players standing there doing very little.

But now Everton have a penalty shout being checked by VAR for Mwepu's sliding challenge on Gordon. The ref is going to the monitor.

02:23 PM

GOOOOAL!!

Everton 0 Brighton 2 (Burn)

02:21 PM

Aston Villa's goal

Aston Villa's Danny Ings scores their first goal  - Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Child
Aston Villa's Danny Ings scores their first goal - Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Child

02:19 PM

At Elland Road

Dallas jinks his way into the box but smashes his shot too close to Hennessey who has sufficiently adhesive gloves even in this downpour.

02:17 PM

Assist from Buendia

Who spun and lost a defender to roll the ball to Ings who finished with a sharp, angled shot.

02:16 PM

GOOOAL!!

Brentford 0 Aston Villa 1 (Ings)

02:14 PM

Back at Leeds

Yellow card for Roberts for a foul on Lowton, catching him late in a tackle instigated by the Burnley full-back who seems OK after treatment.

02:12 PM

At Goodison

Yellow card for Jonjoe Kenny that could arguably have been a red, given he had his foot raised when he crunched into the challenge.

02:10 PM

At Brentford

Villa's John McGinn uses some hesitancy in the Brentford back three in closing him down to hammer a shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

02:09 PM

Heavy rain and a swirling wind at Leeds

And Brighton are on top, according to most reports. Leeds have pushed Raphinha very high on the right and are clearly looking for him to use any space behind Charlie Taylor.

02:05 PM

VAR is checking the goal

It stands, Maupay, with the assist, was onside when he met the cross and knocked it on to Alexis MacAllister.

02:04 PM

GOOOAL!!!

Everton 0 Brighton 1 (Mac Allister)

01:59 PM

The teams are out at all three stadiums

And limbering up before the 2pm kick-offs.

01:50 PM

On Sky's Soccer Special

Kris Boyd, Matt Murray and Lee Hendrie run out some familiar arguments about why Leeds are in real danger, simultaneously praising Marcelo Bielsa while criticising him for a lack of pragmatism and arguing that because Burnley have been down here before, they have all the knowhow to stay up that Leeds lack. Hmmm.

01:43 PM

Steven Gerrard confirms that Axel Tuanzebe

Is not playing because they are waiting to hear about his loan spell from Manchester United (which has a break clause). Some sources are claiming he has been recalled by Manchester United and sent to Napoli for the second half of the season. Olly Watkins will be available for the next match which suggests he has tested positive for Covid.

01:39 PM

Referee replacement at Elland Road

Paul Tierney takes charge. And Mike Dean ... groan ... is the VAR.

01:22 PM

Brentford v Aston Villa

Brentford Fernandez; Pinnock, Jansson, Sorensen; Roerslev, Onyeka, Norgaard, Jensen, Canos; Wissa, Toney.
Subs Cox, Thompson, Forss, Ghoddos, Ajer, Baptiste, Janelt, Bidstrup, Stevens.

Aston Villa Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Hause, Targett; McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey; Traore, Ings, Buendia. Subs Steer, Sanson, Trezeguet, El Ghazi, Philogene-Bidace, Carney Chukwuemeka, Archer, Iroegbunam, Feeney.

Referee Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

01:17 PM

Everton vs Brighton

Everton Pickford; Kenny, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Doucoure, Allan; Gordon, Gray; Calvert-Lewin.
Substitutes Begovic, Digne, Iwobi, Andre Gomes, Gbamin, Rondon, Simms, Dobbin, Onyango.

Brighton Sanchez, Veltman, Webster, Burn, Cucurella; Mwepu, Bissouma, Lallana; Mac Allister, Maupay, Trossard.
Substitutes Steele, Lamptey, Gross, Moder, Alzate, Welbeck, March, Duffy, Richards.

Referee John Brooks (Leicestershire)

01:14 PM

Your teams in black and white

Leeds United vs Burnley

Leeds Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Llorente; Dallas, Forshaw, Firpo; Raphinha, Klich, Harrison; Roberts.
Subs Klaesson, James, Bate, Gelhardt, Hjelde, Summerville, Greenwood, Jenkins, Moore.

Burnley Hennessey; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson; Lennon, Wood. Subs Norris, Stephens, Rodriguez, Cornet, Collins, Pieters, Bardsley, Vydra, Long.

Referee Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

01:08 PM

To confirm Burnley line-up

01:06 PM

No tweet yet from Burnley

But they are unchanged from Old Trafford though Maxwel Cornet and Jay Rodriguez are on the bench.

01:04 PM

Norgaard and Canos return for the Bees

01:04 PM

No Olly Watkins for Villa against his old club

01:03 PM

Trossard returns for Brighton

01:02 PM

Calvert-Lewin starts for Everton

01:02 PM

Two changes for Leeds and no Bamford on the bench as hoped

12:46 PM

Sean Dyche: 'All right-ness gets you nothing'

By Mike McGrath

Should Burnley’s ALK Capital owners need assurance over the magnitude of their club’s achievements over the past six campaigns in the Premier League, they need look no further than their opponents on Sunday when they visit Elland Road.

Leeds United have one of the world’s finest coaches in Marcelo Bielsa, a group of talented players and a stadium that gets filled for every home game. Their status in the top flight, though, is far from guaranteed and their injury list suggests it will be a fight for survival, after finishing ninth last season following their return from the English Football League.

“There are challenges of injuries, ups and downs of form, signing players and all that comes with trying to mould and keep remoulding a team every season,” said Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager.

It is a year since ALK took control at Turf Moor and during its tenure in 2021 Burnley were bottom of the table for points among the 92 teams in the Premier League and EFL, not helped by their recent matches being called off by snow and Covid-19 cases.

One of the reasons why there has been no sign of panic from Dyche is that his team have been here before. They have a history of playing catch-up from qualifying for the Europa League and playing qualifiers during early rounds of Premier League fixtures.

They tend to finish the season strongly, with Dyche’s medical staff keeping players available to pick up unlikely points while other teams toil with the fitness of their squads. The question this season is whether there is one more fight left in a group of players who have kept the club in the top flight against the odds.

“The experience and knowledge of it is a good thing but you’re not naive enough to think ‘we’re all right’,” Dyche said. “All right-ness gets you nothing. That is my favourite saying. You need to be way better than all right to make sure you’re looking after yourself. There is a clear-mindedness but you have to go out and earn it.”

ALK’s takeover, one year on, has put Burnley at a crossroads. The arrival of Maxwel Cornet from Lyon marked a shift in transfer policy from Burnley’s usual catchment area of English clubs. The Ivory Coast forward has been a success and they are looking at other foreign signings as well as home-based players.

James Tarkowski is expected to leave as a free agent at the end of the season – the club are determined not to sell him this month, with bids expected to test their resolve – so there will be a change at the heart of their defence. Their recruitment will clearly depend on whether they have dropped into the Championship for the first time since 2015.

Retaining their top-flight status and more Cornet-style signings could also bring about a change in style. Dyche talks about his players taking risks on the ball but the perception is still of a pragmatic team.

“It [relegation] usually ends up being about finance,” Dyche said. “You can argue about the players and the teams going down and coming back stronger. We did that ourselves in the origins of our Premier League years. We went down and built the training ground, came back stronger.

“Monetary-wise there is a gulf, power-wise in the last three seasons we have seen the Championship have a tougher time. The teams that have gone down have been very powerful and have pushed straight away to get up, even though I know it is not easy.

Five or six years ago the top part of the Championship would be very challenging against the bottom part of the Premier League and there has been a bit of a shift.”

ALK has been trying to expand Burnley’s brand and bring in a more corporate feel to Turf Moor. That has been done through some simple alterations such as better private boxes for supporters to lease. Other changes have included the departure of Mike Rigg as technical director. Dyche now focuses totally on football, compared to previously contributing to the business side of the club.

“The biggest change with the remodelling of the office side of things is with the people that run the media, marketing and finance,” Dyche said. “We’re still changing the scouting system and remodelling that.

“The biggest challenge is that the old board would ask me a lot about the other side of the club, whereas the new board say they’ll look after that and you make sure you’re focused on the football side.

“I wouldn’t run the other side of the club but would be involved in the board meeting and say what my thoughts were. It gives me more time on the football side.”

11:53 AM

Greetings Clockers

Good afternoon and, if you weren't with us yesterday, Happy New Year. That shall be the last of the HNYs – as a disciple of Larry David I think the cut-off point has to be midnight on Jan 2 or we could find ourselves wishing Happy Easter to people in June.

There are three 2pm Premier league kick-offs today that have survived the spate of positive Covid-19 tests: Fourteenth-placed Brentford take on Aston Villa who are two points and two places ahead of them; Everton, who haven't played for 17 days since the draw with Chelsea, take on 10th-placed Brighton who beat Brentford and drew with Chelsea between Christmas and new year while Leeds, who conceded 14 goals in a week before Christmas, come out of their coronavirus quarantine to play Burnley, five points and two places behind them in 18th following their defeat by Manchester United on Thursday.

The Brentford match is the only one legally televised in the UK so we'll be featuring updates from that as well as as much news as we can glean from our people at Goodison Park and Elland Road. We will have full team news from 1pm but I can tell you now who definitely misses out (unless the clubs have been giving us bum steers):

Absent for Burnley are David Raya, Mathias Jorgensen, Rico Henry, Charlie Goode, Josh Dasilva and Julian Jeanvier but Kristoffer Ajer, Vitaly Janelt and Bryan Mbeumo are all 'there or thereabouts' with their recoveries. Tyrone Mings is suspended for Villa, Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba are long-term absentees but Ashley Young will have had a fitness test this morning to assess whether he can play with his broken toe.

Everton cannot call on Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Andros Townsend but have Dominic Calvert-Lewin back and possibly Fabian Delph, Tom Davies, Demarai Gray and Salomon Rondon. Lewis Dunk is out for Brighton until after the FA Cup third round fixtures but Leandro Trossard and Jurgen Locadia are in contention to play.

Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Jamie Shackleton, Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo have all been ruled out by Leeds but there is hope that Patrick Bamford, after the set-back following his equaliser against Brentford, could make the bench for Leeds. Connor Roberts and Ashley Barnes are long-term casualties for Burnley, Nick Pope and Josh Brownhill should be back at some point this week but today, we are told, is too soon but Maxwel Cornet and Jay Rodriguez, who missed the trip to Old Trafford, should be in the matchday squad.