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Everton 1-2 Burnley: Dwight McNeil scores screamer as Clarets move clear of relegation zone

Report and match highlights as goals from Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil – an absolute stunner – mean more Goodison Park misery for Carlo Ancelotti’s men in Premier League

Burnley charged clear of the relegation zone with an impressive 2-1 win at Everton, who missed the chance to close in on the top four places in the Premier League.

Sean Dyche’s men attacked with great cohesion and bravery, with Chris Wood opening the scoring (13) before Dwight McNeil curled home a stunning effort from range (24).

Dominic Calvert-Lewin halved the deficit for the hosts (32) but that was as good as it got for Carlo Ancelotti, who also lost his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to a first-half injury.

Fulham’s recent form has put the pressure on the teams above them, like Burnley, but this win takes Sean Dyche’s men seven points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the Cottagers’ clash at home to leaders Manchester City on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, since winning their opening two home games, Everton have won just three of the last 12 at Goodison Park, including defeats to Fulham, Newcastle and now Burnley. The Toffees remain sixth, five points off the top four.

Player Ratings

Everton: Pickford (7), Godfrey (7), Keane (6), Holgate (6), Digne (6), Allan (6), Gomes (7), Iwobi (5), Davies (6), Richarlison (7), Calvert-Lewin (7)

Subs: Virginia (6), King (6), Coleman (6)

Burnley: Pope (7), Lowton (7), Tarkowski (7), Mee (8), Pieters (7), Brownhill (7), Westwood (8), Gudmundsson (8), McNeil (9), Vyrda (9), Wood (8)

Subs: Brady (7), Rodriguez (7)

Man of the match: Dwight McNeil

How Burnley stormed Goodison Park…

Everton’s domination of possession in the early stages would not have worried Dyche, who had set his team up in usual organised fashion. There was little purpose to Everton’s passing and Burnley showed them how it should be done on 13 minutes with an attack full of direction and danger.

Josh Brownhill dispossessed Tom Davies deep inside his own half and sent McNeil racing down the left and his deflected cross was clipped home past an unsighted Pickford by Wood.

A response from Everton was expected but Burnley sensed blood and should have had the game wrapped up in the next 15 minutes.

Visibly aggrieved by what they felt was the clear denial of a penalty, when McNeil’s corner hit the raised elbow of Mason Holgate as he challenged Ben Mee, Burnley’s intensity increased and they added a brilliant second moments later.

McNeil, in the inside-right position, easily skipped past the tackle of Allan and advanced unchallenged to curl a superb left-footed effort into the top corner.

Johann Gudmundsson then hit the post with a low shot from distance with Pickford at full stretch with a despairing dive that caused the Everton goalkeeper an injury to his hip.

Calvert-Lewin got the hosts back on track, powering home a close-range header from Davies’ cross for his first goal in five matches and he should have done better with his flicked attempt from Andre Gomes’ free-kick moments later.

Pickford eventually succumbed to his injury and was replaced by Joao Virginia for his Premier League debut, two-and-a-half years after joining from Arsenal, just before the break.

Like the first half, Everton tested Pope early after the interval, with the England goalkeeper tipping Gomes’ shot around the post.

Burnley were comfortable in their shape though, winning second balls to trigger clever counter attacks. A mix-up between Virginia and Ben Godfrey almost gifted Matej Vydra – brilliant throughout – a tap-in but he missed his kick. Ben Mee then looped a header off the crossbar as Everton somehow stayed in the game.

Everton pushed for the equaliser but Burnley dug in to claim the points.

Man of the match: Dwight McNeil

It’s easy to forget that Dwight McNeil is just 21-years-old. With 88 Premier League appearances under his belt it seems like he’s a seasoned campaigner down the Burnley left flank.

He’s had a relatively quiet season – up until the last few weeks. And it came alive in this performance, capped by a quite sensational individual goal. “I do it in training all the time – I just needed to do it in a match situation,” McNeil told Sky Sports.

Former Burnley boss Eddie Howe, on punditry duty, said: “I loved the chop he did on Allan. It was a great finish. To score from that range it has to be full of quality and right in the corner and it was.”

There’s still so much more to come from McNeill, too, with natural development under the watchful eye of his astute manager. He’s Burnley gem.

Opta stats

  • Only Merseyside neighbours Liverpool (6) have lost more home Premier League games since the turn of the year than Everton (5); indeed, the Toffees have lost five of their last seven at Goodison Park (W1 D1), as many defeats as in their previous 23 home league matches before this run (W10 D8 L5).
  • Burnley have won away games against both Everton and Liverpool in a single league campaign for the very first time, and are the third side to do so this season after Manchester City and Fulham.
  • No side has conceded more goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season than Everton (10 – level with Crystal Palace) – only in 2000-01 (13) and 2006-07 (12) have the Toffees conceded more from range in a single Premier League campaign.
  • Calvert-Lewin has scored 14 Premier League goals for Everton this season – the only Englishman to score more for the Toffees in a single Premier League campaign was Tony Cottee in 1993-94 (16).

What’s next?

Everton face Manchester City in a FA Cup quarter-final next Saturday. Burnley now have 21 days until their next match, with an FA Cup weekend and an international break to come. Their next fixture is against Southampton on April 3.

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