The proof is in the pudding for Defour
The Clarets are a match for anyone in the Premier League and the proof is in the pudding according to midfielder Steven Defour.
Despite a heart-breaking defeat in the final seconds against Arsenal at Turf Moor, the Belgium international believes that the performance provided further evidence that their current standing in the top flight is no fluke.
The 29-year-old, who is used to being at the top end of the table having won titles with Standard Liege and Porto, insists that Burnley belong with the elite and they’re still improving.
“Of course, that’s why we’re up there at the moment,” he said. “We’re playing some good football and defensively everything is good so we just have to keep working like that.
“It can be any opponent - Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham. We’re proving that we’re not afraid of them and we’re not afraid to play football. We’re not just kicking it.
“Today showed, especially in the first half, the extent to how much we’ve improved in possession of the ball.
“It’s fair to say that everyone is a bit surprised but we knew we had quality and we’re improving in possession of the ball.
“We’re improving defensively too, we’re really resilient, we don’t let anything go and we keep on fighting for each other.
“I think we’re proving every game, over and over again. We haven’t stolen any points, all of them have been deserved. It was a big blow today because we didn’t deserve to lose.”
Sean Dyche’s side were agonisingly close to adding a fourth clean sheet on the trot but referee Lee Mason’s decision to punish James Tarkowski’s brush with Aaron Ramsey changed all that.
The Welshman went to ground animatedly in the second minute of time added on before Alexis Sanchez squeezed the ball in to the corner from the penalty spot.
It was the third time in succession that the Gunners had profited late on against the Clarets, with each incident carrying more than a hint of controversy.
“That’s three times now, right at the end of the game,” said Defour. “We’re getting a bit frustrated. I didn’t see it to be fair.
“I was on the bench at the time. I remember the referee pointing at the penalty spot and I was saying ‘not again’. It’s weird. We are really disappointed and a bit angry as well.
“We can’t be too disappointed because we’ve got a game on Wednesday (against AFC Bournemouth) so we’ve got to move on.
“We’re in good shape, we’ve proven our good form, we showed it again against Arsenal. We didn’t deserve to lose but we’ve got another game so we’ve just got to keep on going.”