Swansea City 3, Burnley 2 - things we learned

What we learned from Burnley's latest away day defeat

Sunday, 5th March 2017, 11:52 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:55 am
Andre Gray celebrates scoring against Swansea

Referee Anthony Taylor had a day to forget - for both sides

Referee Anthony Taylor enjoyed a three-day stag do in Marbella in the week before the game, with Kevin Friend, in charge at Old Trafford earlier on Saturday, also part of the party.

Taylor had permission to go away, and no one has any problem with his trip, however, when both referees turn in performances like they did, questions are inevitably asked.

Burnley have been on the receiving end of some shocking decisions this season, but Taylor pointing to the spot for a Clarets penalty, when the ball clearly hit Sam Vokes' outstretched arm, was as baffling as anything we've seen.

Taylor took his time, and despite no appeals from Vokes, or any Burnley player, and with Swansea wanting a free kick, he inexplicably awarded a spot kick which could have had huge implications for the hosts.

So when Fernando Llorente fouled Ben Mee to head in Swansea's injury time winner, if would have taken a strong referee to disallow it, and, unfortunately, it seems we didn't get one.

The Football League surely awaits for Taylor this weekend, and surely the time has come for referees to be assisted with video technology.

As Swansea boss Paul Clement noted, why can everyone in the ground have access to video, from managers, staff, fourth officials, media and supporters - but not the person who needs it most?

Burnley's away day woes continue

Burnley have taken two points away from home all season, and have six matches remaining to avoid setting a new Premier League away points record.

Derby County, relegated with 11 points in 2007/08, won only three on the road that season.

The Clarets have won only four of 51 away games in the Premier League in three seasons, and, despite performances improving of late, have now lost eight of their last nine on their travels.

This display was a step backwards, albeit against a confident side with quality players who have seemingly been in a false position all season.

The Clarets scored twice in an away game for the first time this season, but have only eight goals in 13 on the road, and four have been penalties.

They have led for only 12 minutes away from home all season.

Andre Gray looked a constant threat

Clarets striker Andre Gray has been linked with an England call up, as well as a switch to Spurs, recently.

The England speculation would have come as a surprise to some Burnley fans - a small minority who have dished out some uncalled for stick on social media.

His display in the FA Cup against Lincoln, when his touch appeared to desert him, was particularly poor, but he looked a big threat at Hull City last week, with Burnley looking to play him in behind centre backs Harry Maguire and Andrea Rannochia time and again.

He missed a big chance to put the Clarets in front, having taken an ideal first touch from Ashley's Westwood's pass, dragging his effort wide, but, while his control can be wanting, he is using his pace and power to great effect, getting his body between defenders and the ball, while his runs in behind are a major weapon.

He caused problems for Swansea, and while his penalty was a gift, he showed great confidence and composure, after a long wait, to send the ball down the middle - almost a year to the day since a big pressure penalty at home to Blackburn Rovers.

His second goal was superb, turning and finishing in one lethal movement from Sam Vokes' header, and he could have had the match ball, having been foiled by a fine fingertip save from Lukasz Fabianski in the first half.

He now has nine goals for the season, eight in the Premier League, with 11 games remaining - a fine return for his first season at this level, having only had two years at Football League level previously.

Robbie Brady needs time to adjust

Robbie Brady, by his own admission, didn't enjoy a great full debut for Burnley against Chelsea, following his club record £13m deadline day move from Norwich City - magnificent free kick aside.

He showed flashes last week at former club Hull City, though he squandered a number of good crossing opportunities.

At Swansea, he was well off the pace, albeit in a team display which was below par.

Brady will take time to get "Dyche fit" as has become the phrase for adjusting to the manager's requirements with and without the ball, and he clearly has magic in that left foot, but fans and media alike will have to be patient with a player who, from speaking to colleagues in Norwich around the time of the move, wasn't setting the Championship alight this season.

Canaries fans have shown their frustration on social media at Brady's propensity to perform better in the green of Ireland than the yellow of Norwich, and boss Alex Neil even noted he hadn't seen much evidence of that free kick mastery displayed against Chelsea, for his side.

We have seen enough evidence in the summer for Ireland, and in past meetings with Hull City in particular, to see there is a fine footballer there, and hopefully we will see more of his class sooner rather than later.