Burnley vs Wolves Analysis Report- The Domination of Burnley Broken Down
Burnley vs Wolves- 21/12/2020
Turf Moor, Burnley, England
Burnley 2-1 Wolves
89’ Silva (P)
Wolves- 3-5-2 on attack and 5-3-2 on defence
The rain was hammering down in Lancashire as the two sides in and out of form locked heads for the first time this Premier League season. A game where the sides have met 9 times since 2012 with Burnley taking the 3 points, 4 times. Wolves have won once and both teams have shared the points 4 times. Wolves would’ve felt like they had the advantage as they sat 11th in the Premier League table with the hosts sitting above the relegation zone with 2 games in hand still to play.
A fairly timid first half saw both teams having a go at goal before Ashley Barnes got the opener in the 35th minute with a header from a cross that hung in the air from Charlie Taylor.
35’ Ashley Barnes
The first goal of the game came from a Wolves attack where Semedo carried the ball from his RWB position up to the Burnley final third. Burnley then retrieved the ball before hitting Wolves on the counter attack leaving the RB position empty due to Semedo’s attacking run. Chris Wood held the ball up on the edge of the Wolves 18 yard box as Charlie Taylor made an incredible overlapping run before hanging the ball up for Barnes to header home at the back stick. The Wolves players shut off defensively and Taylor made a bursting run for the by-line which is the ultimate factor of this goal.
Burnley’s Defensive Qualities
Burnley set out in a traditional 4-4-2 formation which benefitted them both attackingly and defensively. On the defence, Burnley made it very difficult for Wolves to break through their lines particularly at the end of the first half and start of the second. The way Sean Dyche set his men out was for the LM Dwight McNeil to drop into the defence and form a back 5 when without the ball. This gave them stability when Wolves came forward, allowing the defence to come narrow without worrying about the wide areas being targeted.
In the 60th minute, Nuno brought Adama Traore onto the pitch to inject some pace and creativity to the Wolves attack. Burnley’s instant reaction was to put their LB & LM onto him in order to close down quickly and stop him threatening Nick Pope’s goal. Many times Traore picked up the ball and there would be an instant press from McNeil and Taylor.
On numerous occasions Wolves would attack the opposition goal but the Burnley players would quickly get back into position therefore, Wolves would struggle to find a way through. In the 53rd minute Burnley gathered 8 players back behind the ball and sat in their formation, which effectively worked to shut out a strong attacking Wolves side. Again, in the 71st minute Wolves found themselves with 3 players attacking a 7 man wall which ended up going nowhere thanks to Burnley’s persistent defence. On one occasion, in the final moments of the game, Burnley stuck 10 men behind the ball to continue their stability in defence.
Overall, I believe the way Burnley set out their defensive shape and mind set for the majority of the game was the key to their domination of the game. It forced Wolves to commit more players forward in order to beat the defence. This left the Wolves defence vulnerable to Barnes and Wood who created chances and forward runs, holding up the ball for others to join the attack.