Demarai Gray goal earns Leicester win to dent Burnley's European push
Leicester 1 - 0 Burnley

Demarai Gray goal earns Leicester win to dent Burnley's European push

02/12/2017

Talk of Burnley qualifying for Europe was dealt a sobering blow with defeat at improving Leicester.

It has mainly been those outside of Turf Moor who have contemplated the possibility of a first European campaign for the club since 1960-61 but some fans have begun to dream following Burnley's surprise start to the campaign, with the owners of one pub in the Lancashire town promising to rename their establishment "The Royal Dyche" should the Clarets qualify for either the Europa League or Champions League.

Burnley's opponents were a reminder of what can be achieved against the odds and the 2015-16 Premier League champions continued their own upward trajectory with a 1-0 success on Saturday courtesy of Demarai Gray's early goal.

Leicester have impressed under Claude Puel and this was a third win in his six matches in charge, while the loss saw Burnley slip a place in the table but they still occupy the heady heights of seventh spot.

After victory against Tottenham in midweek Puel had warned his team not to underestimate Burnley and they heeded his advice by making a bright start, taking the lead after six minutes.

Riyad Mahrez's inswinging cross from the left looked to be creeping in at the far post, forcing Nick Pope to dive to his right and push the ball away. But he could only parry it into the path of the oncoming Gray, who collided with the frame of the goal as he slid in to finish from point-blank range.

Like Gray, Burnley recovered well and Chris Wood, a former Leicester player, quickly had a good chance to equalise. Phil Bardsley's low cross was deflected into the path of Wood but the striker's first touch with his chest was heavy and it allowed Kasper Schmeichel to smother the danger.

James Tarkowski headed wide from a corner and Johann Berg Gudmundsson worked Schmeichel again as the midway point of the first half approached.

Burnley looked menacing once more after half an hour as Robbie Brady worked a shooting opportunity 18 yards out but Harry Maguire nicked the ball away as he pulled the trigger, resulting in a nasty-looking collision of shins.

Both players laid on the ground in some pain and after receiving some treatment Brady was carried from the field on a stretcher and replaced by Scott Arfield.

The injury appeared to upset Burnley's rhythm and either side of half-time Leicester assumed control. Mahrez worked Pope with a 22-yard strike following a mazy run and Wes Morgan had an effort cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley after Jamie Vardy had mis-hit his attempt.

Burnley remained a threat though and Schmeichel had to be alert to deny Steven Defour and then Gudmundsson, who was put through on goal by Jeff Hendrick's pass.

Back at the other end, Gray came close to a second goal midway through the second half when he steered a shot goalwards which clipped the outside of a post, before Pope saved well from Marc Albrighton and Vardy.

There were chances at both ends in injury time. Leicester survived a heart-stopping moment when Gudmundsson's low cross deflected straight into the grateful arms of Schmeichel while Pope got down to his right to make a good save to deny Mahrez.

Related news

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have hired former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to take them into a new era following Arsene Wenger's departure, with sources telling that he has signed a three-year contract.

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to FA Cup glory against Manchester United as Antonio Conte's expected farewell ended with a memorable triumph against old foe Jose Mourinho.

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick bade farewell to Old Trafford by helping set up the goal that delivered a 1-0 win for Manchester United over Watford.

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Champions Manchester City became the first club to amass 100 Premier League points after Gabriel Jesus scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Southampton.

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham said goodbye to Wembley in style as they came from behind to beat Leicester 5-4 in a thrilling final-day Premier League encounter.

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea's faint hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Liverpool secured a top-four spot with very little fuss as Mohamed Salah's new Premier League goalscoring record paved the way for a 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsene Wenger bowed out with a victory as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal in their season finale against Huddersfield.

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

West Ham and Manchester United played out a dull goalless draw at the London Stadium -- although the result was enough to see Jose Mourinho's side secure second place in the Premier League.

RELATED NEWS

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger
Arsenal news

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have hired former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to take them into a new era following Arsene Wenger's departure, with sources telling that he has signed a three-year contract.

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United
Chelsea 1 - 0 Man United

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to FA Cup glory against Manchester United as Antonio Conte's expected farewell ended with a memorable triumph against old foe Jose Mourinho.

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford
Manchester United 1 - 0 Watford

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick bade farewell to Old Trafford by helping set up the goal that delivered a 1-0 win for Manchester United over Watford.

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton
Southampton 0 - 1 Man City

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Champions Manchester City became the first club to amass 100 Premier League points after Gabriel Jesus scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Southampton.

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice
Tottenham 5 - 4 Leicester

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham said goodbye to Wembley in style as they came from behind to beat Leicester 5-4 in a thrilling final-day Premier League encounter.

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory
Newcastle 3 - 0 Chelsea

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea's faint hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton
Liverpool 4 - 0 Brighton

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Liverpool secured a top-four spot with very little fuss as Mohamed Salah's new Premier League goalscoring record paved the way for a 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield
Huddersfield 0 - 1 Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsene Wenger bowed out with a victory as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal in their season finale against Huddersfield.

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham
West Ham 0 - 0 Manchester United

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

West Ham and Manchester United played out a dull goalless draw at the London Stadium -- although the result was enough to see Jose Mourinho's side secure second place in the Premier League.