10-man Swansea slip to heavy defeat at Burnley
The Swans’ run of four-straight wins was brought crashing to an end by goals from Vitinho, Rodriguez and Anass Zaroury, and their misery was completed by a straight red card for top scorer Joel Piroe for violent conduct with 15 minutes remaining.
The Clarets extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions as Vincent Kompany got his tactical plan spot on in a match billed as a battle of two of the Championship’s more cultured sides.
Burnley, who moved top of the table as a result – took control early on, thwarting the Swans’ attempts to play out from the back and exposing a vulnerability on their flanks.
With Vitinho causing panic on the Swansea left – and Ian Maatsen and Zaroury doing the same on the other side – the visitors were constantly opened up.
When Maatsen swung a dipping cross across the face of the six-yard box after 15 minutes, the defence hesitated and the ball bounced up neatly onto the head of the inrushing Vitinho, who despatched it past Steven Benda.
Vitinho also played a big part in the second goal after 24 minutes as he snapped up a loose ball and drove infield, deep into Swans territory.
He released Maatsen in space and when the Dutch wing back moved the ball onto Zaroury, the winger whipped another ball to the far post, where Rodriguez’s volley was confirmed as being over the line by the Hawkeye goal decision system.
Swansea struggled to cope with Burnley’s smart pressing and their frustration brought first-half bookings for Matty Sorinola, Ben Cabango, Jay Fulton and Joel Latibeaudiere, all for fouls on sprightly Burnley attacking players Vitinho, Nathan Tella and Zaroury.
Josh Brownhill was denied a third when his snap shot from 25 yards was superbly tipped over by Benda, but in time added at the end of the first half, the Clarets did score again.
The Swansea defence had looked increasingly nervy and when Cabango underhit a pass as they tried to play out against more clever pressing, Tella pounced. The ball broke to Josh Brownhill, who calmly laid it left for Zaroury to drill in his first goal for the club.
Rodriguez bagged his second in the 57th minute when another slick Clarets attack culminated in Josh Cullen sliding a pass down the inside left channel, the England international slipping his marker and shooting left-footed into the far corner.
Swansea’s frustration boiled over after 76 minutes when Piroe tried to turn away from Cullen, who pulled his shirt.
After the Burnley man fell to the ground, Piroe stamped on him to earn an instant dismissal and three-match ban.
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