Nick Pope denies a dominant Aston Villa three points as Burnley leave the Midlands with a point


Dean Smith’s side were made to rue their missed chances after recording a total of 27 shots against Burnley in what was an entertaining goalless draw at Villa Park, with Nick Pope providing a number of excellent saves to deny Villa three points.

After Burnley moved out of the relegation zone by a point, manager Sean Dyche said:

“We defended very well I thought… I’m pleased with the point overall, you’re never going to overthink three points at Arsenal and a point at Villa, two clean sheets as well.”

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said:

“We kept knocking on the door, our football was good… we’ll go home disappointed knowing we haven’t got all three points.”

Anwar El Ghazi recorded eight shots towards the Burnley goal, the most any Villa player has produced so far this season, coming closest with his first-half strike. El Ghazi may regret those missed chances as Villa remain five points off of the top four, still with two games in hand.

Nick Pope earnt himself a fifth clean sheet of the season on the road, denying Anwar El Ghazi’s first half free kick which looked set to hit the top corner. Burnley weren’t their best on the ball which led to Villa’s dominant performance, when asked about his team’s performance Pope commented:

“The back four look after me… its down to hard-work and communication which we’re doing well with at the minute.”

Pope is knocking on Gareth Southgate’s door expecting for a call-up for the 2021 European Championship, Burnley’s low league position doesn’t justify the keeper’s performances so far this season.

Despite the goalless result, Burnley failed to look threatening when going forward which is shown in the six goals, they’ve scored in 12 matches so far this season. Coming into the new year, this is an issue which will have to change for Dyche’s side, or they can expect a relegation scrap.

Chris Wood’s goal draught has extended to four games, while teammate Ashley Barnes is yet to register a goal this campaign.

The Clarets earned their fourth clean sheet away from home, maintaining a three-game unbeaten run ahead of their home match to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who beat Chelsea 2-1 earlier in the week.

While Villa travel to face Sam Allardyce’s West Brom in a local derby on Sunday. Smith will be looking to get one up on Villa’s rivals ahead of the busy new year.

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