Let’s start by taking a look at some of the key stats from our season ending 1-2 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor yesterday.
Having dominance over our opponents in any game this season in terms of possession has been a rarity at best, but yesterday was an exception to that rule. We got the better of The Clarets in most areas and possession was certainly no different, as we had 55.6 percent to our hosts 44.4 percent possession. However, despite the fact that we seemed to excel with the ball yesterday, there is no doubt that our possession rates and overall stats with the ball must improve next season.
Shots on and off target
If there was one stat that displayed the magnitude of our dominance at Turf Moor yesterday, it was the attempts on and off target. We regularly peppered Tom Heaton’s goal with 14 shots, four of which were on target compared to Sean Dyche’s men’s nine efforts with only one directly at Adrian in our goal. Considering the fact that we travelled to Turf Moor with only one conventional striker in the whole squad, we really did do well in front of goal to finish the season on an impressive 28 away goals.
Corners and passing accuracy
Judging by our impressive possession stats it is hardly a surprise that we also managed to get the better of our hosts in terms of passing accuracy in contrast to recent weeks where we have often been second best. Despite key midfielder Havard Nordtveit pulling out of the match day squad late on, we managed 76.3 percent passing accuracy to the Clarets 68.8 percent. Our superb passing also played a major part in our first goal as a silky passing move was well finished by Sofiane Feghouli.
Among our ten first-team absentees that missed yesterday’s victory was some of our best header’s of the ball, so it is no surprise that we didn’t win as many corners as our opponents. The hosts were unable to use their aerial advantage to their use as they wasted their five corners and we barely threatened from our two of the wide set pieces. There is no doubt that Slaven Bilic adopts a totally different game plan in the absence of players like Andy Carroll.
Blocks and clearances
Much to our surprise we were barely threatened by Burnley at the back, but we still had some work to do defensively and that is seen through these defensive statistics. The hosts had far more work to do in terms of key blocks to keep out our rampant attack yesterday as The Clarets made five key blocks to our one. Burnley did threaten us a bit more from the flanks as we were forced to make 18 key clearances to Sean Dyche’s men’s 19. It is hard to deny that our defending has improved towards the back end of this season as we have kept three clean sheets in our last five League fixtures, but sleepy defending wasn’t too far away yesterday as we were cut open on the break for Burnley to lead through Sam Vokes. However, it didn’t have a profound impact on the outcome of the tie as we finished our poor season in winning fashion.