|Maxwell Cornet celebrates after scoring what proved to be the winner at Turf Moor on Wednesday night to close the gap on Everton in the relegation dogfight. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Burnley beat Everton on Wednesday with a sensational second-half performance powered by a strong halftime team talk by manager Sean Dyche after his team went into the break with a goal deficit at Turf Moor.
It was a relegation six-pointer, one both managers knew could determine their survival in the league. Everton had the chance to go seven points clear of the Clarets with a rare away win, while the hosts knew all they had to do to close the gap between them and the Toffees to just one point was to win.
Frank Lampard went for the jugular; he started Dominic Calvert Lewin and Richarlison up front, but the Clarets struck first. Ivorian winger Maxwell Cornet set up Nathan Collins, and the defender made no mistakes to send the hosts in front.
It didn’t take long before Richarlison equalized from the spot, not once but twice, as Everton went 2-1 up just before the break. At that point, Everton was seven points clear of the Clarets in the race against the drop, but Burnley had other ideas.
Jay Rodriguez scored not long after the restart to level things, and it became a dodgy affair from there. Everton threw everything forward and looked like grabbing the lead again but for some fine performances by Nick Pope in the Burnley goal and some poor finishing from the Everton forwards.
With five minutes left on the clock, Cornet met a Matej Vidra pass to ruin the night of the visiting fans, he scored what proved to be the winner, and Frank Lampard couldn’t believe his eyes.
The former Chelsea star tried to claw things back with the introduction of Jose Solomon Rondon, but Burnley held on for the win, which has given them hope in the relegation dogfight.
"You sense a team doesn't know how to win a game. I said to our players that this lot don't know how to win a game away from home," Dyche said when asked what he told his team at the break after two Richarlison penalties had given the visitors the advantage.
Frank Lampard threw his hands in the air and vowed to fight for the remaining nine matches; he now must face a challenging run of games with grit and solid performances if Everton’s 68 year run in the premier league would continue or come to an end.
"The effort is there; belief will be tested," he said. "When you lose, it's a test of belief. The players are disappointed in the end. In terms of the general performance, I didn't hate it. The goals are not goals that we should concede.
"I don't need picking up. I'm the one that needs to be picking people up. As much as it feels not great tonight, you’ve got to focus on Saturday tomorrow.
"Manchester United will be a completely different game, understanding the pressure that's now on it. We can't pretend tonight didn't happen; we have to be on a good edge against United."