Belfast Telegraph

Burnley v Middlesbrough - story of the match

Andre Gray volleyed in his second ever Premier League goal 10 minutes from time to earn Burnley a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at Turf Moor.

The former non-league forward had not scored since netting against Liverpool in August, after which historical homophobic posts on social media came to light that saw the Football Association hand him a four-game ban.

Last year's Sky Bet Championship player of the year has not been a regular since returning but he provided the key contribution in a dull affair here with a late strike that earned the Clarets a sixth home win of the season.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Once there was a manager, w ho had a wonderful idea, t o grow a circular beard, t hat all other teams would fear, h e grew a DISC BEARD, A DISC BEARD" - Celebrity Boro fan and comedian Bob Mortimer thinks Burnley boss Sean Dyche's goatee might be the Clarets' secret weapon.

STAR MAN

Ben Mee. In a tense content where both defences were on top, Mee kept Alvaro Negredo quiet and almost made a couple of excellently timed challenges, including one inside the area.

REF WATCH

Craig Pawson was in charge at Turf Moor having experienced an interesting afternoon in his previous game at Stoke, when he sent Jamie Vardy off, angered Claudio Ranieri and booked Erik Pieters instead of Bruno Martins Indi. Here he booked 11 players and seemed to brandish his yellow card as if it were a new toy he had unwrapped it the previous day as a present.

DATA POINT

Burnley have now accrued 20 points, 19 of which have come at Turf Moor. This was their sixth home win of the season, only Chelsea and Tottenham have more.

RATINGS

Burnley

Tom Heaton 7

Jon Flanagan 7

Michael Keane 7

Ben Mee 8

Stephen Ward 6

George Boyd 6

Jeff Hendrick 6

Dean Marney 6

Scott Arfield 6

Ashley Barnes 6

Andre Gray 7

Substitutes

Sam Vokes (on for Barnes) 7

Steven Defour (on for Marney) 6

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (on for Arfield) 6

Middlesbrough

Victor Valdes 5

Antonio Barragan 6

Ben Gibson 7

Calum Chambers 7

Fabio da Silva 6

Adam Clayton 6

Marten de Roon 6

Adam Forshaw 6

Cristhian Stuani 7

Gaston Ramirez 7

Alvaro Negredo 6

Substitutes

Adama Traore (on for Stuani) 6

George Friend (on for De Roon) 6

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Burnley v Sunderland (Premier League, December 31)

Manchester United v Middlesbrough (Premier League, December 31)

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