Belfast Telegraph

Burnley escape bottom three after draw with Newcastle United

Burnley 1 Newcastle United 1

By Rory Dollard

Burnley climbed out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for the first time since September after extending their undefeated run to four matches.

The match itself was unremarkable, an occasionally untidy 1-1 scuffle lit up by George Boyd's 20-yard opener for the hosts and Yoann Gouffran's clever flick that teed up Papiss Cisse's equaliser.

But the significance of escaping the bottom three is huge to Sean Dyche's Clarets.

A matter of weeks ago they were the only club in English football's top four tiers not to have won a game, now with eight points from the last 12 on offer they are out of the drop zone.

Hull replace them in 18th place, though they have a chance to change that tonight at Everton.

Burnley's resurgence has been built around the return to form and fitness of Danny Ings and although absent from the scoresheet he was again in excellent form.

His cushioned header provided Boyd with the chance he needed to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute and whenever the ball came close to him in the final third, he gave fright to the Magpies defence.

But a draw was the right result and Cisse's fifth of the campaign set Newcastle back on course after a winning run of six matches ended in defeat against West Ham on Saturday.

United boss Alan Pardew was relieved that his worst fears were not realised before kick-off, Daryl Janmaat, Massadio Haidara and Mike Williamson all passed fit.

But he was still without a handful of injured regulars and stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot, deputising again for the absent Tim Krul, saved from Ings before the striker turned provider for Boyd.

Newcastle were playing largely on the counter and Sammy Ameobi stretching Tom Heaton with a skiddy shot across goal and Cisse blazed high into the stands following a deft set-up by Gouffran.

Pardew rang the changes at half-time and he was rewarded three minutes later with the equaliser as Cisse rifled home from close range.

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Ward (Mee 66), Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Ings, Barnes (Jutkiewicz 85). Subs: Wallace, Kightly, Sordell, Gilks, Long.

Goal: Boyd (34)

Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Williamson (Taylor 45), Dummett, Haidara, Abeid, Tiote, Gouffran, Perez (Cabella 45), Ameobi (Riviere 75), Cisse. Subs: Anita, Alnwick, Armstrong, Streete

Goal: Cissé (48)

Man of the match: Danny Ings

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

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