Arijanet Muric own goal denies Burnley win over Brighton


Burnley assistant coach Craig Bellamy, attributes the calamitous own goal by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric to their team’s style of play, emphasizing that it’s not solely his fault.

Muric’s misfortune occurred when a routine backpass from his teammate Sander Berge unexpectedly slipped under his heel and into the net, denying Burnley a crucial Premier League victory over Brighton at Turf Moor.

“It’s the way we play. It happens. It’s not his fault, it’s our fault. We take full responsibility for that,” Bellamy said.

“That’s [Muric error] our doing as coaches. This is what we expect, this is how we play. We expect the goalkeeper and demand that the goalkeeper is able to play with his feet.

“On this occasion it didn’t go for us but we don’t look at it as the goalkeeper’s mistake.”

Bellamy stood in for manager Vincent Kompany, who was absent from the dugout due to a one-match ban following a red card received at Chelsea last month.

Josh Brownhill injected a glimmer of hope into Burnley’s Premier League survival prospects on the 74th minute, seizing an opportunity from a short backpass by Carlos Baleba. The ball deflected off keeper Bart Verbruggen’s side, giving the home side the lead.

However, just five minutes later, Muric’s mistake leveled the score, and Burnley failed to regain their advantage to secure all three points.

This incident occurred a week after Muric’s previous error, which led to Everton’s 1-0 victory over Kompany’s team. Muric, 25, has been preferred over the usual number one keeper, James Trafford, in their last five games.

Trafford was benched for Burnley’s win against Brentford last month following calls from fans for his replacement, and the England Under-21s goalkeeper has not seen playing time since then.

In a match with limited opportunities, Burnley had the upper hand in the first 45 minutes. Jacob Bruun Larsen missed a tap-in from five yards at the back post, while David Datro Fofana failed to connect with a superb pass from Wilson Odobert.

The home side’s early penalty claim was denied after Pervis Estupinan clumsily fouled Odobert, leaving Burnley to regret their missed chances.

The outcome leaves Brighton in 10th place in the Premier League, while Burnley remains firmly entrenched in the relegation zone, trailing by six points from safety.

Burnley losing hope as Brighton peter out

Kompany has frequently emphasized this season the superiority of his team’s play compared to their opponents. However, these commendable performances hold little value if they do not translate into positive results.

Burnley’s woes at home continue, with a club-record 11 defeats in 17 Premier League matches and a failure to score in 12 out of 33 league games, the highest among all top-flight teams.

Despite creating two excellent opportunities in the first half, Jay Rodriguez also came close in the second half, and defensively Burnley remained resolute. Nonetheless, surrendering leads due to avoidable errors has been the recurring theme of their season, with a staggering 24 points dropped from winning positions serving as evidence.

Facing upcoming tough fixtures against Manchester United and Tottenham, Burnley will view this result as two points squandered rather than one gained. The crestfallen reaction of their players at the final whistle suggests they share this sentiment and realize the dire situation.

The outcome is particularly painful considering Brighton’s subpar performance at Turf Moor. Despite an improved showing in the second half, with Pascal Gross’s effort tipped over the bar and Joao Pedro heading just wide from a corner, recent results indicate that Brighton’s season is on the verge of fizzling out.

Manager Roberto de Zerbi was already grappling with the absence of nine first-team players, and Estupinan’s early departure due to a suspected ankle injury could extend that list to ten. With just two points from their last four games, the strain of European football on their schedule appears to have taken its toll this campaign, making another season of continental football increasingly improbable.