Burnley 1-0 Manchester United
Wednesday 19th August 2009
Alexander (Gudjonsen 73)
Fletcher (Thompson 81)
Paterson (Eagles 83)
Brown (Neville 71)
Anderson (Valencia 59)
Owen (Berbatov 63)
It has been the best part of 10 years since Burnley’s maiden voyage into the Premier League, and despite two relegations during that time, it could now be argued that supporting The Clarets is more fulfilling than following Man United. Lead by the gravelly-voiced wizard Sean Dyche, Burnley are sat in a very respectable 7th in the Premier League – and have only conceded three goals less than 2nd placed United have this season.
Back in 2009 however, Burnley were the new kids on the top-flight block. At that time, they were the smallest town to have ever been represented in the Premier League, so playing Man United in their first home game must have seemed like a dream come true – it was the ultimate David vs Goliath tale. Though they headed into the encounter having lost 2-0 away to Stoke on the opening day of the campaign, this did little in terms of dampening the spirits of Burnley, who spectacularly took the lead after just 11 minutes.
It is now an iconic Premier League goal – a stunning volley from talisman Robbie Blake that sent Turf Moor into raptures. But what was arguably most impressive about the goal, was the way that a newly-promoted, Owen Coyle-lead Burnley managed to nullify Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United for an entire 90 minutes.
It was not a seamless clean sheet, however. Burnley shot-stopper Brian Jensen, now a forgotten hero, dramatically saved a Michael Carrick penalty on the verge of half time, amidst a sprinkling of chances for the away side. It did seem as though it was a matter of time before United drew level, but a remarkable second-half performance from Burnley ensured the fever-pitch atmosphere inside Turf Moor lasted for the entire 90 minutes.
In the second half, United threw it all at Burnley. Much needed pace was injected in the format of Antonio Valencia, whilst their firepower was being added to with to the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov around the hour mark.
United pushed predictably for the equaliser in the closing stages, plus four agonising minutes of added time but the home side were resolute. It was Burnley’s first league win against Manchester United at home since September 1968, and the ecstatic scenes were sparked inside the famous old ground when referee Alan Wiley sounded the final whistle indicated the scale and significance of this triumph for Coyle and his players. It was an incredible way to announce your arrival into the Premier League, and one that will be remembered in Burnley for years to come.