Burnley departed Goodison Park yesterday leaving Ronald Koeman feeling decidedly blue.
In this statistics-obsessed, Premier League era in which we currently live, it seems probable that someone somewhere, will keep records of the ratio of chances created to goals scored.
Assuming that this is the case then it would be of great interest to see how Sean Dyche's Burnley team ratio stacks up alongside that of other teams?
For it seems that whilst Burnley’s defensive discipline rightly receives the plaudits, their attacking players are continually asked to make optimum use of the relatively few chances that they create. No team, it seems, is so adept at making so much out of so little.
Never was this more evident than this afternoon against Everton. For whilst the home team huffed and puffed to no real effect, the match’s most incisive chance came at the culmination of a flowing twenty four pass Burnley move, inspired by Eire's Robbie Brady.
Another man from the Republic of Ireland, Jeff Hendrick ultimately skipped matador-style away from Morgan Schneiderlin’s crudely lunging challenge and eased the ball into the corner of Jordan Pickford’s goal. It was the sort of goal Barcelona score, Pep would have been purring with delight.
When the two teams last met towards the end of last season, Romelu Lukaku’s two goals represented the difference between the two sides. Without Lukaku’s presence, class and aplomb in front of goal, Everton now look a forlorn team, lacking in confidence and deprived of a cutting edge.
That the Clarets were prepared to exploit Lukaku's absence bears testament to their advancing maturity and collective spirit which is seeing them perform with admirable consistency, particularly away from home. The traumas suffered by Burnley on their travels last season are now being rapidly consigned to the pages of Premier League history.
Today’s victory has propelled Burnley to seventh in the table, with only the elite “big six” ahead of them. For the moment, and as we go into international purdah, Burnley are the best of the rest.
There will be further difficult challenges ahead and there may well be times when Burnley’s form flat-lines. But Sean Dyche seems to have developed a style of play which ensures that any lull in form is short-lived and so long as everyone at the club, supporters included, keeps faith then they will continue to be rewarded in the form of points.
This Burnley centric match report is written by regular contributor to Clarets Mad, uber Burnley fan David Thornley. (TEC).