Sat September 24, 2022
Barclays Premier League
Dover (4-1-0, 13 points, 1st) vs. Burnley (1-2-2, 5 points, 15th)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK
Betting Odds: Dover: 1-3 (Favourites) Draw: 3-1 Burnley: 7-1
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 2L
Burnley were the winners in the Championship last year and earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2017/18. They dropped that year and we would get promoted the same year and for that reason, they are the rare team that we've never faced in league play, with our two losses coming in a preseason friendly and a 2014 League Cup tie. Befitting a club making the jump, they weren't huge spenders in the preseason, with their biggest purchase being a £3.2 million deal with Newcastle for midfielder Stefan Gospodinov. Striker Haris Seferovic has three goals in six games to lead the club in the early goings and they also have Cameron Murray, our former backup left winger that they picked up from us in a £1.8 million deal in July.
We're back to a full strength side for today's league match. We do have a Champions League game coming up on Wednesday, followed by a matchup against Chelsea next weekend but this is a game we should be winning convincingly.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - D. Traore, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, S. Henni, Z. Bardi, P. Moses
Burnley are in a flat 4-4-2 to start with Harry Kane and Seferovic up front. Cameron Murray is starting on the left flank and it's Dwayne Miller in goal. I don't beat around the bush in my pre-game chat: I tell the players I expect a win today.
2' - Rocca springs Shanon Andrea and his blast is turned aside by Miller.
4' - Shanon Andrea suffers a knock and he's off for brief treatment. He can stay in the game but he has the dreaded cross above his name in the highlights. Not a good omen.
6' - Neil Cairney has the ball at midfield and sends a delightful ball up the left middle to Andrea. He cuts back inside from near the byline and crosses, hitting a Burnley defender and deflecting right to the left foot of Andrea Rocca and it's an easy finish into the wide open net for our midfielder! DOVER GOAL 1-0
8' - Rocca with a free kick just outside the area and it's headed away by Burnley but Cairney gets the ball back and hits a curling shot that hits the goalpost and bounces out. Oooh!
23' - We send the ball up to Andrea again and upon reaching the area, he's tackled from behind. He's hurt again but it's a PENALTY! Neil Cairney steps up and shoots low into the left corner and it's IN and we have a two goal lead! DOVER GOAL 2-0
38' - Cairney sends a ball upfield and Chiquinho is racing to it. It's a 50/50 type of ball and the Burnley defender slides at it, knocking Chiquinho down and sending the ball past Miller and into the Burnley net! But wait…Chiquinho is called FOR A DIVE?!?! No goal and a yellow card for Chiquinho, who along with Henni are diving a bit too much for my tastes and getting called for it. Damn - I hate that stuff and when these guys aren't producing…it could mean some time on the bench. He'd better start scoring...
40' - Burnley with their first good chance of the game and it's Cameron Murray making a play off a missed Salim Loucif tackle. His cross is in to Kane but Wilke is in good position to make the save.
42' - Rocca has been great so far today and he again sends a great ball up to Andrea but his rocket blast is saved nicely by Miller.
45'+2 - Rayane Hamon called for a foul and he's given a yellow.
45'+3 - Andrea with fantastic touch pass through to Chiquinho but the snake-bitten striker has his blast saved beautifully by Miller.
HALFTIME - The scoreline is still slightly dangerous but we're in complete control here, with 58% of possession and a huge 19-4 (9-2 on target) shot advantage. I want more goals so I encourage the players in the dressing room and tell Chiquinho that I have faith in his abilities.
65' - There were essentially no highlights for the first ten minutes of the half but we've controlled possession since then and get a free kick just outside the area on the left side. Rocca crosses into the box and Gianluca Bolis, quiet until now, heads it into the far corner and we're three ahead! DOVER GOAL 3-0
67' - We work a counter and it's the incredible Shanon Andrea running up field. He runs into the right side of the area and crosses into the middle and there's the much-maligned Chiquinho sliding again, only this time he boots it past Miller and into the goal! Two in the space of three minutes!! DOVER GOAL 4-0
We start to look ahead to our Champions League battle and take out the excellent Andrea Rocca and the yellow carded Rayane Hamon, bringing in Shaun Spall and Kostas Zagos.
70' - We use our last substitution, bringing in Said Henni for Arsene Bamba.
75' - Neil Cairney has it at midfield and sends it up to Andrea. He turns to his right and from a few yards outside the box, delivers a ROCKET that curls into the right corner of the goal for the highlight reel blast!!! Holy crap! He's got the dreaded cross above his head and is hurt but he's playing like a MACHINE!!! DOVER GOAL 5-0
90'+1 - We continue to dominate and it's the ridiculous Shanon Andrea again, avoiding a tackle and sending substitute Said Henni in to the area. Henni works in between two Burnley defenders and shoots low. Miller likely wants this one back but it's IN THE NET and Henni has his first ever Dover goal! My God…Shanon Andrea is just DOMINATING despite the injury!!! DOVER GOAL 6-0
So, so good!
Dover 6 - 0 Burnley
Goals - Andrea Rocca (9.1), Neil Cairney PEN (9.2), Gianluca Bolis (8.6), Chiquinho (8.4), Shanon Andrea (9.6), Said Henni (7.4)
Assists - Shanon Andrea 4, Neil Cairney, Andrea Rocca
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.0), Salim Loucif (8.3), Rayane Hamon (7.3), Claudio Contreras (8.2), Renato Gaucho (8.2), Arsene Bamba (7.3)
Attendance - 19,165
Pure unadulterated domination! We hold 58% of possession and outshoot the newly promoted club 30-9 (16-3 on target), showing no mercy at any point during the game. Just beautiful to watch. Our whole starting lineup gets ratings over 7.0, as does goal-scoring sub Henni. Andrea, with four assists and a goal was devastating and the four assists must be a Dover record. Now, we just hope he isn't hurt badly…
-- And we breathe a sigh of relief, as Shanon Andrea
only has a stubbed toe and will maybe miss a week. Said Henni
will likely get the start at striker alongside Chiquinho
in our upcoming Champions League tie, although Paul Moses
is another option. Andrea is in LETHAL form this year, with five goals and six assists in six games. Those are video game stats alright!!!
-- I think it's worth noting that Neil Cairney
, one of our most high profile signings, is FINALLY living up to the advanced billing. In 34 league games last year, he scored one goal and added three assists. In six league games this year? Three goals and two assists! He's been incredible so far and I hope he keeps it up!
-- In other action, City upend Huddersfield to maintain pace with us while United can only muster a draw against Newcastle. Chelsea storm past Stoke 6-2 and Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - STANDINGS
(ALL TEAMS HAVE PLAYED 6 GAMES UNLESS NOTED)
1. Dover - 16 points
2. Manchester City - 16 points
3. Chelsea - 15 points
4. Manchester United - 13 points
5. Sheffield Wednesday - 13 points
6. Tottenham - 12 points
7. Arsenal - 12 points
Dover U18 Update
-- We win over Reading's U18s 2-0, with fine young midfield prospect Emmerson Harvey
scoring both goals.
Premier League Team of the Week
-- In what must be a record, we get SEVEN players named to the team of the week, with Renato Gaucho
, Salim Loucif
, Claudio Contreras
, Gianluca Bolis
, Neil Cairney
, Andrea Rocca
and Shanon Andrea
all getting honoured!
-- Our only injury right now is Shanon Andrea
but he'll be back in a few days and may be ready for Chelsea on the weekend. Reserve GK Louis Read
is still out for awhile.
Champions League Update
-- In Group E action, CSKA Moscow beat Grasshoppers 3-1 while Real Madrid knock off OM 2-1. In Group F, Man City beat Benfica away in a storming game 4-3 while Le Mans FC win 2-1 over Hoffenheim. In Group G, it's Bayern Munich destroying Fenerbahce 6-1 while Sampdoria beat Shakhtar 4-2. And in Group H, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool battle to a scoreless draw while Fiorentina win 4-0 over Partizan.
-- We head to Slovakia to face Slovan Bratislava in Champions League group play!