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EUROPA LEAGUE 2nd Leg: Burnley made to battle for victory over Aberdeen

Burnley needed extra time to progress from this second qualifying round Europa League tie 3-1 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate, in a game which what it lacked in skills made up for in atmosphere, excitement, and commitment.

Much had been made of the financial discrepancy between the Premier League in England and its counterpart in Scotland, but Aberdeen put on a battling display which showed the gap between the leagues may not be as great as suggested.

Burnley may have had the perfect start to this Anglo-Scottish encounter by taking an early lead but it was Aberdeen who ended the first half the stronger after levelling with a brilliant overhead kick.

After just 6 minutes Chris Wood collected a long ball forward and despite the attention of two central Aberdeen defenders outmuscled both of them, retained his composure, and with keeper Joe Lewis stranded smashed the ball high into the net.

Certainly the Clarets had started strongly with Aberdeen struggling to get out of their own half, and once they went ahead it seemed only a matter of time before they extended their lead.

The Dons were having to defend deep and kept chances to a minimum for the home side and then against the run of play they equalised on 27 minutes with a brilliant effort.

Gary Mackay-Steven galloped down the left and crossed but the clearing header from Burnley was poor and Lewis Ferguson took full advantage to launch himself into a bicycle kick which flew into the net to the intense jubilation of the Aberdeen fans as Turf Moor fell silent.

Back came Burnley but they became frustrated with some of the officials decisions and Aberdeen gained in confidence. Just before the interval Graeme Shinnie shot from distance and Anders Lindegaard was at full stretch to save.

After the resulting corner the Italian referee blew for half-time and there then followed some minor scuffles between the players as they left the field. Burnley had been rattled and probably needed the break to retain their composure.

The home side started the second period brightly creating a couple of half chances and JohannBerg Gudmundsson forced a good save from Lewis. Three penalty shouts in quick succession, all refused,

were ramping up the atmosphere as the Dons struggled with the pace of Burnley's attacking intent.

Gradually Aberdeen weathered the storm and skipper Shinnie was allowed time and space but could only fire over. Back came Burnley and substitute Ashley Barnes saw his shot diverted behind with a one handed save. Then, to add to the entertainment a fan ran onto the pitch but was quickly grounded and escorted off past the visiting supporters.

The Dons now started to press and Shinnie again went close. But Burnley almost regained the lead as a powerful glancing header from Sam Vokes hit the woodwork and was scrambled clear.

But extra time was eventually required as Burnley failed to sustain their dominance and Aberdeen began to look dangerous on the break.

But it was the home side who struck first in the additional 30 minutes. Jack Cork rising highest to head powerfully home substitute Charlie Taylor's cross on 101 minutes.

An Ashley Barnes penalty sealed the win after 114 minutes when Scott McKenna was harshly adjudged to have handled.

So Burnley continue their adventure in Europe 51 years since they last competed and will play Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the third qualifying round. But Aberdeen pushed them hard and will feel disappointed they did not at least take this game to a penalty shoot out.

AET

Burnley: 3 (Wood 6, Cork 101, Barnes pen 114)

Aberdeen: 1 (Ferguson 27)

Venue Turf Moor

Burnley progress 4-2 on aggregate

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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