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International Games
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Wells Starts On Burnley Bench Against Stoke
Burnley 1 Stoke City 0

Nahki Wells was once again an unused substitute as Burnley climbed into the Champions League places as Ashley Barnes' late winner earned them a 1-0 victory over troubled Stoke.

This was not one of the Clarets' better displays in filthy conditions and the visitors enjoyed the better of the chances prior to Barnes' 89th-minute strike.

It is more than 40 years since Burnley have occupied such a lofty position and their joy was in direct contrast to the emotions of Mark Hughes and his Stoke players.

Three days after being confronted by angry fans at the railway station following the 5-1 mauling by Tottenham, Hughes was jeered by the vocal band of away supporters.

There were loud boos and chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' when Hughes replaced Xherdan Shaqiri with Eric Choupo-Moting five minutes before Burnley's goal.

The defeat continued Stoke's worst start to a Premier League season, and they could drop closer to the relegation zone on Wednesday.

This was certainly a night where a lack of character was not an option.

Freezing rain swept across Turf Moor as the players took to the pitch and, no doubt with Hughes' words ringing in their ears, Stoke set about trying to rectify some of Saturday's damage.

Peter Crouch - one of three changes to the side - might have scored inside three minutes when he took advantage of a rare mistake from James Tarkowski to get on the end of Ramadan Sobhi's cross.

Shooting from close range but a very tight angle, Crouch's effort hit the bottom of a post.

Kurt Zouma was the next to threaten, meeting a Shaqiri corner smartly on the volley but striking the ball straight at Nick Pope.

The conditions were not making life easy, and Jack Butland was fortunate to get away with an uncharacteristic spill before Burnley received a let-off when Shaqiri slipped when bearing down on goal.

Burnley were growing into the game without threatening to add to their home tally of six goals in nine games.

Already without defensive duo Ben Mee and Matt Lowton, they were forced into a change after 41 minutes when Stephen Ward picked up a problem and former Leeds left-back Charlie Taylor was sent on for a Premier League debut.

Stoke continued to offer the greater threat after the break before they, too, were forced into a defensive reshuffle.
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