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Burnley v Middlesbrough Live Commentary, 26/12/2016

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A. Gray (80)
Turf Moor


Full-time at Turf Moor. Burnley win the battle of the promoted sides on this occasion as they run out narrow 1-0 victors over Middlesbrough and claim a vital three points in the process. The only goal of the match came with ten minutes to go through Andre Gray, as Sean Dyche's men climb away from the bottom three further. Thanks for joining us!
Álvaro Negredo
Yellow Card
We have a full team of yellow cards now as Negredo is booked for going in slightly forcefully on Mee during an aerial collision. A bit harsh, but the referee has been rather card-happy all afternoon.
Four minutes of added time have been signalled by the referee which could come as a source of confidence to Boro who are continuing to pepper the Burnley box with crosses.
Burnley have just retreated into a defensive shell in the past couple of minutes as they look to solidify themselves to see out the victory. Boro are getting desperate with plenty of balls being launched into the opposition penalty area, but the home side are remaining solid for the time being.
G. Friend
M. de Roon
The second change sees George Friend come on for De Roon.
Adama Traoré
C. Stuani
Double change from Karanka. The first alteration sees Adama Traore enter the action to replace Stuani.
J. Hendrick
Yellow Card
The tenth yellow card of the day is Hendrick, who will be suspended after tallying up the bookings for the season.
Just under 10 minutes remaining at Turf Moor and Burnley look good value for the lead at the moment, and even to perhaps go on and claim the second goal to wrap up the three points. Boro need to show a little more attacking ambition if they are to claw a draw out of this.
S. Vokes
Nice impact off the bench for Vokes who gains the assist.
A. Gray
GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLL FOR BURNLEY! The hosts make the breakthrough! Heaton sends a speculative long ball up the pitch and Vokes climbs above his marker to guide a flick-on to Gray, who drills a superb first-time volley towards goal from 20 yards. It proves to be too hot to handle for Valdes! One-nil.
Yellow Card
Negredo latches on to a loose ball around 20 yards out and connects with a stinging volley, only for Boyd to make to the brave block. Burnley attempt to counter with pace through Defour, but Fabio takes one for the team and leaves a nasty tackle on the Belgian in the process to see yellow.
J. Guðmunds­son
S. Arfield
Last throw of the dice from Dyche as he makes his third and final substitution. Johan Gudmundsson is given a warm reception from the Turf Moor faithful as he makes his way on to the pitch, with Arfield the man heading for the bench.
Barragan sends a lovely pass in behind the Burnley defence to the right of the box and Stuani latches on to it with a neat first touch. The Uruguayan spots the run of Negredo near the penalty spot but the subsequent cross into the box is too near to Heaton, who takes the pressure off his defence by claiming out of the air.
S. Defour
D. Marney
Another change from the home side now as Steven Defour replaces Marney in midfield.
A. Gray
Yellow Card
We have seen yellow cards issued for pretty much every offence in the book today, and the list is completed by Andre Gray who is punished for kicking the ball away after being penalised for a shove on the defender. The eighth yellow of the day so far.
Forshaw receives the ball to feet inside his own half and actually finds himself surrounded by FOUR Burnley attackers. Luckily for the visitors, the midfielder displays a brilliantly cool head to evade all the challenges with some quick footwork before sweeping a neat pass down the left wing for Fabio.
After an important interception from Ward, Boro get another corner. Ramirez swings the set-piece ominously into the centre of the box and Stuani makes the connection with a glancing header towards the back post into space, but there are no takers for the visitors ready to smash home!
S. Vokes
A. Barnes
First change of the match from Sean Dyche who is just looking to shake the strike force up a bit. Leaving the action is the ineffectual Barnes and his replacement will be Sam Vokes who will slot in alongside Gray up top.
S. Ward
Yellow Card
There really has been no love lost between these two sides today and that has been displayed by the amount of cards brandished. Ward is the latest guilty party after taking out Barragan near the corner flag, with a player melee ensuing after.
De Roon attempts to support Negredo up top with a late run into the box from midfield and does so by powering towards the byline, but is forced to settle for the corner-kick after an outstanding tackle from Mee, who definitely would have conceded a penalty had he not won the ball so cleanly there.
Gaston Ramirez has been known to have a few little flurrys of indiscipline so far this season and is in danger of doing so again here. Whilst on a yellow card, he takes a massive, high swipe at Marney in the middle of the park and is very lucky that no connection is actually made with the Burnley man.
Ramirez is tasked with the shot on goal from the free-kick after the Marney handball, but it is disappointing from the former Southampton man who only succeeds in popping a weak strike into the arms of Heaton.
De Roon gets into an advanced area this time and just manages to find a yard of space around 25 yards out to get the shot away. It is going nowhere, but Boro actually get something positive out of it as the strike cannons off the hand of Marney, who concedes the free-kick.
Ten minutes into the second period now and although Burnley have continued their slight dominance, it is coming without much of a threat being posed to the Middlesbrough goal. Plenty of possession for the hosts, but it is coming in areas which aren't resulting in Boro becoming too worried.
J. Flanagan
Yellow Card
Flanagan is the latest player to see yellow and it is for a nasty, scything challenge on Ramirez, who looked like he was going to make his way into the box via the left channel. Free-kick to Boro in a cracking position a yard in from the byline.
Clayton picks up possession down the touchline and goes on a marauding run into space, looking to find room for the cross. He eventually sends a speculative delivery into the box but Negredo is unable to get the better of Mee or Keane, with the latter eventually clearing with a header.
Just before the break, Burnley looked the most likely side to break the deadlock with a decent little period of sustained pressure. They have continued this trend into the second period as Boro are camped inside their own defensive areas struggling to break free.
One definite factor of the game so far which is contributing to the lack of quality in the final third as been wind. Players are having to be so precise with their crossing into the box as aerial balls are just being swept up by a strong gust. Need to get the ball on the deck more!
The second period is under way.
Half-time at Turf Moor. Not the worst game you'll ever see so far, but with so much riding on the vital three points there has been an overlying cagey feel to this match between Burnley and Boro so far. No goals so far in the opening 45 minutes, but the game should begin to open up as legs start to get tired.
Yellow Card
The yellow cards are coming thick and fast at Turf Moor and the next player to see his name go into the book is Barragan, who now picks up a suspension.
TWO minutes of added time have been allocated by the referee here as Burnley and Boro both attempt to grab the opener before the half-time oranges. Not a lot happening at the moment, though, so this tepid last few minutes looks like it is going to stutter out to the half-time whistle.
B. Mee
Yellow Card
Mee is the latest player to see yellow and it is probably the most obvious booking in today's Boxing Day fixtures as he initially very nearly catches Ramirez with a high tackle, only to eventually commit the foul by pulling the Uruguayan to the floor.
At times this season, Negredo has seemed one of the most isolated centre-forwards in the country with very little support coming from deeper areas. Unfortunately for Karanka's charges, this formula has continued into today despite some excellent recent form from the Spaniard. They need to get him into the game!
Arfield gets into a decent position down the left wing but is forced to come back inside on to his right foot due to the lack of support inside the box. The cross is subsequently whipped into the danger area, but Valded takes the pressure completely off his defenders by proactively claiming possession out of the air,
Barnes must have did something to Chambers' Christmas dinner yesterday as the defender appears to really have something in for the Burnley man. Within around a 10-minute spell, there is three to four very strong shoves to the back fom the Arsenal loanee on his opposite number. It will be a matter of time before he gets booked if this keeps up/
A good period of pressure from the Clarets at the moment as they continually knock at the door of this Boro defence to find the opening goal. The majority of their threat is coming from set-pieces, but Karanka's men have proved themselved well-drilled to deal with such situations, up until now at least!
Neither Heaton or Valdes has been tested to a particularly high degree between the sticks. The Boro stopper was called into action via a rasper of a strike from Boyd following a set-piece routine from the hosts, but the eventual save was comfortable for a goalkeeper of the Spaniard's calibre.
G. Ramírez
Yellow Card
Another booking now and no surprise to see Gaston Ramirez see yellow ad he tends to lose the head slightly when Boro are off-form.
There is a very interesting feud developing between Chambers and Barnes here and the latest entry into the saga comes as the Arsenal loanee blatantly shoves the centre-forward straight on the bac with the edge of his ebow.
With so much on the line, things are getting fairly feisty at the moment with tackles flying in here, there, and everywhere. The referee has been in the news recently for failing to send off Marcos Rojo for a horror two-footed tackle and then sending off Jamie Vardy for a lesser offence.
Hendrick certainly isn't lacking in any confidence at the moment. Just a week or so after that screamer of a goal against Bournemouth, the Ireland international tries his luck again with a volleyed attempt from around 35 yards, but there is no such luck with this current attempt as it is screwed wi,
Well the Burnley fans, and indeed Dyche, have the right to feel a little aggrieved here as moments after Boyd was booked, Barragan hauls and pulls Clayton to the floor basically INSIDE the dugout, only to somehow evade seeing yellow.
G. Boyd
Yellow Card
First booking of the match for Burnley now. The guilty party is Boyd who needlessly scythes through the back of De Roon inside the centre circle, even if the Dutchman was going nowhere.
Similarly to Gray and Barnes, Negredo too hasn't saw a lot of action in the final third. A few good bits of hold-up play from the former Valencia and Manchester City striker, but not a direct threat to goal as of yet.
Gray, who has struggled to get into things so far, makes a selfless run into the left channel down the left-hand side towards the corner flag. The Burnley striker is forced to wait for help, but by the time he finds Arfield Boro are already back into a decent defensive shape.
The game is end-to-end currently with neither side really establishing dominance in those central areas. Not a lot of organisation, but it is making for a cracking watch!
JUST WIDE FROM STUANI! The Uruguayan takes advantage of some unsure Burnley defending to run in behid the right channel before going one-on-one with the goalkeeper. With defenders quickly retreating, he goes for the bouncing volley towards the bottom corner, but unfortunately for the visitors it goes the wrong side of the post.
Burnley are definitely going to rely a lot on set-pieces this afternoon as they are certainly making a big deal out of any free-kick opportunities in the final third. However, on this occasion Arfield's cross is desperatelt poor and ends up being floated nowhere near towards any team-mates into the hands of Valdes.
Judging from the opening few minutes of play this is going to be quite the entertaining scrap. With such a vital three points on the line we didn't really expect too much silky football, but there are players out there who have the ability to open things up with a little bit of class.
After a few poorly attempted clearances by Boro, the ball falls nicely for Arfield on the edge of the penalty area. The Canada international goes for the first-time snapshot but there is no power in the execution which once again allows Valdes to collect into his arms fairly comfortably.
Burnley get the free-kick just in front of the dugout and it is actually Heaton, oddly, who is tasked with the delivery from inside the Boro half. The Burnley keeper steps up to flight a cross deep to the back post, but Arfield's header goes straight into the arms of the grateful Valdes between the sticks.
M. de Roon
Yellow Card
Well De Roon must not have had a very Merry Christmas as he immediately sees yellow for a pretty nasty challenge on Ward. The Dutchman will be walking a disciplinary tightrope for basically this entire match now.
We are under way at Turf Moor!
Boro subs: Guzan, Friend, Bernardo, Leadbitter, Traore, Downing, Rhodes.
Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Valdes; Barragan, Gibson, Chambers, Fabio; Forshaw, De Roon; Clayton, Ramirez, Stuani; Negredo.
Burnley subs: Defour, Kightly, Darikwa, Gudmundsson, Robinson, Tarkowski, Vokes.
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Flanagan, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Hendrick, Marney, Arfield; Gray, Barnes.
This is actually the first clash between Burnley and Middlesbrough in the English top-flight in 40 years. The last fixture between the two took place last season in the Championship and ended in a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor after goals from Jordan Rhodes and Michael Keane.
Due to their promotion from the Championship last season, both sides featuring today were tipped to be involved in a relegation battle this season. Although they may be out of the bottom three at the moment in 16th and 14th place respectively, Sean Dyche and Aitor Karanka will certainly be aware of their proximity to the dropzone.
Good afternoon football fans! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Boxing Day Premier League encounter between Burnley and Middlesbrough from Turf Moor!