Huddersfield 0-1 Burnley: Vincent Kompany gets off to a winning start in the Championship as Ian Maatsen’s fine finish hands the Clarets all three points on the season’s opening night
- Vincent Kompany’s reign as Burnley manager got off to a winning start on Friday
- The Clarets opened the Championship season with a victory at Huddersfield
- Ian Maatsen’s fine finish in the first half handed Kompany’s side all three points
A meeting to indicate whose summer was more turbulent and Huddersfield Town comfortably took that dubious accolade.
With a hangover from losing the Championship playoff final and their chief executive, Dean Hoyle, still smarting at Carlos Corberan’s resignation three weeks before the season started, Huddersfield were lost for the majority of last night.
Vincent Kompany’s reign as Burnley manager got off to a winning start against Huddersfield
Ian Maatsen’s fine finish in the first half gave Kompany’s side all three points in West Yorkshire
The former Manchester City defender was clearly elated after his side took a deserved lead
Huddersfield: Nicholls, Turton, Edmonds-Green (Nakayama 89), Lees, Ruffels, Hogg, Thomas, Russell (Kasumu 72, Rhodes 89), Holmes (Anjorin 56), Koroma (Rudoni 56), Ward.
Subs not used: Chapman, Jackson.
Burnley: Muric, Roberts, Harwood-Bellis, Taylor, Maatsen, Cullen, Cork, Bastien (Twine 70), Brownhill, Barnes, Costelloe (Vitinho 74).
Subs not used: Phillips, Egan-Riley, Peacock-Farrell, McNally, Dodgson.
Goals: Maatsen 18
Booked: Taylor, Cullen
The key takeaway from Kompany’s first evening in charge was that the Clarets retained the high-intensity of a vintage Sean Dyche team while adding a control in possession rarely seen over the past decade.
Burnley had only completed 300 passes in two matches over the last couple of seasons and reached that mark by half-time. Josh Cullen, the fulcrum of Kompany’s midfield taken from previous employer Anderlecht, did not waste a single of his 47 passes before the break.
This was only one game, and uncertainty still envelops that part of east Lancashire, yet it will offer real hope after a strange few days.
A special guest made his way back up to Turf Moor’s local pub, The Royal Dyche, earlier in the week. Their ex-manager, still revered around the town and whom the watering hole is named after, spent Wednesday afternoon chatting with supporters, having pictures taken and – you suspect – knowingly shrugging shoulders at the way in which Burnley have unravelled over the last 18 months of American ownership.
Dyche never frequented the pub when manager and the timing of this trip felt curious, 48 hours before Kompany’s bow as his permanent predecessor. A gravelly ghost of past success.
But then, Burnley is a curious place at the moment, with nobody really sure what to expect this year. Players have been sold for what appears to be under market value – particularly the £20million exits of Nathan Collins and Dwight McNeil – while putting significant trust in youngsters, three of which came from Manchester City.
Five new signings started last night, four more on the bench – including Brazilian full back Vitinho – and up to half-a-dozen more through the doors at Gawthorpe Hall before the transfer window shuts.
Huddersfield Tom Lees (left) and Burnley’s Dara Costelloe battle for the ball during the game
Connor Roberts thought he had doubled Burnley’s lead but saw his effort miss the target
Anything more than a transitional season still feels like a major achievement for Kompany
On the surface, anything more than a transitional season still feels like representing a major achievement for Kompany, who handed a debut to Dara Costelloe a day after the teenager was accidentally omitted from the club’s list of squad numbers.
But despite the new boss cutting a slightly downcast figure before the opening night, with a depleted team and much left to do in the market, Burnley operated in his image and led within 18 minutes. Ian Maatsen, a loanee from Chelsea, was the beneficiary of a move that saw the Clarets continue ploughing forwards and – via a Ashley Barnes dummy – the left back curled into Lee Nicholls’ far corner.
Barnes might have scored himself earlier, while Connor Roberts was thwarted following an impish one-two with Jake Cullen. Impish is not a word usually associated with Burnley but this is what Kompany wants.
Burnley’s supporters sarcastically chanted ‘anti-football’ as their side popped the ball about, while Huddersfield boss Danny Schofield was left hoping that counter attacks fashioned chances. Burnley’s new goalkeeper, Aro Muric, did not field a single shot, while Scott Twine struck a post late on.