WAS this really Burnley we were watching?
Ian Maatsen’s 18th-minute goal got their Championship season off to a winning start in West Yorkshire.
But what a transformation this was under Vincent Kompany to the last six years we have become accustomed to from the Clarets in the Premier League.
This was more like watching Manchester City — the club where he was a legend.
Where Burnley used to sit back, keep things tight, allow their opponents possession, last night they were popping the ball around with confidence, dominating play and opening up Huddersfield at will.
The Clarets had SEVENTY per cent possession — completely unheard of … and this was away from home!
They controlled the tempo. It was exhibition stuff. Surely Burnley have never passed the ball so much.
And when they had to dig deep briefly after the break, they showed that steely defense we are more used to seeing.
Sean Dyche must have been crying into his beer if he was watching. His Burnley blueprint has been ripped up. They even made history by bringing on the first-ever Brazilian to play for them when Vitinho came on with 16 minutes left.
It is fair to say they will get tougher examinations but if this is anything to go by the Turf Moor faithful are in for a treat.
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The only criticism is that they would have wanted to score more goals, which could have cost them against a better side than Huddersfield.
But even with the score only 1-0, it almost felt as though the Clarets were three goals to the good.
July is a month normally reserved for Wimbledon, The Open and we are only halfway through the cricket season.
So it seemed bizarre that the football season was back in full swing at The John Smith’s Stadium.
Danny Schofield was also taking over at Huddersfield after the departure of Carlos Corberan.
Kompany looked sharp in an expensive designer suit but wore white trainers. The hot weather forced him to take off his jacket after a few minutes.
Burnley had a great chance to open the scoring when Ashley Barnes got through on goal. He was offside but the assistant official kept his flag down and Tom Lees managed to make a superb last-ditch tackle.
Former West Ham kid Josh Cullen — making his Clarets debut and who followed Kompany from Anderlecht this summer — then saw a curling effort saved by Lee Nicholls after being teed up by Maatsen.
Burnley were starting to dominate — picking up all the second ball and bossing possession.
Dara Costelloe played in Barnes with a slide-rule pass and his effort was well saved by Nicholls.
But Burnley moved in front when Josh Brownhill and Barnes played a one-two before Maatsen curled home a lovely low-struck effort from just inside the box with his right foot.
And it could have been two when Connor Roberts was denied by a point-blank stop from Nicholls after a lovely lovely chipped pass from Jack Cork.
Huddersfield were not laying a glove on the visitors and groaned rang out when Josh Ruffles overhit a cross from the left.
Costelloe should have doubled the lead when Maatsen set him up with a peach of a pass from the right — but scuffed his effort when unmarked from just eight yards.
After the break Josh Korma frustratingly lost control of the ball and allowed it to run out of play when well positioned on the left edge of the Burnley box.
COMPANY’S HEART RACING
Huddersfield had certainly improved but found the Burnley defense rock solid when it needed to.
Ollie Turton managed to produce a quality cross that Danny Ward was set to pounce on — but it was headed clear before it reached him.
With the score still 1-0, Burnley could never be completely comfortable.
And when Sorba Thomas swung in a dangerous free-kick from the right, Kompany’s heart must have been racing when Barnes held on to Lees’ arm.
But referee James Linington was not interested.
Scott Twine came on for his Burnley debut with 15 minutes left after making his move from MK Dons.
The Clarets were denied a second when Taylor Harwood-Bellis saw a bullet effort held on the line by Nicholls.
And Twine then saw a ferocious free-kick thump back off a post.