BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Everton suffered a fourth straight defeat and slumped to 17th place in the Premier League after a 72nd-minute Jeff Hendrick volley gave Burnley a 1-0 win at Turf Moor on Saturday to send them up to fourth.
Everton played with 10 men from 56th minute after skipper Seamus Coleman was given a second yellow card and his marching orders but even with their full compliment of players Marco Silva’s side looked far from convincing.
Despite investing heavily over the past three seasons, Everton, now a point above the relegation zone, look no nearer their target of breaking into the top six and this latest performance will increase the pressure on Silva.
The Portuguese manager went over to the Everton fans at the end of the game and will certainly have heard their opinions about the performance but while he said he understood their anger, he insisted he could the team’s form around.
“It is important to keep the faith in ourselves. Of course it is not easy for them (the fans).They want more and deserve more and it is up to us to stick together,” he said.
“It is up to us, to work harder, to be braver, to be more clinical. The players have to be more assertive.
“Everything starts now, we have all the games to change but the next game at home we must win.”
This fixture ended with a 5-1 win for Everton last season, but the opening 45 minutes produced little quality and few chances from either side.
Gylfi Sigurdsson tested Burnley keeper Nick Pope with a free kick and, at the other end, Hendrick went close with a back-post volley from a corner which was kept out by the legs of Everton keeper Jordan Pickford.
Everton’s best chance came in the 39th minute when the ball fell to Alex Iwobi inside the area but Matt Lowton made a superb block to snuff out the opportunity.
Coleman had been booked in the first half for a late challenge on Erik Pieters and referee Graham Scott felt his 56th minute aerial challenge on Dwight McNeil, which floored the Burnley winger, merited a second yellow, reducing Everton to 10 men.
Silva felt the decision was harsh and suggested it changed the game but he will surely be concerned about the basic marking at a set-piece which led to Burnley’s goal.
In a carbon copy of the first-half chance, Ashley Westwood’s deep corner was met by a totally unmarked Hendrick at the back post, the Ireland international volleying in from a tight angle.
Pickford did well to keep out an effort from substitute Jay Rodriguez and Burnley’s Icelandic winger Johann Berg-Gudmundsson should have done better when he shot over the bar from a promising position.
Burnley are now unbeaten in four games and move above Arsenal into fourth on goal difference ahead of Sunday’s matches but manager Sean Dyche was not reading much into the table.
“It is great for the club but we are certainly not getting carried away,” he said. “The players deserve a lot of credit. It was a tough season last season and we have learnt from that.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Clare Fallon and Ed Osmond