Vincent Kompany: If league tables were on resilience Burnley would be top

Wilson Odobert - Vincent Kompany: If league tables were on resilience Burnley would be top
Wilson Odobert's (centre) strike rocketed beyond Bart Verbruggen into the Brighton goal to stun the home crowd - PA/Andrew Matthews

If league tables were decided by spirit and resilience, Vincent Kompany believes that Burnley would be top of the Premier League.

Kompany was full of praise for his unfancied team, for whom James Trafford made 10 saves, as the Clarets left the Amex with a fifth away point of the season against a much-changed Brighton.

“It’s an elite club in terms of the attitude, the habits, the standards – I’ll put us against anyone,” said the former Manchester City captain. “There is a tremendous belief in me that this club is going in the right direction and I won’t stop.”

The more taciturn Roberto De Zerbi bristled at questions about why he had made six changes from the side that had beaten Brentford in midweek before going on to say that Brighton “are not a top team yet.”

The Seagulls were the better side and perhaps deserved more but they had been laboured for much of the first half as Burnley spent long spells of it with 11 players behind the ball.

“There isn’t anyone more than me who believes in my players but we are not a top team yet because a top team won today, won against Sheffield United, won against Fulham and winning the three games we would be at third place in the table. Maybe because the coach of Brighton is not a top coach yet.”

Though Albion had finished the half strongly, Burnley took the lead against the run of play in the 45th minute. Young French winger Wilson Odobert scored his second goal of the season as he cut in from the right and saw his powerful shot nick off James Milner and fly into the top corner. It is now 20 league games without a clean sheet for Brighton.

De Zerbi responded straight away, bringing Karou Mitoma and Billy Gilmour into the Albion midfield but it was Burnley who almost scored a second when Jay Rodriguez could force home a rebound from close range after another mazy run from Odobert.

Brighton had almost 70 per cent of the possession but Burnley packed everyone behind the ball and remained obdurate. Adingra was presented with a great chance to level when Joao Pedro flicked on Pascal Gross’ cross but James Trafford raced off his line and the ball deflected off his side and behind.

A minute later, Adingra did score as he rose at the far post to head another Gross cross back across Trafford and leave De Zerbi punching the air. From there on, it was one-way traffic with Burnley indebted to their goalkeeper Trafford for two outstanding saves during the eight minutes of additional time.

Simon Adingra - Vincent Kompany: If league tables were on resilience Burnley would be top
Simon Adingra's header denied Burnley surprise win - Reuters/Paul Childs

The first to deny 18 year-old full-back Jack Hinshelwood a second goal in a week as he turned his fierce header behind. And then with his fingertips to tip Mitoma’s half-volley over after the Japanese winger connected with Gilmour’s cross.

“The game demanded it at the end. You don’t come to these places and get a result without moments like this,” said Kompany of his goalkeeper’s performance.

“It’s in the bank for him in terms of having done it, gone through this and he just needs to keep working on becoming the best he can be.”

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