Soccer

Rayan Ait-Nouri denies Burnley vital victory as Wolves share spoils

Clarets now six points adrift of 17th place.

Rayan Ait-Nouri, second left scores Wolves’ equaliser against Burnley
Rayan Ait-Nouri, second left scores Wolves' equaliser against Burnley Rayan Ait-Nouri, second left scores Wolves’ equaliser against Burnley (Martin Rickett/PA)

Rayan Ait-Nouri’s third goal in four games earned Wolves a 1-1 draw at relegation-battling Burnley.

Jacob Bruun Larsen volleyed in a fine goal for the hosts in the 37th minute but Ait-Nouri levelled deep into first-half stoppage time and Burnley’s late push for a winner came to nothing.

The Clarets extended their unbeaten run to four games but Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 win over Fulham saw the gap to safety grow to six points with seven games left while Wolves remain in touch with the battle for European places.

Burnley were once again playing some encouraging stuff in the opening stages as Wilson Odobert found space between the lines and they launched a number of runs into the Wolves box but without finding a way to threaten Jose Sa’s goal.

Wolves’ threat came mostly on the break and when Nelson Semedo burst forward down the right he rolled the ball back for Ait-Nouri on the edge of the box but a poor touch from the Algerian allowed Vitinho to steal the ball away.

As Burnley fans in one block of the Jimmy McIlroy stand behind Aro Muric’s goal were being evacuated due to a strip of metal left hanging from the roof, Joao Gomes headed just wide of the target and towards the newly-emptied seats.

But Burnley were quickly back on the front foot and Lyle Foster slipped the ball for Vitinho to run at goal but his shot was too close to Sa.

However, the Portuguese goalkeeper could do nothing about Larsen’s strike as the on-loan Hoffenheim man met Dara O’Shea’s ball from deep on the volley to sweep it into the far corner.

Wolves’ 18-year-old striker Leon Chiwome, making only his second Premier League appearance, fired wide after a scramble in the area but the visitors did not have an effort on goal until equalising three minutes into stoppage time.

Burnley were upset by a soft free-kick decision against O’Shea, then failed to deal with the consequences as Pablo Sarabia’s cross was headed in by Ait-Nouri, with the goal surviving a VAR check.

Ait-Nouri might have had a second eight minutes into the second half when he latched on to a fine ball from Matt Doherty and beat Maxime Esteve to go clean through on goal but Muric stood firm to block the Algerian’s strike.

Burnley responded with one of their best moves of the game.

Foster laid the ball off for the advancing Vitinho on the right and he pulled the ball back for Josh Cullen in front of goal but Sa repelled the midfielder’s low shot.

Odobert then tested the goalkeeper with a powerful shot when a loose ball fell to him in the area.

Matheus Cunha came off the bench to make his first Wolves appearance since mid-February following a hamstring injury while Vincent Kompany sent on Jay Rodriguez as Burnley tried to find a winner.

The veteran striker did have the ball in the net in the 87th minute but the flag was up for offside and the points were shared.