LIVE: FULL-TIME: BURNLEY 4, PETERBOROUGH UNITED 2: Posh restore pride, but dismal start leads to FA Cup exit
Peterborough United restored pride in their third round FA Cup tie at Premier League Burnley, but still bowed out 4-2 after a desperate start to the game.
The hosts were 3-0 up inside 24 minutes and cruised home from then on even though goals towards the end of each half from Ivan Toney and 17 year-old Ricky-Jade Jones pegged them back.
But Posh were effectively knocked out with barely a quarter of the tie completed.
Burnley scored in the ninth, 15th and 24th minutes to kill off the contest at Turf Moor, despite making eight changes to their last Premier League starting line-up.
The home side found it far too easy to pass their way through a Posh defence that received no protection from the midfield diamond.
A harshly-awarded free kick for a foul by former Burnley player George Boyd led to the opening goal.
Mark Beevers cleared the initial delivery, but the ball was returned over the Posh defence and although Christy Pym made a fine save from Chris Wood’s header, Jay Rodriguez was on hand to tap home. The VAR check took just a few seconds to confirm the goal.
The second arrived six minutes later and was tough on Rhys Bennett who made a fine tackle on Rodriguez only for Burnley left-back Erik Pieters to drill home superbly into the corner from 25 yards. Posh will doubtless grumble there was no VAR check as Hendrick stood well offside inside the penalty area as the ball flew by him.
And it was 3-0 nine minutes later as Burnley carved Posh open down the left. The ball was pulled back for Jeff Hendrick whose shot was on target, but not particularly well hit, yet Beevers managed to slice it into his own net.
Pym also saved well from Johann Berg Gudmondsson during that early flurry, but Posh responded well in the last 15 minutes of tha half, even though it took a gift-wrapped goal to get them back into the tie.
Niall Mason’s long clearance reached home right-back Matt Lowton, but his poor backheader enabled Toney to breeze past stranded goalkeeper Joe Hart and fire into an empty net six minutes before the break.
Toney had missed a decent chance a few minutes earlier from Marcus Maddison’s precise cross.
Posh gave a debut to new signing Reece Brown on the right of the midfield diamond and he almost scored in the 20th minute after Louis Reed freed him with a fine pass inside the full-back.
Posh started the second-half brightly and a superb Boyd pass reached Toney on the edge of the area, but the striker miscontrolled the ball and it ran harmlessly though to Hart.
But any hopes of a dramatic comeback were dashed in the 53rd minute when Rodriguez finished expertly after Aaron Lennon’s astute pass.
Posh huffed and puffed without making many inroads, but a corner 15 minutes from time led to a consolation goal for substitute Jones.
Beevers won the ball at the far post, Toney’s chested effort was hacked off the line enabling Jones to pounce and convert from close range. A VAR check cleared Beevers of a push.
Toney immediately flicked just wide from a Dan Butler centre, but Burnley bossed the ball in the final stages and struck the crossbar in the added time through a Hendrick free kick. Butler made a terrfic headed save to thwart Lennon from the rebound.
It remains 55 years since Posh last beat a top-flight side in the FA Cup.
Posh: Christy Pym, Niall Mason, Dan Butler, Rhys Bennett, Mark Beevers, Louis Reed (sub Kyle Barker, 63 mins), Reece Brown, George Boyd, Marcus Maddison, Ivan Toney, Mo Eisa (sub Ricky-Jade Jones, 58 mins).
Unused substitutes: Frankie Kent, Conor O’Malley, Joe Ward, Harrison Burrows, Serhat Tasdemir.
Burnley: Joe Hart, Matthew Lowton, Erik Pieters, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long, Jeff Hendrick, Jack Cork (sub Ashley Westwood, 89 mins), Aaron Lennon, Johann Berg Gudmonsson (sub Chris Taylor, 46 mins), Chris Wood (sub Matej Vydra, 73 mins), Jay Rodriguez.
Unused substitutes: Ben Mee, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Bardsley, Ali Koiki.
Goals: Burnley - Rodriguez (9 mins & 53 mins), Pieters (15 mins), Hendrick (24 mins).
Posh - Toney (39 mins), Jones (76 mins).
Cautions: Posh - Brown (foul).
Referee: Rob Jones 5
Attendance: 8,043 (1,659 Posh).