Clarets open with Stoke loss

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Burnley's failure to deal with an early aerial bombardment proved costly on their top-flight return as they went down 2-0 at Stoke.

A Ryan Shawcross header followed by an own goal, as Stephen Jordan turned a Rory Delap throw into his own net, condemned the promoted side to defeat in their Barclays Premier League opener.

The Clarets settled and produced some flowing football in the second half at the Britannia Stadium but Stoke almost had a third when substitute Dave Kitson hit the post.

Despite the defeat, it was still a promising return to the top division for 1960 champions Burnley after a 33-year absence.

Manager Owen Coyle fielded nine of the side that started the Championship play-off final in May, with summer signings Tyrone Mears and Steven Fletcher the only new faces.

The Clarets had the first chance of the game after Wembley hero Wade Elliott drilled in a low cross from the right but Robbie Blake's shot was blocked by Andy Wilkinson.

But Stoke took charge of the game in the 19th minute after Ricardo Fuller was fouled on the left by Elliott. Liam Lawrence swung in the resulting free-kick and Shawcross rose unmarked at the far post to head past Brian Jensen.

After a quiet period, Stoke burst back into life as Matthew Etherington broke clear and Clarke Carlisle cut out his effort at the cost of a throw-in.

That proved costly as Delap launched a familiar long delivery from the left and the ball was diverted in by the unfortunate Jordan after 33 minutes.

Burnley's best opportunities started to come just before the hour as Graham Alexander crossed low into the box from a free-kick.

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Tyrone Mears
Stoke City
Wade Elliott
Ryan Shawcross
Graham Alexander
Brian Jensen
Premier League
Stephen Jordan
Matthew Etherington
Rory Delap
Steven Fletcher
Andy Wilkinson
Carlisle United
Ricardo Fuller
Robbie Blake
Dave Kitson
Clarke Carlisle
Liam Lawrence

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