Burnley FC in the Europa League

The 2018/19 Adventure

In the summer of 2018, Turf Moor witnessed a continental flavour, a spectacle the Burnley faithful hadn't seen for over half a century. Qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, the Clarets embarked on a European tour, signalling a major milestone for the club under Sean Dyche's management. Here’s an in-depth dive into Burnley’s journey through the Europa League.


Burnley's impressive 7th place finish in the Premier League during the 2017/18 campaign meant they secured a spot in the Europa League's qualification rounds for the following season. Their last venture in European competition dated back to the 1966/67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, making this campaign even more poignant.

Qualifying Rounds:

First Qualifying Round vs. Aberdeen:

  • First Leg: The European journey began at Pittodrie Stadium, where Burnley managed to secure a 1-1 draw, courtesy of a late Sam Vokes equaliser.
  • Second Leg: A memorable night at Turf Moor saw Burnley progress 4-2 on aggregate, with extra-time goals from Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes sealing the win.

Third Qualifying Round vs. İstanbul Başakşehir:

  • First Leg: In Turkey, the Clarets showed their defensive solidity by grinding out a 0-0 draw.
  • Second Leg: Turf Moor witnessed another dramatic European night. After 210 goalless minutes over the two legs, Jack Cork's extra-time strike sent Burnley into the play-off round.

Play-off Round – The Final Hurdle:

Burnley faced Greek side Olympiakos, a team with extensive European pedigree, for a spot in the Europa League group stage.

First Leg: In the cauldron of the Karaiskakis Stadium, Burnley found themselves 3-0 down, but a crucial away goal by Chris Wood from the penalty spot gave them hope for the return leg.

Second Leg: Back at Turf Moor, the Clarets gave it their all. Despite dominating possession and creating numerous opportunities, they could only manage a 1-1 draw, with Matej Vydra netting for Burnley. The 4-2 aggregate defeat meant their European adventure came to a close.

Reflection and Impact:

Burnley's European journey was brief but brimming with moments that will linger long in the memories of their fans. Facing up against seasoned European competitors, they showcased their fighting spirit and, at times, looked set to defy expectations.

While they didn’t progress into the group stages, the experience was invaluable. The squad depth was tested, younger players received vital game time, and the team got a taste of different European playing styles.

However, there's no denying that the Europa League exerted a toll on their Premier League campaign. Juggling domestic and European responsibilities, especially with the extended qualifying phase, proved challenging. Burnley endured a tough start to their domestic season, but Sean Dyche's managerial prowess ensured Premier League survival.


The 2018/19 Europa League run for Burnley may have been short-lived, but it brought European nights back to Turf Moor after a long hiatus. It’s a testament to the club's progress and ambition under Sean Dyche. While the Clarets will aim for more European adventures in the future, the 2018/19 journey will always hold a special place in their rich history.

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