Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Burnley improved their chances of avoiding relegation from the Premier League as Connor Roberts’ superb strike inspired a vital 2-0 win against Southampton on Thursday.
The Clarets won for the first time since Sean Dyche’s sacking thanks to Roberts’ sublime curler and Nathan Collins’ header.
Roberts’ first goal for Burnley following his August move from Swansea came early in the first half at Turf Moor and proved the key moment.
It was just their fifth league victory this term, in interim manager Mike Jackson’s second game since Dyche’s surprise sacking last week after 10 years in charge.
Third bottom Burnley remain in the relegation zone but they are now just one point behind fourth bottom Everton, who have a game in hand.
Burnley host Wolves on Sunday and, with Everton facing quadruple chasing Liverpool the same day, Jackson’s team are in with a chance of climbing out of the bottom three this weekend.
Just hours before kick-off, Dyche had spoken for the first time since his sacking, speaking warmly about the “truly incredible times” he enjoyed with Burnley.
There was a feeling in some quarters that Burnley stagnated in the final year of Dyche’s reign, but only avoiding relegation will back the club’s decision to sack him.
This was a small step in the right direction for Burnley and their chairman Alan Pace.
For the first time since 2012, Burnley were playing a home game without Dyche and they started nervously.
Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters smashed a deflected strike that flashed just wide for a corner.
From James Ward-Prowse’s resulting set-piece, Oriol Romeu headed inches past the post.
Roberts eased the palpable anxiety in the 12th minute with a superb effort, the Wales defender taking aim from the edge of the area and curling his shot past Saints keeper Fraser Forster into the far corner.
Wout Weghorst should have doubled Burnley’s lead moments later but Forster spread himself to save the striker’s close-range effort.
Weghorst was denied again by Forster’s brilliant stop as Burnley piled on the pressure.
Forster was all that stood between Burnley and a second goal as he palmed Jay Rodriguez’s flick out to Weghorst, who headed the rebound against the post.
Romeu wasted a golden opportunity to equalise with a wayward header before Forster made yet another excellent save from Dwight McNeil’s low drive.
Forster’s inspired resistence couldn’t last and Collins headed Burnley’s second goal from Josh Brownhill’s corner in the 44th minute, with a VAR check for a potential offside against Jack Cork going in the Clarets’ favour.
Burnley were a constant threat from crosses and Cork bundled home from Tarkowski’s header early in the second half, only to see the goal disallowed for offside this time.
Out-working Southampton in all areas, Burnley didn’t concede a shot on target until the 67th minute when Nick Pope was finally called into action.
Pope kept out Che Adams’ volley and tipped over Ward-Prowse’s free-kick as Burnley held firm.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Stade de France gets new pitch for Champions League final
- What next for Chelsea after sale is approved?
- Neymar wants to stay at PSG despite rumours over his future
- Chelsea sale gets green light from UK government
- UK government authorises sale of Chelsea FC
- Where to find AS Roma vs. Feyenoord on US TV
- ‘World’s best’ Alisson: The goalkeeper who transformed Liverpool
- Benzema needs final triumph to make Champions League his own
- Violent clashes in Tirana before the Conference League final
- Klopp named Premier League manager of the year