Burnley moved eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
Ashley Barnes atoned for an early own goal by adding to quickfire first-half strikes from Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood as Sean Dyche’s men sealed a second straight victory that lifts them comfortably away from next weekend’s opponents Cardiff City.
Bournemouth were clearly second best after letting their lead slip amid a frenetic opening 20 minutes and, outside of a wayward Callum Wilson header, offered little response on the way to a sixth loss in nine matches.
Asmir Begovic, recalled for last weekend’s loss to Leicester City, was at fault for two Burnley goals and his team have now failed to win any of their last four home fixtures.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 6, 2019
Goals always appeared likely with two porous defences coming together and Barnes gifted Bournemouth a head start, inadvertently nodding a free-kick beyond Tom Heaton in the fourth minute.
Begovic’s failure to address a Westwood corner allowed Wood to spare his strike partner’s blushes and Burnley were ahead 139 seconds later.
Chris Mepham only cleared Dwight McNeil’s delivery as far as midfielder Westwood, who made no mistake with a side-footed finish.
England international Wilson wasted a rare chance to equalise, ballooning a header from David Brooks’ right-sided cross.
Penalty appeals for a close-range Nathan Ake handball after the interval were waved away before Burnley’s pressure paid dividends in the shape of a second Begovic error in the 56th minute.
The goalkeeper fumbled a deflected cross under pressure from Wood at the near post, leaving Barnes to coolly atone for his earlier own goal by netting for the 10th time this term and sealing three points for the impressive visitors.
What does it mean? Clarets into clear air
Burnley can begin to breathe easy with a reassuring buffer now separating them and the 18th-placed Bluebirds, a team they are ready to host at just the right time.
McNeil masterminds turnaround
A third goal in three games was not forthcoming but teenager McNeil was no less influential. The 19-year-old’s pace and trickery set up Burnley’s second goal and forced Eddie Howe to withdraw right-back Nathaniel Clyne at the break.
Begovic blunders hinder Bournemouth
Howe insisted the experienced Begovic “deserved” his recall for the trip to Leicester but this insecure display may have convinced the Cherries boss that a new shot-stopper is needed for next season.
Key Opta facts
– Burnley completed their first league double over Bournemouth since the 1999-2000 season in the third tier.
– Bournemouth are only the second side in Premier League history to concede 60+ goals in four consecutive seasons in the competition, after Wigan Athletic between 2009-10 and 2012-13.
– Only Wolves (four) have netted more Premier League own goals this season than Burnley (three).
– Since the start of last season, Chris Wood has scored 22 goals in all competitions, more than any other Burnley player.
Burnley can give their survival prospects another big boost when Cardiff visit Turf Moor next Saturday. Bournemouth are away to Brighton and Hove Albion on the same day.
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