The new Premier League campaign is officially underway, and judging from the first few games, it seems like we’re in for one hell of a season. While all twenty teams haven’t quite made their first appearance just yet, the 3pm kick-offs earlier today certainly gave us a good indication of what to expect from the next nine months. Two teams who went head to head at Turf Moor were Burnley and Southampton, both of whom will be attempting to avoid a relegation battle for the second consecutive season.
Signed, sealed, delivered
The Clarets came into this game as the favourites, and throughout the course of the first half, they certainly looked like the more confident of the two sides. The Lancashire faithful were in fine voice from the first minute until the very last, even though we didn’t see any goals in the first 45 minutes. It was clear to see this game was starting to liven up from that point, and in the second half, it really exploded into life.
The always reliable Ashley Barnes scored the first goal of the game for the home side, combining with Erik Pieters to open the scoring with the first shot on target of the encounter. From that point on their tails were up, and Southampton just never really seemed to recover.
An emphatic statement
Barnes got his second of the day with Pieters once again serving as the provider, with the Saints looking well and truly rumbled. Johann Berg Gudmundsson proceeded to put the icing on the cake with a nice finish from a tight angle, with the visitors now needing to go back to the drawing board after a disastrous opening weekend result.
This is exactly the kind of boost Burnley need heading into two pretty tricky games, as the prepare for back to back away days against Arsenal at the Emirates and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. The Saints also have a tricky fixture coming right around the corner next Saturday when they host Liverpool, and following that game, they’ll be heading for the Amex in what will be seen as a very winnable game against Brighton – despite the Seagulls’ strong home record.
Burnley: Pope (7.5), Pieters (8.5), Mee (8), Tarkowski (7.5), Lowton (7.5), McNeil (8), Westwood (6.5), Cork (7), Gudmundsson (8.5), Barnes (9.5), Wood (6.5), Lennon (6), Rodriguez (6)
Southampton: Gunn (5.5), Bednarek (7), Stephens (6), Vestergaard (6.5), Valery (5.7), Romeu (6), Ward-Prowse (6.5), Bertrand (6.5), Ings (6), Redmond (6), Adams (5.5), Boufal (6), Obafemi (5.5), Hojbjerg (5.5)
Referee: Graham Scott
Goals: Barnes x2, Berg Gudmundsson
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
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