Burnley edge out Brighton to end long wait for victory
James Tarkowski diverted home a Jack Cork shot to settle the contest at Turf Moor.
James Tarkowski’s first-half goal secured Burnley their first win in nine Premier League games as they won 1-0 at home to Brighton to move out of the relegation zone.
The Clarets, who had picked up just two points from their previous eight matches, scored in the 40th minute when Jack Cork hit a shot and the ball went in off Tarkowski.
The defender almost added a second with a 62nd-minute header before Brighton substitute Jurgen Locadia nodded over from a great position and Solly March struck narrowly wide.
On the back of their first victory since September, and only their third in the league this season, Burnley moved up from second bottom to 17th place. Brighton dropped a place to 11th.
While Seagulls boss Chris Hughton made four changes to his starting line-up, opposite number Sean Dyche opted to stick with the XI that started Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool.
The build-up to the contest had been lively, with Dyche coming out fighting in response to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp expressing unhappiness over some of Burnley’s challenges on Wednesday evening.
The opening stages made for a contrast, with very little of note occurring in the first half-an-hour as Dyche and Hughton’s sides cancelled each other out.
Aside from Chris Wood bringing a save out of Mat Ryan when the flag was raised for offside, the game’s first real effort on goal came when Yves Bissouma’s low strike went wide in the 19th minute.
Burnley subsequently started to show more threat, with Robbie Brady volleying over the bar and having a shot saved by Ryan, who did well in between to deny Wood.
The goal came when Ben Mee sent a header towards goal, Brighton attempted to clear and the ball came to Cork. The midfielder unleashed a first-time strike and saw it go in via Tarkowski’s chest.
Early in the second half Burnley had appeals for a penalty rejected by referee Martin Atkinson after Bissouma’s high boot flew past Phil Bardsley’s head as the Mali international made a clearance.
Tarkowski then went close to doubling the hosts’ advantage as he headed just wide from a corner.
Hughton reacted by bringing on Glenn Murray and Locadia and the latter failed to make the most of a great opportunity in the 83rd minute as he sent his header over the bar.
March, who had already sent one attempt wide, then hit a shot that whistled just outside a post.
Brighton continued to press in stoppage time, but Burnley held on for a much-needed three points.