Tuesday 23 October 2018

Burnley close in on European spot

Burnley 2 Leicester 1

Burnley's Matthew Lowton celebrates after the match. Photo: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters
Burnley's Matthew Lowton celebrates after the match. Photo: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

Independent.ie newsdesk

Burnley made it five successive top-flight wins for the first time in half a century as the prospect of European football at Turf Moor next season drew ever closer.

It is more than 50 years since the Clarets have been involved in a continental competition but their victory over their closest rivals gave them a nine-point advantage with only five games left. Provided Southampton do not win the FA Cup, seventh place would be enough for a spot in the Europa League.

Sean Dyche's side did the damage in the first 10 minutes, former Foxes striker Chris Wood and defender Kevin Long putting them two up. Jamie Vardy's 72nd-minute strike made it a nervy finish but the hosts held on.

Burnley had been reluctant to talk about the possibility of European football but after last weekend's results, when they beat Watford and Leicester lost to Newcastle, the veneer slipped.

Chairman Mike Garlick addressed the issue in the matchday programme and admitted they have been looking at the logistics of what Europa League football would entail. If there have been any doubts about whether a European adventure is really what Burnley want, they clearly do not extend to the players judging by their decisive lightning start.

Leicester City's Fousseni Diabate in action. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Leicester City's Fousseni Diabate in action. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho (left) and Burnley's Matthew Lowton. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho (left) and Burnley's Matthew Lowton. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

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