Thursday 13 December 2018

Burnley register first win of the season after thrashing Bournemouth at Turf Moor

Burnley 4 Bournemouth 0

Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their fourth goal with team mates
Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their fourth goal with team mates

Eleanor Crooks

Burnley ended their miserable start to the Premier League season in style with a thumping win over Bournemouth at Turf Moor to climb off the bottom of the table.

Four straight defeats and only one point from five games for last season's seventh-placed finishers was their worst start to a top-flight campaign for nearly a century.

Bournemouth, by contrast, arrived in Lancashire in the top five after their best ever opening to a Premier League season, but quickfire goals from Matej Vydra on his full debut and Aaron Lennon late in the first half eased the nerves.

Substitute Ashley Barnes then added a late double to make it 4-0 - the first time Burnley have scored four in a game since December 2016.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is known for consistency of team selection so the fact he made three changes from last weekend's defeat by Wolves spoke volumes about how unhappy he was with that performance.

The Clarets enjoyed plenty of early possession but looked hesitant and dropped deep every time Bournemouth attacked.

They almost paid the price in the 17th minute when Nathan Ake's shot deflected over Joe Hart and onto the bar off the boot of the diving Ben Mee.

The hosts fashioned their first opening six minutes later, a corner finding its way through to Sam Vokes at the back post, but the ball was slightly behind him and he could not make good contact.

Bournemouth continued to look the more dangerous, with Hart scrambling to hold onto David Brooks' cross and then Josh King's cross-shot just evading Callum Wilson at the back post in front of an empty net.

Burnley reacted by committing more players forward and earned their reward in the 39th minute. Ashley Westwood twice saw shots blocked but the ball fell to Vydra, who thumped it into the net.

It was the first league goal scored by a Burnley striker this season, and it would not be the last.

A little over two minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead as Johann Berg Gudmundsson produced a terrific deep cross from the right with his left foot and Lennon applied an equally adept finish for his first goal in more than two years.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe reacted by sending on Simon Francis in place of Diego Rico for the second half, and the visitors had several half chances without ever really threatening until Brooks escaped down the left and drew a good save from Hart in the 62nd minute.

Burnley also had opportunities as the game opened up, with Sam Vokes clipping a shot just past the post and Chris Wood, on for Vydra, heading over.

There was a welcome return to action in the 68th minute for Junior Stanislas after almost six months out with a knee ligament injury as he replaced Wilson, but it was the introduction of Barnes in place of Vokes that was to prove the most important.

The pressure on Burnley was beginning to grow, with a mix-up between Hart and Mee betraying the anxiety in the home defence, but Barnes made sure of the points in the 83rd minute, tapping in after Gudmundsson's shot was deflected against a post.

The Clarets' confidence was flowing and, as Bournemouth threw men forward, Burnley broke and Barnes swept the ball home for a final flourish.

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