A goal in each half from the outstanding Chris Eagles proved the difference. Burton are 21st in League Two, but who knows what they might have achieved if not for Eagles, a transfer-window target for Everton and surely too good a player to be out of the Premier League for long. "I might have preferred him to play like that after the window closed," joked Burnley's new manager, Eddie Howe. "You want to keep hold of your best player and he's one you want to build a team around."
Burton, in the fourth round for the first time, started well. Calvin Zola robbed Michael Duff but Aaron Webster could not get his shot away cleanly. Jacques Maghoma cut in from the left and had a shot and Scott Malone hit the bar with a free-kick.
Eagles showed his class, however, with a surging run and sweeping pass to Wade Elliott on the right and, after 29 minutes, he was there to latch on to a telling little through-ball from Jack Cork, dinking it into the Burton net. The second half followed a similar pattern, with the underdogs making much of the early running. Webster was not far away from capitalising with a neat little back-heel, and Zola fired wide.
All the time, though, there was the threat of Eagles. Playingjust behind the front two, he positively fizzed with ideas.
The introduction of Ross Wallace also gave Burnley extra momentum and his low cross led to the second goal. Adam Legzdins fumbled on the far post, the other substitute, Chris Iwelumo, could not force it in, but Eagles could. He was denied a richly deserved hat-trick when he hit the underside of the crossbar after cutting in from the left, the ball bouncing back from the goal-line. "He was excellent today," said Howe, and got no argument from his Burton counterpart, Paul Peschisolido.
"Eagles produced a bit of magic, which is a hard thing to deal with," he said. "But I was really pleased with the way we performed. We've come to a Championship club, with Premiership players in Eagles and others, and we've matched them."
Zola halved Burnley's lead 10 minutes from time with a shot that hit the bar and did go in. But in added time Legzdins could only parry Wallace's free-kick and Martin Paterson was there to put the game beyond doubt.
Referee: Jon Moss
Man of the match: Eagles