Burnley end a run of four straight defeats with emphatic Premier League win against sub-par Bournemouth

Burnely 4-0 Bournemouth: It was not a flawless performance by Sean Dyche's side, but it was more than enough to beat a poor Bournemouth side

Mike Whalley
Turf Moor
Saturday 22 September 2018 17:01
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Burnley 2018/19 Premier League profile

The early-season fog of which Sean Dyche had spoken is no more. His Burnley players are looking much brighter, and the path ahead a good deal clearer.

Victory over an underwhelming Bournemouth side ended a run of four straight defeats for Dyche’s team, lifting them off the bottom of the Premier League. This was by no means a flawless performance, but they are beginning to look like their old selves again.

It probably helped that this was their first week of full, uninterrupted training since their Europa League run began in late July. Burnley worked hard to qualify for Europe last season, but elimination from the competition, as unwelcome as it was, will probably help to settle them down.

That, in turn, should breed confidence.

Matej Vydra had admitted before the match that Burnley’s rocky start to the season had put a severe dent in their self-esteem. The Czech striker began the repair job just when it was needed.

His goal, six minutes before half-time, was a triumph of persistence, aided with the dash of fortune that every team on a bad run needs.

Ashley Westwood, feeding on a Sam Vokes knockdown from Jack Cork’s chip, had two shots blocked as he tried to force the opener, eventually gaining reward as the ball deflected off Nathan Ake for Vydra to tap into an unguarded net from three yards. The forward, making his first start for the club following his £11m move from Derby, had already made a goalscoring impact with a late consolation as they went out of the Europa League to Olympiakos last month. His goal against Bournemouth felt a lot more important.

The second goal arrived less than two minutes later, with Vokes pivotal despite not touching the ball. He drew Bournemouth defenders Steve Cook and Adam Smith towards him as he challenged for Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s inswinging cross from the right, creating space for Aaron Lennon to slide in at the far post for his first league goal in two-and-a-half years.

Matej Vydra scored on his Burnley Premier League debut 

Up until that point, Burnley had looked every bit as shaky as Vydra had suggested. Ake had been unfortunate to see a shot loop up on to the crossbar via a Ben Mee deflection, while the Burnley captain’s slight touch on Joshua King’s cross took it just beyond the stretching Callum Wilson in the six-yard box.

Yet Bournemouth lacked the sparkle that had swept aside Leicester seven days earlier and carried them into the Premier League’s top five. David Brooks, the former Manchester City junior, troubled Burnley with his speed of foot and thought, but his run into a scoring position just after the hour mark ended with a shot that goalkeeper Joe Hart was able to divert away.

As the match wore on, Burnley grew in belief. Chris Wood diverted Gudmundsson’s cross on the run just over as the home side looked to round off their display with a third goal.

The one bright spot for the visitors was the appearance as a substitute of Junior Stanislas, returning after six months out with cruciate knee ligament damage. Otherwise, this was a reality check for Eddie Howe and his players after a fine start to the campaign.

It was completed by two late goals from substitute Ashley Barnes. First, he mopped up the rebound after Gudmundsson had volleyed Lennon’s fine cross against the post.

Then the striker swept in from the edge of the penalty area after Lennon was allowed all the space he wanted to run on to Westwood pass. The fog had well and truly lifted.

Burnley (4-4-2): Hart 7; Lowton 7, Tarkowski 7, Mee 7, Taylor 7; Gudmundsson 7, Westwood 8, Cork 7, Lennon 8; Vydra 7 (Wood 60, 7), Vokes 8 (Barnes 69, 6).

Substitutes: Heaton, Bardsley, Long, Hendrick, McNeil.

Booked: Lowton, Westwood

Bournemouth (4-4-2): Begovic 6; Smith 5 (Defoe 77, 6), S Cook 5, Ake 6, Rico 6 (Francis 46, 6); Brooks 7, Lerma 6, Surman 6, Fraser 6; King 5, Wilson 5 (Stanislas 68, 6).

Substitutes: Boruc, Mings, L Cook, Ibe.

Booked:

Man of the match: Aaron Lennon (Burnley)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester)

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