Concerned after a start to the season that left them propping up the Premier League table, Sean Dyche, the Burnley manager, made a few proactive changes, principally dropping both Ashley Ward and Chris Wood and granting Matej Vydra the first start. “When you are in our position you can’t just wait for things to happen, you have to push and make them happen,” Dyche explained.

A funny thing happened when Burnley took the lead in a league game for the first time this season. Within another couple of minutes, they had a second, a much-needed first victory was on the way and suddenly high-flying Bournemouth were the ones looking quizzically at each other after being caught in possession or passing to opponents.

Ashley Barnes

Pushing Vydra up the pecking order was a plan that worked. The former Derby player did not exactly terrorise Bournemouth with his skill or his physical presence – for the first half hour of the game the visitors were the ones who looked most likely to open the scoring – but Vydra was in the right place when a couple of Ashley Westwood shots were blocked by defenders and he tucked away the loose ball with confident aplomb to register his first goal for his new club.

If Burnley taking the lead was slightly against the run of play – minutes earlier Callum Wilson had narrowly failed to get on the end of a Josh King cross after Bournemouth had opened up the home defence with the best move of the first half – they lost no time in pressing their advantage.

Bournemouth wrongly assumed Sam Vokes was the only danger when Johann Berg Gudmundsson swung over a deep cross from the right in the striker’s direction, so that when the ball flew over the head of its intended target there was no one to prevent Aaron Lennon sneaking in behind to sweep the ball in at the far post. Lennon has begun to exasperate Burnley supporters with his inability to end a promising run with a telling pass or shot, but here was an example of quick thinking and an instinctive finish.

Bournemouth might have considered themselves unlucky after some good moments while the game was still scoreless, Nathan Aké seeing a shot deflected onto the bar and David Brooks skipping easily past Ben Mee to set up a chance in the penalty area, the visitors showed little real appetite for a second-half fightback.


Vokes nearly increased the lead with a shot that went close shortly after the restart, and when Wood came on he headed wide from a good position. Brooks had a chance to reduce the deficit when Bournemouth finally broke through the Burnley rearguard, only to find Joe Hart equal to his shot.

With the aid of Jack Cork’s intelligent distribution and James Tarkowski’s resolute defending Burnley hung on for the points, Junior Stanislas missing the most inviting Bournemouth opportunity by ghosting in at the far post just as Lennon had done in the first half but failing to make any contact with the ball.

When Lennon set up Gudmundsson five minutes from time for a volley that came back off a post, Barnes was on hand to tidy up and make the final scoreline even more emphatic, before the same combination struck again for a fourth. This time Lennon popped up in the right to cut back for Barnes to score, and Burnley could celebrate more goals in a single afternoon than they had managed in their previous five matches. With Cardiff and Huddersfield to come, the Clarets can suddenly see a way to climb the table.

Source: The Guardian