Clarets

Burnley 3 Southampton 0

Rampant Burnley made a flying start to the new campaign as three goals in 12 dizzying second-half minutes blew Southampton away at a rain-lashed Turf Moor.

Ashley Barnes led the onslaught with a double blast as Southampton again suffered at the hands of the striker who took his Premier League goal tally against the Saints to five.

Both of his latest efforts came from combinations with new signing Erik Pieters as the Dutch international quickly made himself at home in his new surroundings.

And Johann Berg Gudmundsson then added the finishing touch to a near perfect afternoon with a classy third goal as the Clarets enjoyed their best ever opening-day win in the Premier League and first top-flight win at Turf Moor on the first day since 1967.

Burnley Vs Southamptonr_10/8/19_(C)Andy Ford /Burnley FC

Of the Clarets’ summer recruits, Pieters made a debut at left-back as former Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez started his second stint as a Burnley player on the bench.

But despite the familiarity of the line-up, it took the Clarets a while to find their feet as the visitors carried the early threat.

New recruit Che Adams steered a cross from Yan Valery just wide of the far post at full stretch and James Ward-Prowse warmed the palms of Nick Pope on a first Premier League outing for the new Clarets’ number-one since May, 2018.

But Burnley had the ball in the net with just over a quarter of an hour gone, when Chris Wood turned in a Barnes cross.

And while that effort was rightly ruled out for off-side against Barnes – a first use of VAR backing up an excellent decision from assistant referee Andre Garratt – it galvanised the home side, who raised the tempo to drive Southampton back.

Burnley Vs Southamptonr_10/8/19_(C)Andy Ford /Burnley FC

Gudmundsson, back fit and firing in the starting line-up, whistled a low drive just wide, but in horrible wet and windy conditions there were few genuine signs of a break-through until a minute before the break.

Nathan Redmond has a habit of scoring against Burnley and the Saints’ most dangerous player almost did it again when he created space in the penalty area for a shot that was flying towards the roof of the net before Pope made an excellent finger-tip save to keep the scores level.

With the wind at their backs, the Clarets looked to force the pace following the re-start, although Southampton remained a threat on the break as Redmond curled a shot wide after being teed up by former Turf Moor favourite Danny Ings.

But the Clarets kept probing away and got their reward when Barnes struck to make it 1-0 with just over an hour gone.

No Premier League club has suffered more than Southampton at the hands of Barnes.

All five of the goals he has scored against them have come at Turf Moor and these were two more valuable additions to the collection as he linked superbly with new boy Pieters.

The first came from Pieters’ cleverly lifted ball over the top which released Barnes to race clear and thump a volley past Angus Gunn.

And the next finish – seven minutes later – was just as emphatic as the Clarets took complete control.

This time, Pieters swung over a peach of a cross for Barnes to meet with a perfectly-timed run and first-time finish on the half-volley which was in the back of the net virtually before Gunn had moved.

Suddenly, the Clarets were in full flow and the perfect start to the season was capped 15 minutes from time when Gudmundsson made it three.

Burnley Vs Southamptonr_10/8/19_(C)Andy Ford /Burnley FC

His determination won the Icelander the ball and the chance to run at Southampton’s bedraggled defence.

With no-one able to close him down, Gudmundsson sprinted on before curling a lovely left-footer inside the far post to reward those getting a soaking in the lower tier of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand who will have gone home wet but happy after a red-hot second half which bodes well for what’s to come.

Burnley Vs Southamptonr_10/8/19_(C)Andy Ford /Burnley FC

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Gudmunsson, Westwood, Cork, McNeil (Lennon 84); Barnes (Rodriguez 84), Woods. Substitutes: Hart, Hendrick, Gibson, Bardsley, Long.

Southampton: Gunn; Valery, Bednarek, Stephens (Hojberg 73), Vestergaard, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Ings (Obafemi 66), Adams (Boufal 73), Redmond. Substitutes: McCarthy, Soares, Yoshida, Djenepo.

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 19,784 (Southampton1,921)

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