Burnley 2 – 0 Norwich City

Chris Wood bounced back to goal-scoring form as Sean Dyche celebrated another Turf Moor landmark with three precious points.

Dyche’s 313th game in charge of the Clarets saw him move up a place to fourth in the all-time list for matches as Burnley manager.

Only the legendary Harry Potts supercedes him in the post-War era and fittingly Dyche oversaw a win that lifted his side into the Premier League’s top seven with a first victory since the opening day of the season.

The Clarets have since drawn twice away from home in a solid start.

But having left it late to take a point at Brighton a week ago, they went back up a level on home turf to cast aside a Norwich side which had produced the result of the season in beating Manchester City last weekend.

Wood led the way with both goals as he opened his account for the season. And while the striker will have to wait for his first hat-trick in a Burnley shirt, he and his team-mates did more than enough in a highly impressive performance to get their campaign firmly back in top gear.

The two sides hadn’t met in the top flight at Turf Moor since September 1976, when Peter Noble scored all four goals for the Clarets in a 4-4 draw.

With Wood striking twice in the opening quarter of an hour he might have fancied repeating that remarkable feat as the Clarets made a flying start.

Norwich might have had the measure of the champions but couldn’t deal with the Clarets’ high tempo approach.

And while the visitors persisted in trying to play their way out from the back, the approach looked like an accident waiting to happen in the opening stages.

That said, Norwich had a chance to go in front following a mistake of their own from the Clarets as James Tarkowski’s error gave Teemu Pukki a run of goal.

The fast-starting Finn has scored six times in his first six Premier League games but couldn’t find a way past Nick Pope, who made a vital save with his outstretched left leg.

And two minutes later Burnley were in front.

Ashley Westwood delivered a perfect in-swinging corner and Wood’s impressive movement found him space at the near post to nod home his first goal since April.

t had been a long wait for the New Zealand international but four minutes later he was celebrating again.

Norwich didn’t help their cause as defender Ibrahim Amadous mis-placed a pass to Jack Cork and the Clarets were ruthless in exposing the error.

Cork released Dwight McNeil and when the winger went past Sam Byram and crossed to the near post, Wood was there again to neatly steer the ball past Tim Krul with his left foot.

The Clarets swarmed all over their opponents and Krul had to react sharply to keep out a flicked effort from Cork following a free-kick from Westwood, who covered almost every blade of grass.

Jeff Hendrick, fully justifying his return to starting duty in an effervescent start, almost turned in an Ashley Barnes assist at the far post and when Barnes was picked out by Westwood, his goalbound volley was blocked by Byram.

Only bottom club Watford have conceded more goals than Norwich.

But the Canaries do carry a goal threat with their expansive style and when substitute Moritz Leitner crashed a shot against the woodwork, the Clarets were given a reminder that they were still in a game by half-time.

Another goal early in the second half might have changed that view and again the Clarets pressed for it as Norwich continued to invite pressure.

With an hour gone Burnley again won the ball back cheaply and a combination between Wood and Barnes ended with Barnes curling an effort just over.

An off-balance Wood then stabbed an effort at Krul after some great play from McNeil again opened up the City defence, while Barnes kept trying to sniff out another chance and was left bemused not to be awarded a penalty when he looked to be caught in the box by Ben Godfrey.

The second goal wouldn’t come, but with the Clarets impressively seeing out a first shut-out since day one of the league campaign there was rarely any threat of Dyche’s red-letter day ending on anything but a victorious note.

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick (Brady 90), Westwood, Cork, McNeil (Lennon 79); Wood, Barnes (Rodriguez 79). Substitutes: Hart, Taylor, Vydra, Long.

Booked: None

Norwich City: Krul; Byram, Amadou, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey (Leitner 13), McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann (Drmic 76), Cantwell (Roberts 90); Pukki. Substitutes: McGovern, Hanley, Roberts, Heise, Srbeny.

Booked: Amadou

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 19,712

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: