Burnley clinch another home win to pile pressure on Everton in relegation scrap
Matej Vydra’s strike took battling Burnley out of the Premier League relegation zone as caretaker boss Mike Jackson celebrated a crucial victory against European hopefuls Wolves.
Having drawn at West Ham and then beaten Southampton on Thursday, Sean Dyche’s temporary successor oversaw another huge result in the Clarets’ bid to beat the drop.
Burnley may not have been at their best for chunks of Sunday’s encounter but Vydra’s second-half strike proved enough to secure a key 1-0 win against Wolves at a rocking Turf Moor.
The victory takes the Lancashire outfit out of the bottom three, albeit potentially only for a few hours should Everton secure a shock win at title-chasing rivals Liverpool.
It was another impressive result for under-23s boss Jackson, whose side struggled to get going in a first half edged by Bruno Lage’s visitors.
But Burnley kept compact defensively and took their chance in the 62nd minute when lively Dwight McNeil played through Wout Weghorst, whose cross was turned in by Vydra.
The Clarets dug deep to secure a third straight home league win that heaps the pressure on embattled Everton.
Wolves made four changes for their first match in 16 days and started brightly in Lancashire, where Raul Jimenez should have done better with an early shot after Connor Roberts was dispossessed.
McNeil blazed over after a mazy run and Vydra – in for the injured Maxwel Cornet – saw a 20-yard strike comfortably saved when Burnley looked for the opener.
But Lage’s men were finding space and unsettling the nervous hosts, who would have been punished in the 20th minute had Nick Pope not pushed behind a curling right-footed effort by impressive wing-back Jonny.
Wolves continued to create openings but lacked a cutting edge, with Fabio Silva proving a nuisance but moments for them to break the deadlock were wasted.
As for the hosts, Jay Rodriguez teed himself up and volleyed wide before McNeil again cut inside to hit a driven effort from the edge of the box that Jose Sa made a meal of tipping over.
The Turf Moor crowd were celebrating three minutes into the second half as the ball rippled the back of the net.
Vydra was put behind by a quickly-taken free-kick and Sa’s save hit Conor Coady and ricocheted off the Wolves captain into his own goal, only for the offside flag to rightly rule it out.
That chance was swiftly followed by a great save by Pope, who reacted brilliantly to stop Nelson Semedo rifling home from an acute angle.
Play became edgy as the sides looked to unlock one another without throwing everything at it, with Burnley managing to do just that in the 62nd minute.
McNeil’s smart reverse pass put Weghorst behind the napping Wolves backline and the January acquisition crossed for Vydra to slot past Sa and send Turf Moor wild.
Burnley looked invigorated by the goal and were up for the fight, with Hwang Hee-Chan halted by a fine tackle by Roberts and Nathan Collins receiving a standing ovation having thwarted Jimenez.
Substitute Aaron Lennon was proving a handful and Weghorst attempted to add his name to the scoresheet as Wolves toiled.
Substitute Ashley Barnes saw a goal ruled out after kicking the ball out of Sa’s grasp and Pope denied a stoppage-time volley by Hwang as the hosts ran down the clock.
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