Wolves 1 Burnley 2
Ten-man Burnley secured their Championship status in style with a convincing win at relegation-haunted Wolves.
Goals early in each half from Danny Ings and Martin Paterson earned the Clarets their first league double over the Old Gold since 1957... and left Wanderers’ hopes of survival hanging by a thread.
The dismissal of Michael Duff – a late replacement for Kevin Long, who was injured in the warm-up – gave Wolves some hope and Nouha Dicko’s 88th minute strike made for a frantic finish.
But Burnley held firm for a seventh away win of the season to end all lingering fears of the Clarets being dragged into a final-day relegation dogfight.
The Clarets were forced to make an 11th hour change to the scheduled starting line-up, with Long injured in the warm-up and replaced by Duff.
Otherwise, Sean Dyche opted for the team that kick-started the second half revival in last week's draw with Champions Cardiff City.
Holding midfielder David Edgar and striker Paterson were rewarded for their part in salvaging a draw, with wide men Junior Stanislas and Ross Wallace the men to make way.
The Clarets would have expected Wolves to come out all guns blazing, with manager Dean Saunders insisting that only two wins from their final two games would be enough to save them from relegation.
And Wanderers duly obliged with a storming start, with Tongo Doumbia trying his luck from Lee Grant’s poor clearance, only for Grant to recover his ground and save comfortably.
But Burnley silenced Molineux in the seventh minute when Ings controlled Trippier’s cross and fired an unstoppable low drive past Dorius De Vries and into the far corner.
Incredibly, it was the 16th time Burnley had led in 23 league games away from home.
And there would be no way Dyche’s men were going to let this one slip away.
The hosts were rocking and rudderless and midway through the half they somehow kept the score to just one as Burnley carved out another golden chance.
Trippier found Chris McCann on the right and from his low cross, Sam Vokes' flick was brilliantly parried by De Vries, who was helpless as Ings clipped the ball back across the face of goal only to see a Wolves boot hack the ball clear.
Burnley were playing as though the shackles had been released, with fluid movement from Ings and Edgar mopping up in front of the back four, who were being tested with a series of high balls and crosses into the box.
And from one deep cross, eight minutes before the break, Wolves had Grant under pressure and forced an error from the keeper that had hearts in mouths before Grant did well to block the resulting effort.
And on the stroke of half time, from the hosts’ eighth corner, Edgar was in the right place to hack a far post header off the line and preserve the interval lead.
Wanderers were staring down a barrel, and within seven minutes of the restart their day went from bad to worse as the Clarets doubled their advantage.
Ings’ right wing corner was cleared back to the taker and his low, drilled ball was rifled home at the near post following a deflection by Paterson.
Vokes almost hammered another nail in his former club’s coffin moments later, spinning in the area and seeing his rising drive fly just over the crossbar.
There was a chink of hope for Wanderers in the 65th minute when Duff, booked in the first half for a trip on Doyle, saw red for another foul on the striker 30 yards from goal.
That meant Edgar, so impressive in front of the back four, dropped back to centre back as the Clarets reverted to two banks of four.
And soon after, young substitute Liam McAlinden almost halved the deficit with a terrific curling effort from the corner of the box that had Grant worried, but sailed just wide of the far post.
As Saunders’ men poured forward to try and salvage their season, the threat remained at the other end though and Paterson was inches away from confirming the victory with a low shot across De Vries and just wide.
With time ticking away and the home crowd becoming increasingly restless, Substitute Dicko handed Wanderers a late lifeline, hammering the ball home inside the box from a corner.
But despite four minutes of stoppage time and a late aerial bombardment, the Clarets stood strong to grab the win - and survival - they deserved.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Long, Shackell, Lafferty, Edgar, McCann, Marney, Ings, Paterson (Stanislas 83), Vokes (Bartley 90)
Subs: Jensen, Duff, Wallace, Mills, Stock
Booked: Duff 20, Marney 45, Grant 90
Sent off: Duff 65
Wolves: De Vries, Henry, Ward (Sako 59), Hunt (McAlinden 69), Johnson, Sigurdarson (Dicko 59), Robinson, Gorkss, Doumbia, Doyle, Doherty
Booked: Dicko 68, Doherty 72
Subs: Johnsson, Batth, Foley, McCarey
Referee: Darren Sheldrake