Burnley 3 Birmingham 0
BRILLIANT Burnley gave sorry Birmingham a dose of the blues as they took out their derby day frustrations on the Midlanders.
The rampant Clarets sealed their best start to a league season for 12 years with a scintillating attacking performance that could have brought more than the three goals.
Striker Danny Ings took his tally to seven for the season with terrifically taken goals either side of the interval.
And Scott Arfield, whose unfortunate back pass cost the Clarets dear against Blackburn at the weekend, was all smiles again just 17 seconds into the second half as he headed home Michael Kightly’s pinpoint cross.
Birmingham, suffering their worst start to a season for 25 years, rarely threatened Tom Heaton’s well protected goal.
And in stark contrast, the Clarets moved effortlessly up to fourth in the Championship table as their stunning start to the season continued in fine style.
Sean Dyche named an unchanged side from the disappointment of the weekend.
There was a special cheer reserved ahead of kick off for returning Wembley legend Wade Elliott, who was named captain for the night by Birmingham in the absence of the suspended Paul Robinson.
And the cheers were ringing out again in the third minute when Ings put the Clarets ahead.
All the hard work was done by Sam Vokes, whose control and slide-rule half volley sent his striker partner clear, and Ings made no mistake with the coolest of chips over advancing keeper Darren Randolph.
Ings could and probably should have had a second two minutes later following good work by David Jones and Michael Kightly.
Summer signing Jones played the ball wide to the on-loan Stoke winger, whose inch-perfect cross picked out Ings for a side-foot finish from eight yards that the on-song striker somehow put wide with Randolph rooted to his spot.
Livewire winger Chris Burke was desperately close to an equaliser from City’s first foray upfield in the 17th minute, weaving his way into the right side of the penalty area and seeing his drilled cross-cum-shot inches away from the inrushing Lee Novak.
But incredibly, Ings could have had a hat-trick inside 25 minutes as the next big chance came Burnley’s way.
This time Duff found Kightly with a raking diagonal ball to the left and from his cross, Ings raced in ahead of Vokes to direct a header just too high.
As the onslaught continued, the roles were reversed among the front men as Ings fed Vokes, whose drilled effort was always veering away from goal.
And although City gained something of a foothold before the break, Lee Clark would have been happy to get his troops back to the dressing room just one goal down.
There was a change at half time for the Clarets, which saw Danny Lafferty replace Ben Mee.
And within 17 seconds of the restart the Clarets doubled their lead in stunning style.
Kightly found Scott Arfield with a pinpoint cross from the right and Arfield, so repentant after his weekend error, more than made amends with a fabulous header across Randolph and just inside the post.
Rampant Burnley could have been three-up as Dean Marney saw his shot in the area blocked.
And after Randolph did well to block Jones’ effort, Arfield created a chance for himself with some clever trickery on the by-line, before over-running the ball at the crucial moment,.
However, the former Huddersfield man more than made amends in the 54th minute with a cushioned header infield to release Ings, who drove into the area to clinically dispatch his seventh of the season
Birmingham were now a beaten side and Vokes could have made it four immediately, only to direct his header from Kieran Trippier’s delivery just wide, as Dean Marney appealed in vain that he was held.
And with the sniff of a hat-trick in his nostrils, Ings had only one thing on his mind as he again capitalised on more hesitant City defending to race into the area and fire over the angle.
It was now a siege to the Blues goal and that man Ings was again close to his first senior treble as he glanced another clipped Trippier cross just wide.
And although that would have to wait for another day, with the striker making way for Keith Treacy in the 76th minute to a standing ovation, Burnley had collectively done more than enough to earn their victory.
BURNLEY: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee (Lafferty 46), Arfield, Jones, Marney, Kightly (Stanislas 67), Ings (Treacy 67), Vokes.
Subs: Cisak, Long, Edgar, Stock.
BIRMINGHAM: Randolph, Caddis, Bartley, Burn, Ferguson (Hancox 50), Spector, Adeyemi, Elliott, Burke, Novak (Green 76), Ambrose (Brown 51).
Subs: Doyle, Reilly, Shinnie, Lovenkrands.
Ref: M Brown