Report: Burnley 1-0 Leeds UnitedThe Clarets piled the pressure on the chasing pack with a vital 1-0 win over Yorkshire-rivals Leeds United.
Scott Arfield’s goal after just 60 seconds proved to be the difference between the two sides in the tense Saturday lunch-time kick-off at Turf Moor.
And with five games remaining, both Middlesbrough and Brighton knew they too would need to keep winning to remain on the coat-tails of the leaders.
And what a start it was from the Clarets, who grabbed the all-important goal after just a minute.
From Tom Heaton’s goal kick, Sam Vokes’ flicked-on to Andre Gray, who found Arfield to his left.
And the Canadian international took a touch and found the bottom right corner with a fine strike.
The visitors then went in search of an instant reply, and almost grabbed one for a decent save from Burnley’s captain.
A cross from the right was half-cleared by the Clarets, falling nicely for former Leicester defender Sol Bamba.
His half-volley from the corner of the box was dipping, and Heaton was equal to the testing strike, parrying wide.
A quick Burnley counter could have seen the Clarets assert a two-goal advantage after just five minutes.
A fine piece of skill from George Boyd deep in his own half and clever ball found Gray on the halfway-line and the striker turned provider once again, wonderfully finding the surging Matthew Lowton down the right flank.
The full-back was quickly hunted down however by Bamba, forcing an early strike which was routine for Marco Silvestri.
The game then finally settled, and it wasn’t until midway through the half that the Clarets came close once more.
David Jones’ outmuscled his midfield opposition at the edge of the box, ahead of finding Boyd to his left.
The winger, in the same position as Arfield’s opener, also rifled across goal, however this time the strike shaved the far post.
The visitors were on top early on in the second half, coming close on two occasions.
Lewis Cook, Leeds’ brightest spark in the first half, played through Chris Wood, however the New Zealand international blazed over from the edge of the box.
Wood should have then brought the game level two minutes later with a header from six-yards.
However, the former Leicester City targetman somehow nodded over the crossbar to keep the Clarets ahead.
And on the hour mark the Clarets had a glorious chance to double their advantage!
Ward’s low cross from the left was destined for Arfield, however the Burnley goalscorer dummied to Gray 12-yards out, who saw his initial strike blocked, berfore Leeds eventually cleared.
And with 20 minutes to play, Wood again should have brought the game level!
Another dangerous ball in from the left – this time from Charlie Taylor –found Wood at the far post, and this time his free header from six-yards out again crept over the crossbar.
A tense remaining last 15 minutes passed, and a glorious chance for the Clarets went amiss to kill the game off.
Heaton’s stoppage-time ball into the corner found Matthew Taylor, who wonderfully weaved his way into the box on the by-line.
Taylor’s perfect pull-back teed-up a gaping goal for fellow substitute Ashley Barnes, however the returning striker couldn’t find the target.
That didn’t matter however, as the Clarets saw the remaining minute out to seal a vital three points.
Five games to go!
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Arfield, Jones (Marney 76), Barton, Boyd, Vokes (Barnes 71), Gray (Taylor 89).
Subs: Darikwa, Tarkowski, Dyer, Robinson
Yellow: Barton 58’
Goal: Arfield 2'
LEEDS: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga (Adeyemi 82), Murphy, Cook, Dallas (Mowatt 87), Carayol (Antenucci 66), Wood.
Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Phillips.
Yellow: Murphy 67
Ref: Lee Mason
Attendance: 18,229 (away 2,188)