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Match Reports

Brentford 1 Burnley 3

15 January 2016

Brentford 1 Burnley 3

Burnley made it seven days to savour with an impressive third win on the road at Brentford.

The Clarets followed up their FA Cup comeback win at Middlesbrough and the midweek mauling of MK Dons with another stunning performance to blow the Bees away inside 45 minutes.

Scott Arfield’s goal of the season contender set the ball rolling early in the game before Joey Barton got on the scoresheet for the second successive game on the half hour with a sublime free kick.

George Boyd, recalled to the starting line-up, added a third six minutes before the break with a laser-like volley into the bottom corner – and the hosts were down and out!

Alan Judge did pull one back in the 57th minute to give the hosts’ a glimmer of hope.

But it was too little too late and a fifth away league win of the season kept the Clarets on the coattails of the three teams above them.

Burnley made one change, with Boyd replacing Michael Kightly in the starting line-up.

On the bench, there was a spot for 20-year-old Aussie goalkeeper Danijel Nizic due to an injury to Matt Gilks.

And as the Clarets spring from the traps, David Jones drilled wide after just 30 seconds after Boyd’s cross was only half cleared.

And when the lively Boyd found Gray with a dangerous ball into the box soon after, the former Brentford striker’s mis-kick fell kindly for Arfield, who forced a fine save from David Button with a low effort.

It was a terrific start from the Clarets and when Stephen Ward bombed down the left and pulled the ball back, Gray seemed certain to score, only for a terrific block from Jack O’Connell to deny him.

But finally, in the 12th minute, the visitors got the goal their early endeavours deserved. And what a goal it was!

Joey Barton started the move inside his own half, feeding Ben Mee, who in turn laid the ball left to Ward.

The full back advanced and played a neat ball into Gray, whose first time lay-off was perfect for the onrushing Arfield to curl a wonderful strike into the top corner from 25 yards.

And right on the half hour, the Clarets put daylight between themselves and the hosts.

The impressive Jones was clipped just outside the ‘D’ and as he and Barton lined-up the resulting free kick, it was the latter who stepped up to clip a wonderful right-footed strike in off the post, giving Button no chance.

It was breathtaking stuff from the Clarets - and Vokes almost made it three following more great work from Boyd and Gray.

But the 1,100-plus travelling Clarets fans didn’t have long to wait for that third, as Boyd took full advantage of a poor head clearance to hammer a low volley into the bottom corner

Brentford were in compete disarray and Gray soon turned his marker and drilled wide as Burnley looked to hammer home their complete dominance.

The Bees made a double substitution at the break to try and stem the yellow tide, and immediately were more of a threat, testing the Clarets defence for the first time.

And the hosts were thrown a lifeline just before the hour mark when Alan Judge went on the outside of Matt Lowton and drilled the ball under Tom Heaton at his near post.

Judge soon sets hearts fluttering again with a curling free kick into the side netting, and as the Clarets looked to wrestle back the initiative, Rouwen Hennings replaced Gray with 25 minutes remaining.

Barton was inches off target from distance with the Clarets first attempt of the half, as the game ticked into the final quarter.

And despite a much improved second half from the hosts, the Clarets saw out the final minutes with no further scares to round off a memorable week with another important three points.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Boyd, Barton, Jones, Arfield, Gray (Hennings 65), Vokes:
Subs: Nizic, Taylor, Marney, Kightly, Darikwa, Duff

BRENTFORD: Button, Colin, Bidwell, Dean, Djuricin (Vibe 46), Woods, Judge, Swift (Yennaris 67), Diagouraga, O’Connell, Canos (Saunders 46).
Subs: Bonham, McEachran, Hofmann, Barbet

Ref: C Kavanagh

Att: 10,039 (1,123)

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