MK Dons 0 Burnley 5The Clarets’ New Year cheer continued with a thumping five-goal victory on the road at struggling MK Dons.
There were first goals in Burnley colours for Joey Barton and Matt Lowton, while strike partners Sam Vokes and Andre Gray added to their growing tallies in a one-sided affair against the 10-man Dons.
Sub George Boyd helped himself to a fifth goal as the hosts surrendered meekly to a rampant second half display by the visitors.
And there could have been more as Burnley impressively followed up their FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough with another enjoyable road trip.
Dyche fielded the same side that drew at home to Ipswich Town last time out in the Championship.
That meant recalls for Lowton, Barton, Scott Arfield and Gray, the latter deemed fit wearing a cast after breaking his finger in training late last week.
And following a positive start, the Clarets had the first half chance 10 minutes in, when Vokes ballooned Stephen Ward’s low delivery into the box.
However, in the 14th minute the Clarets opened the floodgates - with a little help from the hosts.
Dons midfielder Darren Potter was robbed by the alert midfielder 35 yards from goal and Barton coolly advanced on goal and dinked the ball over keeper David Martin.
Vokes was inches away from doubling the lead moments later, flashing a header just wide following excellent wing play from Michael Kightly.
The hosts responded and, following clever footwork from wide man Josh Murphy, Rob Hall drilled a shot straight at Tom Heaton at the far post.
Back came Burnley though and a confident Kightly tested Martin with a low daisy-cutter from 35 yards.
And as an entertaining half continued to ebb and flow, Hall fed Nicky Maynard for a snapshot that Heaton was equal to at his near post.
Gray had been well shackled in the opening half hour, but he dropped off cleverly from a half cleared corner to find space for a shot through as ruck of bodies that the hosts were thankful to smuggle for another corner.
The rest of the half was a scrappy affair, but the second half exploded into life after just 30 seconds, offering a welcome sign of things to come!
Arfield found Vokes 40 yards from goal and the Welshman used Gray’s decoy run to skip past two defenders, draw Martin and slot the ball underneath the advancing keeper to double Burnley’s advantage.
On the hour mark, Hall fired across Heaton and wide of goal as the hosts desperately sought a lifeline.
But four minutes later it was game, set and match as Barton’s deep, hanging free kick caught everyone flat-footed and was headed home effortlessly by Gray, who celebrated his 16th of the season and only his second goal away from Turf Moor!
Soon it was four after David Jones and substitute Boyd combined to tee up Lowton for a stunning, rising drive at the far post.
The over-run hosts’ miserable night was compounded 15 minutes from time when Antony Kay was sent off for a blatant foul on Boyd after the wide man raced clear from Gray’s clever flick.
And Burnley soon added to their woes with a fifth as Boyd raced into the area on the right and found the roof of the net with a stunning finish.
Rouwen Hennings was close to adding a sixth with time running out.
But this was still as comprehensive a result as you could wish for as the Clarets comprehensively cemented fourth spot in the Championship.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Mee, Keane, Ward, Arfield, Jones, Barton (Ulvestad 72), Kightly (Boyd 57), Gray, Vokes (Hennings 76).
Subs: Gilks, Duff, Taylor, Darikwa
Booked: Barton 45, Mee 57
MK: Martin, Lewington, McFadden, Kay, Potter, Reeves (Powell 60), Spence, Carruthers, Maynard (Church 75), Murphy, Hall (Forster-Caskey 74).
Subs: Hodson, Bowditch, Walsh, Cropper
Ref: S Martin
Att: 10,011 (927)