Burnley 1 QPR 0We Are Premier League!
The Clarets will play Premier League football next season following a 1-0 win over QPR at a packed Turf Moor.
Sam Vokes’ priceless goal on the hour mark ensured the Clarets all three points, and a return to England’s top division at the first time of asking.
The win also extended Burnley’s unbeaten league run to a staggering 22 games, and earned a 19th clean sheet of the season in the process.
It was a fitting day to clinch promotion, 56 years to the day that the club won the First Division title in 1960.
However, it was not a day without nerves.
It was a stuttering start from the Clarets, and the visitors enjoyed the possession and chances early doors.
Sebastian Polter, who could have easily been shown a red card for an early lunge on Joey Barton, then teed up the first effort of the match.
The German forward cushioned down a header to Matt Phillips, and the former Blackpool winger arrowed a strike to the far post, where the Clarets’ captain Tom Heaton brilliantly kept the score level with a fine save.
The Clarets responded six minutes later, as full-back Cole Kpekawa’s headed clearance fell for Sam Vokes at the edge of the box – who chested down – but a block from Clint Hill denied him.
Blackpool-born defender Kpekawa then had a tame strike from range, that Heaton was equal to.
Heaton was then again called upon, as Kpekawa’s long-ball forward found Michael Petrasso almost through on goal, only for a last-ditch claim from Heaton to deny the Canadian winger.
The second half, however, belonged to the Clarets, as the pressure slowly mounted.
Barton’s free-kick caused mayhem in the Rangers’ box and eventually fell to Scott Arfield, who emphatically curled his volley past goalkeeper Matt Ingram, however the dipping strike was agonisingly inches wide.
The Clarets then continued to apply the pressure, when Stephen Ward’s ball down the channel played Gray in-on goal, the forward opted to lob Ingram, but got his angles wrong.
However, the magical moment arrived on the hour mark!
Barton again provided the delivery with an in-swinging free-kick to find Vokes six-yards out, and the Welshman’s glancing header nestled into the far corner to send a packed Turf Moor into raptures!
The Clarets knew the job wasn’t done, however, as the visitors showed eight minutes later, when Alejandro Faurlin’s long-range effort clipped the far post past the outstretched Heaton.
But with 10 minutes to play, the Clarets had a glorious chance to double their advantage.
In a packed area, Vokes cleverly back heeled to Arfield, whose strike looked goalbound only for another brilliant save on the line from Ingram to set-up a tense last period.
However the Clarets hung on with no further drama to the seal the win and clinch promotion back to the Premier League!
BURNLEY: Heaton, Ward, Mee, Keane, Lowton, Arfield, Jones, Barton, Boyd, Gray (Barnes 76), Vokes.
Subs: Robinson, Darikwa, Tarkowski, Taylor, Dyer, Hennings
QPR: Ingram, Hall, Onouha, Hill, Phillips, Henry, Faurlin, Hoilett (Washington 63), Polter (Gladwin 70), Petrasso (El Khayati 70), Kpekawa.
Subs: Lumley, Perch, Prohouly, Greco-Cox
Yellow: Polter 4’, Kpekawa 45’
REF: J Moss
Attendance: 19,362 (236 away)