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Match Reports

REPORT: Burnley 1 Newcastle United 0

Chris Wood winner gets Clarets moving in another show of home strength

14 December 2019

Chris Wood and the Clarets again produced the goods when it mattered at Turf Moor by delivering three vital points to propel themselves back up the Premier League table.

Three successive defeats had sent Burnley into the bottom half and a little too close to the relegation scrap for comfort ahead of a crucial run of games up to the turn of the year.

But just when they need it, Sean Dyche’s men have a habit of coming good on their own turf and they did it again by stalling Newcastle’s revival with a fifth home win of the campaign.

All those wins have been achieved with the help of a clean sheet, with the latest even more welcome after the Clarets had conceded 11 goals during their losing run.

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And another common dominator is Wood, who was once again in the right place at the right time to head the second-half winner to go with the goals he scored in home victories over Norwich and West Ham as the Clarets provided the perfect response to their 5-0 mauling at Tottenhan a week ago.

Dyche made three changes to the side that started the defeat at Spurs, with Ashley Barnes, Ashley Westwood and Phil Bardsley all returning from injury.

That meant milestones for Westwood – making his 200th Premier League appearance – and Bardsley, who played his 50th game for the Clarets 13 years after his first during a loan spell from Manchester United.

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Newcastle’s own injury concerns prompted manager Steve Bruce to make four changes and hand the captain’s armband to Andy Carroll on just his second start since returning to Tyneside in the summer.

The former England striker is yet to score in his second coming but had a chance to bridge a nine-year gap since his last Newcastle goal after just five minutes with a header from Isaac Hayden’s cross which he directed wide.

The Clarets responded with a skidding shot from Dwight McNeil, which Martin Dubravka pushed around a post.

And McNeil then combined with Chris Wood with a return pass to Wood which the striker looked to clip home at the near post, the ball striking Paul Dummett on the hand but not at the cost of a penalty after a check by the VAR.

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It did lead to back-to-back corners for the Clarets, though, and from the second Tarkowksi headed just wide as he enjoyed a break from his fine job of marshalling Carroll.

That apart neither goal came under any great threat during a first half surprisingly extended by only three minutes following a succession of injury stoppages that did little to help the flow of a cagey affair.

It was important for the Clarets to keep themselves in the game, though, and an upbeat start to the second half was then rewarded with the crucial opening goal with almost an hour gone.

Referee Tim Robinson – taking charge of his first Premier League game – initially gave a goal-kick when he might have given a free-kick against Wood.

But having been over-ruled by one of his assistants, Robinson awarded a corner which Westwood delivered superbly for Wood to head home from virtually under the crossbar to claim his seventh goal of the season.

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Burnley were just about worthy of their lead at that point and with just over 20 minutes to go almost doubled it.

Jack Cork dispossessed Sean Longstaff and did everything right by rounding Federico Fernandez but with his left foot just failed to beat Dubravka who made a vital save to keep his side in the contest.

A first goal of the season for Cork – who was outstanding alongside Westwood in their re-united midfield partnership – would have brought welcome breathing space and added insurance against a late Newcastle push.

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Bruce tried to instigate that by bringing on Dwight Gayle to partner Carroll and the substitute should have scored what would have been controversial equaliser with 10 minutes to go.

Joelinton got away with barging Eric Pieters to the ground and when he crossed, Gayle somehow steered a close-range finish the wrong side of the near post.

That was Newcastle’s last chance of avoiding only a third defeat in 10 games as the Clarets defiantly kept them at bay to come through a test of character in impressive – and typical –style.

Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Barnes, Wood (Rodriguiez 85). Substitutes: Hart, Lowton, Drinkwater, Brady, Vydra, Lennon.

Booked: None

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Willems (Gayle 71); Atsu (Muto 79), Hayden, S Longstaff, Joelinton; Carroll. Substitutes: Elliot, Krafth, Lejeune, Yedlin, M Longstaff.

Booked: Joelinton, Carroll

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 19,798


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