Brighton 0-3 Burnley: Relegation-threatened visitors thrash Graham Potter’s side THREE NIL as £12m January signing Wout Weghorst gets off the mark to kickstart vital victory
Burnley arrived at the Amex Stadium as one of only two teams in the top four divisions still searching for an away win. They left having broken that duck with an impressive victory that lifts them off the foot of the table and breathes new life into their survival bid.
Wout Weghorst’s first goal for the club and Josh Brownhill’s first Premier League goal gave Sean Dyche’s side a two-goal half-time lead before Aaron Lennon wrapped up the points midway through the second half. It was the perfect way for Dyche to mark his 250th Premier League game as a manager, as his side secured only their second league win this season.
Dyche insists his side have been showing signs of improvement in recent games but knows they need victories if they are to make the most of their games in hand and close the gap on the teams above.
Burnley ended an 11-game Premier League winless run with victory over Brighton on Saturday
This display offered hope while the performance of Weghorst, making his fourth appearance since his £12million move from Wolfsburg, in particular suggested the Netherlands international can provide the Clarets with a much-needed cutting edge.
‘In the last five games we have had good performances and not got the rewards I thought we deserved, and today we did,’ said Dyche. ‘The details we’ve talked about all season we delivered and that made a big difference.
‘That’s been coming and I’m pleased for the players, they’ve stayed clear-minded and clear-thinking about what we have to do to win games, and they’ve delivered without doubt today.
‘The players deserve that feeling, they’ve worked hard for it and it’s not about getting carried away or not, it’s the reality of a season’s work. Every season is a restart for us, so that doesn’t change, but we enjoy the moment and our fans should as well.
January signing Wout Weghorst opened the scoring in the 21st minute to put Burnley ahead
‘The most pleasing thing to me is the mentality of the players to stick steadfast to what we do — to play in that manner when we aren’t finding wins. It’s not easy when you’re bottom of the league to find that mentality. We’ve got to keep building. It’s just another step, an important step, but there’s lots of other steps we need to make.’
Burnley, who were without centre-back James Tarkowski and midfielder Ashley Westwood because of Covid-19 issues, made their intentions clear from the opening moments as they pressed Brighton backwards.
The home team were prevented from establishing their usual control and building any kind of forward momentum. Dyche’s side might have taken the lead in the 10th minute when right-back Connor Roberts cut inside Alexis Mac Allister and directed a dipping left-foot shot against the bar from 20 yards out.
The breakthrough came 11 minutes later after an incisive move down the Burnley right. Nathan Collins found Lennon who played an excellent pass around the corner and into the path of Roberts. The full-back pressed forward before pulling the ball back for Weghorst, 15 yards from goal and the forward made no mistake with a first-time effort that flew past keeper Robert Sanchez.
The visitors’ lead was then doubled after Josh Brownhill scored his first goal of the season
Weghorst’s impressive finish summed his all-round contribution. ‘I’d be surprised if there’s not more to come, the way he plays, his quality. He brings others into play and has a real team ethic,’ said Dyche.
Brighton remained unconvincing but had a good opportunity to equalise when Adam Lallana headed wide in 37th minute. The opportunity came a minute after Shane Duffy had finally tested Nick Pope with a speculative shot from 25 yards and Lallana should at least have brought the Burnley keeper into the action again when he met Tariq Lamptey’s cross.
There was a clear sign of growing Brighton frustration when Duffy and Sanchez were involved in an angry exchange that ended with the centre-back pushing his team-mate after the pair had contested the same high ball. Without suspended skipper Lewis Dunk and the injured Adam Webster, the Brighton backline looked far from assured and that weakness was exploited almost immediately after Duffy and Sanchez’s spat as Burnley doubled their lead in the 40th minute.
Aaron Lennon then scored in the 69th minute to seal the destination of the three points
Brighton have now lost back-to-back games and six games over the course of the season
A long clearance from Ben Mee was directed towards Weghorst who held off the attentions of Duffy to lay the ball off for Brownhill. The midfielder cut inside and struck a left-foot shot that deflected first off Marc Cucurella and then Joel Veltman before finding a way through Sanchez’s legs.
Brighton felt they should have had the chance to reduce the deficit immediately before half-time when Lennon pulled back Jakub Moder, but referee Kevin Friend ignored their claims for a penalty.
After the break, Graham Potter’s side struggled to find a way through Burnley’s well-organised defence and the visitors wrapped up the win when Lennon drilled a rising shot past Sanchez after being sent clear by Jay Rodriguez.
While Burnley’s win sees them move above Norwich into 19th place, five points from safety
Team line-ups and player ratings
Brighton (4-1-3-2): Sanchez 5; Lamptey 7, Veltman 6, Duffy 5, Cucurella 6; Bissouma 6; Lallana 6 (Trossard 54, 6), Moder 6 (March, 54, 6), Mac Allister 5; Maupay 5, Welbeck 6 (Ferguson 69, 6).
Substitutes not used: Steele, Gross, Alzate, Caicedo, Roberts, Leonard.
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope 6; Roberts 7, Mee 7, Collins 7, Pieters 6; Lennon 7, Cork 7, Brownhill 7, McNeil 8; Cornet 6 (Rodriguez 54, 6), Weghorst 9 (Barnes 87, 6).
Substitutes not used: Hennessey, Waller, Lowton, Stephens, Bardsley, Long, Thomas
Referee: Kevin Friend 5
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