Burnley 4 v 0 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)
Former Burnley manager Steve Cotterill received an excellent welcome as he brought his struggling Bristol City side to Turf Moor this afternoon, his team were searching for a victory to move out of the bottom three.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche made three changes to the side that lost at Hull City, with David Jones and Michael Kightly being replaced by George Boyd and Dean Marney. Whilst Stephen Ward came in for Michael Duff who dropped to the bench.
Burnley were on top from the kick-off and after just four minutes had the first effort for the game when Sam Vokes headed the ball down to Joey Barton but his left-foot shot when wide of the city goal.
Sam Vokes was not to have an effort at the Bristol City goal on eight minutes, but his right-footed shot was well blocked by the City defence.
Burnley continued to press and one minute later, Andre Gray sent an excellent ball into the penalty area which fell to Scott Arfield, but his right-footed shot went wide of Fielding’s left post.
Bristol City then had their first attempt at the Burnley goal on thirteen minutes, when Jonathan Kodjia right-footed shot from outside the box, went high and wide of Tom Heaton’s right post.
Burnley should have taken the lead on sixteen minutes, as Sam Vokes played in Andre Gray, but his left-footed shot under press in the area hit the Bristol City post.
The next fifteen minutes were mainly a midfield battle, however City did have a couple of long range efforts that were well managed by the new Burnley centre-back pairing of Michael Keane and Ben Mee.
Just before the half an hour point Joey Barton collected the ball about forty yards from goal following a short free-kick. After controlling the ball he hit a left footed shot at goal which beat Fielding in the City goal but hit the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
Seven minutes later, the Clarets took the lead following an excellent pass from Michael Kightly, which found Andre Gray, he ran at the City defence before curling a ball from the edge of the box past Fielding in the City goal to make it 1-0.
On forty minutes, Andre Gray went close again following an excellent pass from David Jones, but his right-footed effort from the edge of the box was blocked by the City defence.
Five minutes later, on the stroke of half-time the Clarets extended their lead when David Jones headed the ball to Andre Gray and his shot from inside the area into the bottom left-hand corner made it 2-0.
Bristol city start the second-half much stronger and had a few amount at the Burnley goal over the first fifteen minutes. Korey Smith had a right-footed shot well blocked by Ben Mee on fifty minutes.
Aden Flint then had the next effort at the Burnley goal but his left-footed shot on fifty-five minutes went wide of Tom Heaton’s goal. On the hour Derrick Williams left-footed shot from the edge of the Clarets area was again well blocked by the Burnley defence.
Sam Vokes sent an excellent through ball past the City defence on seventy one minutes, which Scott Arfield got onto the end of inside the City area and his low shot across Fielding give Burnley a 3-0 lead.
Seven minutes later, Andre Gray completed his hat-trick when he added the Clarets fourth goal, with a shot from inside the City area into the City goal following an excellent pass from Matthew Lowton.
Ben Mee had the Clarets final effort at goal on eight-one minutes but his header from inside the City penalty area was well saved by Fielding in the Bristol City goal, to make the final score 4-0.
Speaking after the match Burnley manager Sean Dyche said, “A lot has happened in this calendar year. There has been major growth in the football club and in the bigger picture.
In the more immediate picture, I have said all along that the margins are tight. The other day at Hull, even Steve Bruce said his first two goal scorer’s cost him £18 million.
Sometimes that’s the difference and today we’ve come back home and delivered an absolutely fantastic performance. I think the fans enjoyed the energy, the goals, belief and all the trademarks that we like to think are a part of Burnley.
The quality of the play was excellent and that’s six points in the last three games and that’s two points a game.
Sean Dyche explaining his changes, George has been carrying a stiff back for a while now and two games in three days affected that situation. Dean has a tight calf and with his journey back to fitness it was just too much to risk him today.
Michael Duff just keeps going, but two games in three days was too much and I explained that to him so there was lots of good signs from the whole squad. The lads who came in today have been waiting for their chance and they take great pride in their efforts even when they are not in the team.
It was a really good response today from Andre because I felt he was quiet at Hull and it didn’t quite work out for him. Today, he was electric and his finishes were superb. I thought Sam Vokes was outstanding today, along with a number of other players.”
Burnley – Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Jones, Barton, Kightly, Arfield, Gray, Vokes (Subs) Gilks, Darikwa, Taylor, Hennings, C.Long, Duff, Ulvestad
Bristol City – Fielding, Ayling, Flint, Baker, E.Bennett, Pack, Freeman, Smith, Williams, Wilbraham, Kodjia (Subs) Little, Cox, Reid, Moore, Burns, Bryan, O’Leary
Goals – (Burnley) Gray (37,45,78), Arfield (71)
Attendance – 17,234