Premier League
BurnleyBurnley2WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers0

Burnley 2-0 Wolves: Clarets boost Premier League survival hopes

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Conor Coady scores an own goal to give Burnley the lead
Wolves skipper Conor Coady scored his third own goal of the season after Chris Wood's shot cannoned back off the post

Burnley teenager Dwight McNeil "laid down a marker" by inspiring his side to a win over Wolves that boosted their hopes of Premier League survival, says Clarets manager Sean Dyche.

McNeil, 19, set up the early opener on Saturday, and then sealed victory with a superb solo strike as the hosts ended a run of four straight defeats and moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

Burnley led inside 90 seconds when Chris Wood's shot from a tight angle hit the post before going in off Wolves captain Conor Coady.

A hard-fought match produced few clear-cut chances and could have swung in the direction of either side - but a moment of brilliance from McNeil sealed a potentially crucial win for the home side at a jubilant Turf Moor.

The forward maintained his composure in the Wolves box - in a rare opportunity for the hosts in the second half - to precisely drill into the bottom-right corner.

That sparked relieved celebrations among the home contingent as boss Dyche marked his 300th game in management with three points which could be vital at the end of the campaign.

"Dwight is only 19 but he's rolling around the Premier League in a tough situation and doing what he's doing. He has certainly laid a marker down," said Dyche.

"He's a really good player and I'm enjoying what he's doing."

Burnley's victory, coupled with relegation rivals Southampton winning at Brighton, confirmed Huddersfield's demotion back to the Championship.

McNeil catches the eye as Burnley dig deep

Burnley boss Dyche started his managerial career with a 2-0 win over Wolves - in November 2012 when he was with Watford - and McNeil's strike ensured his 300th game ended with a sense of symmetry.

More importantly, it put clear space between his side and third-bottom Cardiff, although that gap can be reduced when the Bluebirds host Chelsea on Sunday.

This was a game won largely by Clarets perspiration, coupled with two pieces of inspiration from Lancashire-born McNeil.

McNeil, whose form this season has also been recognised with a call-up to the England Under-20 squad, showed quick-thinking from a free-kick to release Wood for the opening goal.

Then, with Wolves threatening an equaliser, he calmed a nervous Turf Moor by showing his quality and fearlessness when driving forward into the visitors' box to score the second.

"That's my best moment in a Burnley shirt - I hope I get plenty more like it," said McNeil, who has scored three goals in his breakthrough season.

McNeil's strike was Burnley's only shot on target. They were starved of possession for long periods and needed to remain focused and organised to keep Wolves at bay.

"We can play better but the detail is in the basics," Dyche added. "We did all the ugly, hard stuff to make it difficult for them."

Burnley 2-0 Wolves: Dyche marks 300th game with 'very important' win

Wolves pay the price

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo spoke in the build-up about the importance of his side not looking beyond Saturday, despite Tuesday's home game against Manchester United and, more importantly, next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Watford at Wembley looming.

While it would be difficult to criticise their focus and application at Turf Moor, the away side lacked the ingenuity to break down an organised Burnley defence.

Wolves had almost 65% of the possession and spent more time in the opposing third than their hosts, yet only managed one effort on target.

That came when left wing-back Jonny Castro Otto arrived unmarked at the far post to head goalwards, only to see a perfectly positioned Clarets keeper Tom Heaton hold on to the ball.

Otherwise the visitors failed to create many clear sights of goal, though Diogo Jota did curl an opportunist effort past the far post shortly after the restart and Leander Dendoncker was guilty of shooting wastefully over moments later.

"I don't think we deserved too much today to be honest," Wolves skipper Coady said.

'I've always marvelled at our mentality' - post-match reaction

Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "It is a very important three points. The main thing was that, although we've played better, the detail was in the basics - doing the ugly, hard stuff to make sure we didn't give them too much. That was important.

"I've always marvelled at the mentality of the players. We had a real hit against Leicester when we dominated game and lost in the last minute - but we've had a break and the players are back energised.

"That bodes well and we have to maintain that and get points on the board. But today is a good sign of the mentality of the players."

Burnley 2-0 Wolves: We can't allow ourselves to concede so early - Nuno Espírito Santo

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo: "We started very badly, we lost concentration and communication and then it became much more difficult for us.

"In the second half we started well and had some good moments, but then conceded the second and the game was over. There are a lot of things we have to look at.

"We must be clinical and produce better. At the start of the second half we caused them danger but need to do it for the whole game and especially look at our defensive organisation.

"We can't concede how we did today, we made a big mistake."

Man of the match - James Tarkowski (Burnley)

Burnley's James Tarkowski in action against Wolves
While Dwight McNeil will deservedly get plenty of plaudits, Burnley might not have been in a position to clinch victory if it had not been for their stubborn defence - led by James Tarkowski. The England defender made a game-high four tackles for his team, plus a number of vital blocks and interceptions.

Burnley rewarded for rare clean sheet - stats of the day

  • Burnley registered their first clean sheet in nine league games.
  • Wolves have won just one of their past six Premier League games, drawing three and losing two, after winning three in a row before that.
  • After keeping a clean sheet in two of their first four away league games this season, Wolves have conceded in their past 12 on the road.
  • Wolves defender Coady has scored three own goals in the league this term, with only two players registering more in a Premier League season - Liverpool's Martin Skrtel in 2013-14 and Brighton's Lewis Dunk in 2017-18, both with four.
  • Wolves' four own goals in the league this campaign is the most of any side.
  • McNeil has been directly involved in five goals in his past seven Premier League games for Burnley at Turf Moor, scoring three and assisting two.
  • He has been directly involved in seven league goals this season - three goals, four assists - which is the joint most of any teenager, level with Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon.

What's next?

Wolves have no time to dwell on this defeat as they return to action on Tuesday when they host Manchester United in the league at Molineux (19:45 BST kick-off).

Burnley next play on Saturday, 6 April when they go to Bournemouth (15:00).

Line-ups

Burnley

  • 1Heaton
  • 26Bardsley
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 13Hendrick
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 31McNeilBooked at 67minsSubstituted forBerg Gudmundssonat 87'minutes
  • 10Barnes
  • 11Wood

Substitutes

  • 2Lowton
  • 7Berg Gudmundsson
  • 12Brady
  • 14Gibson
  • 20Hart
  • 23Ward
  • 27Vydra

Wolves

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 27Saïss
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 37TraoréSubstituted forHélder Costaat 72'minutes
  • 32DendonckerSubstituted forDohertyat 59'minutes
  • 8NevesBooked at 90mins
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 7CavaleiroSubstituted forJiménezat 59'minutes
  • 18Jota

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 9Jiménez
  • 10Hélder Costa
  • 17Gibbs-White
  • 21Ruddy
  • 29Vinagre
  • 49Kilman
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
20,990

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamWolves
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home6
Away8
Shots on Target
Home1
Away1
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Burnley 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Burnley 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  3. Booking

    Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  5. Post update

    Charlie Taylor (Burnley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Diogo Jota with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Burnley. Tom Heaton tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  9. Post update

    James Tarkowski (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Johann Gudmundsson replaces Dwight McNeil.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Phil Bardsley.

  12. Post update

    Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jack Cork (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Cork.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Rúben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  17. Post update

    Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by João Moutinho with a cross following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Burnley 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0. Dwight McNeil (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by James Tarkowski with a headed pass.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPts
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2Liverpool31237170185276
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5Arsenal30186663392460
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolves31128113838044
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