Premier League
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Watford 1-2 Burnley: Two late goals lift Clarets five points clear of relegation zone

By Matthew HowarthBBC Sport
Watford 1-2 Burnley: Jackson 'delighted' with Burnley fightback

Burnley scored twice in the final seven minutes to complete a dramatic comeback that pulled them five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and left hosts Watford on the brink of the drop.

Jack Cork's diving header from Charlie Taylor's left-wing cross cancelled out James Tarkowski's early own goal, before Josh Brownhill found the bottom corner from the edge of the box to spark jubilant scenes among the travelling fans and in the away dugout at Vicarage Road.

Watford had taken a deserved early lead when Juraj Kucka's fierce effort struck the crossbar before rebounding off the unfortunate Tarkowski and into the unguarded net.

The Hornets carried the greater threat in the first half, Kiko Femenia striking the near post from an inswinging corner and Joao Pedro blazing over the crossbar after escaping the Clarets defence.

Aaron Lennon and Ashley Barnes forced fine saves out of Ben Foster in the second half, but there was little the veteran goalkeeper could do about either of the visitors' late goals, which came in the space of three minutes and stretched Mike Jackson's unbeaten start as Clarets caretaker manager to four matches.

The Hornets' 11th consecutive home defeat leaves them 12 points adrift of Burnley and Leeds with only four games remaining.

Late fightback continues Clarets' resurgence

Watford 1-2 Burnley: Watford struggled with "massive fear factor" - Ray Lewington

Before Saturday, the only side in the top four tiers of English football to have lost more than 10 consecutive home league games were Rochdale, who suffered 14 straight defeats in Division Three North between 1931 and 1932.

It was all going so well for Watford, who were full of energy in the early stages and could have added to Tarkowski's own goal.

Burnley's captain had to fling himself in the way of another Kucka strike minutes after putting into his own net, before the returning Pedro blazed over.

The visitors thought they had won a penalty when Dwight McNeil's heels were clipped by Moussa Sissoko. However, the Frenchman's challenge was deemed to be outside the box and McNeil struck the subsequent free-kick straight into the Hornets wall.

Emmanuel Dennis forced Nick Pope into a smart save at his near post following yet another Tarkowski deflection, as Watford continued to threaten.

Burnley improved after the interval, though, and a lapse in concentration early in the second half from Ismaila Sarr almost gifted Lennon an equaliser, but Foster produced a fine save low to his left to snuff out the danger.

The home side had opportunities to add to their lead on the counter-attack, but a combination of poor passing and wasteful finishing set up a nervous finish as Burnley slowly turned the screw.

Foster managed to tip Barnes' powerful header on to the crossbar, but the warning went unheeded as Cork's header restored parity with seven minutes remaining.

Brownhill completed the turnaround three minutes later, guiding a right-footed strike into the bottom corner after Watford had failed to properly clear McNeil's free-kick.

This is the first time Burnley have won three Premier League games in a row since 2019, while Jackson also becomes the first manager to stay unbeaten in his first four top-flight matches in charge of the Clarets.

The last manager not to lose any of their first four league games with the club was Owen Coyle in 2007.

Player of the match

LowtonMatthew Lowton

with an average of 8.17

Watford

  1. Squad number1Player nameFoster
    Average rating

    6.38

  2. Squad number25Player nameDennis
    Average rating

    5.42

  3. Squad number10Player nameJoão Pedro
    Average rating

    5.17

  4. Squad number19Player nameSissoko
    Average rating

    5.10

  5. Squad number21Player nameKiko Femenía
    Average rating

    5.05

  6. Squad number33Player nameKucka
    Average rating

    5.03

  7. Squad number6Player nameLouza
    Average rating

    5.01

  8. Squad number27Player nameKabasele
    Average rating

    4.96

  9. Squad number23Player nameSarr
    Average rating

    4.95

  10. Squad number22Player nameSamir
    Average rating

    4.93

  11. Squad number14Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    4.93

Burnley

  1. Squad number2Player nameLowton
    Average rating

    8.17

  2. Squad number16Player nameStephens
    Average rating

    8.16

  3. Squad number10Player nameBarnes
    Average rating

    7.98

  4. Squad number1Player namePope
    Average rating

    7.68

  5. Squad number8Player nameBrownhill
    Average rating

    7.67

  6. Squad number4Player nameCork
    Average rating

    7.66

  7. Squad number11Player nameMcNeil
    Average rating

    7.50

  8. Squad number22Player nameCollins
    Average rating

    7.49

  9. Squad number3Player nameTaylor
    Average rating

    7.47

  10. Squad number9Player nameWeghorst
    Average rating

    7.44

  11. Squad number17Player nameLennon
    Average rating

    7.44

  12. Squad number14Player nameRoberts
    Average rating

    7.44

  13. Squad number27Player nameVydra
    Average rating

    7.44

  14. Squad number5Player nameTarkowski
    Average rating

    6.47

Line-ups

Watford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Foster
  • 21Femenía
  • 27Kabasele
  • 22Samir
  • 14Kamara
  • 19Sissoko
  • 6Louza
  • 33KuckaBooked at 87mins
  • 23Sarr
  • 10João Pedro
  • 25Dennis

Substitutes

  • 2Ngakia
  • 5Troost-Ekong
  • 7King
  • 11Masina
  • 12Sema
  • 16Gosling
  • 26Bachmann
  • 28Kalu
  • 39Kayembe

Burnley

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Pope
  • 14Roberts
  • 22CollinsBooked at 90mins
  • 5TarkowskiBooked at 48mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 11McNeil
  • 4Cork
  • 8Brownhill
  • 17LennonSubstituted forLowtonat 89'minutes
  • 27VydraSubstituted forStephensat 90+2'minutes
  • 9WeghorstSubstituted forBarnesat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lowton
  • 10Barnes
  • 13Hennessey
  • 16Stephens
  • 25Norris
  • 26Bardsley
  • 28Long
  • 37Thomas
  • 44Costelloe
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
20,738

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamBurnley
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home13
Away17
Shots on Target
Home1
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Watford 1, Burnley 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Watford 1, Burnley 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Imrân Louza (Watford) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by João Pedro with a cross.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Dale Stephens replaces Matej Vydra.

  5. Booking

    Nathan Collins (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Collins (Burnley).

  7. Post update

    Moussa Sissoko (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Burnley. Matthew Lowton replaces Aaron Lennon.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Juraj Kucka (Watford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ismaïla Sarr with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matej Vydra (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Booking

    Juraj Kucka (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Watford 1, Burnley 2. Josh Brownhill (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matej Vydra following a set piece situation.

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Imrân Louza (Watford).

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Watford 1, Burnley 1. Jack Cork (Burnley) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Charlie Taylor with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Juraj Kucka (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  18. Post update

    Aaron Lennon (Burnley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Juraj Kucka (Watford).

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Josh Brownhill (Burnley) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

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