Norwich City further dented Burnley’s Premier League (PL) survival hopes, coming out 2-0 winners at Carrow Road as the ‘Canaries’ ended an eight-match winless run in the league, potentially consigning the ‘Clarets’ to the Championship next season.
A frantic start to this relegation battle saw both Burnley and Norwich trade early blows with Nick Pope and Tim Krul denying Jay Rodriguez and Milot Rashica respectively. It was Norwich who struck the first knockout blow, though, when Pierre Lees-Melou was afforded the freedom of Norwich on the edge of the area and his deflected strike wrong-footed Pope on its way into the corner. Burnley’s response was muted, though they did force Krul into action shortly after falling behind – Maxwel Cornet broke down the left but his near-post effort was easily beaten away by the Dutch stopper to preserve Norwich’s HT lead.
Burnley have never won a PL away game in which they have trailed at the break under Sean Dyche, so the prospects of a comeback appeared incredibly slim. The ‘Clarets’ aren’t notorious goalscorers either and the opening stages of the second half followed the predicted pattern, with Burnley struggling in the final third, though they ought to have been playing against ten men with Lees-Melou incredibly escaping a second yellow despite a blatant pull back to deny a Burnley counter. Dwight McNeil was introduced by Dyche and he made an instant impact, laying the ball on a plate for Cornet at the back post, but he somehow missed from two yards.
Norwich ought to have laid the game to rest ten minutes from time when a well-worked free-kick found its way to the head of Grant Hanley, but he rattled the crossbar from six yards. Despite a bombardment of long balls in the dying embers, Norwich stood firm and eventually added a second in the dying moments through Teemu Pukki, securing a rare three points accompanied by a clean sheet. This delivered a hammer blow to Burnley’s survival hopes given Everton’s impressive result against Manchester United yesterday.