Goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood were enough for Burnley to defeat struggling West Bromwich Albion, a result that leaves the Clarets two points outside the top six in the Premier League.
Salomon Rondon replied late on in the second half but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback from the home side, as they slipped closer to almost inevitable relegation to the Championship.
Burnley looked very comfortable in possession as West Brom were content with sitting back and soaking up the pressure from the visitors.
However, it was the home side who had the first real opportunity, after Jay Rodriguez met an Allan Nyom cross by heading it into the path of Rondon who’s header was straight at Nick Pope.
Georges Kevin N’Koudou saw plenty of the ball out on the left hand side but his deliveries were poor with many being dealt with comfortable by the tall home defence.
Clarets pressure paid off in style
Sean Dyche’s men were creating more and more chances as Ben Mee saw his left footed swing saved by Ben Foster from a corner.
The Clarets continued to pile forward, and this time a delivery did lead to a chance, but from Aaron Lennon on the right.
The former Everton man held up his cross for Barnes who had to re-adjust in the air to hook the ball over his head beyond the rooted Ben Foster.
Alan Pardew tried to change the shape of his side by adding an extra man into the midfield with Rodriguez going wide although, this just left Rondon more isolated against Mee and James Tarkowski who had dealt with the previous dual threat to good affect.
The centre back pairing were once again causing trouble at the attacking end with the new England International feeling he had his shirt pulled by Ahmed Hegazi, but referee Lee Probert waved away the protests.
Jake Livermore found Rondon in the box and the Venezuelan forced Pope into a good save down to his left for West Brom’s best chance of the game so far at the end of the first half.
The start of the second half saw the home side start the brightest with Chris Brunt putting in an excellent cross that was just out of reach for Rodriguez, and Rondon also looked to pick out the wide man a couple of minutes later with the same result as before.
Matty Phillips, who came on at half time, added a much needed energy to the Baggies, but he couldn’t get on the end of another sublime Brunt cross, as the home side looked for an equaliser.
West Brom left to rue missed opportunities
It took Burnley 20 minutes to have a meaningful chance of their own in the second period as Lennon linked up well with Barnes before Nyom’s clearance fell at the feet of Ashley Westwood only for the Republic of Ireland International to drive his shot wide.
From there, the Clarets put the pressure back on with Barnes blazing over the bar before Wood put the game to bed.
The ball started with Pope with his long ball ending up at the feet of Matt Lowton on the right who slipped the ball in behind for Wood to latch onto.
The New Zealand International saw his initial effort well saved by Foster before the rebound was met by Wood who headed the ball into the net from close range.
West Brom halved the deficit just eleven minutes later as Rondon capitalised on a poor clearance by Tarkowski and the striker thrashed the ball low into the corner of the net.
The hosts did have a couple of opportunities with Phillips having the best chance to complete the comeback almost immediately after Rondon’s strike.
However Burnley held on to take all three points at the Hawthorns for nearly 50 years, and the Clarets put the pressure onto Arsenal in sixth, as they moved to within two points before the Gunners play tomorrow.
West Brom’s days in the Premier League look numbered, with the Baggies still to play three of the top five teams in their final six fixtures.