The Warm Down: Vydra stunner buries Saints
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Matej Vydra and Ashley Westwood scored varyingly spectacular goals either side of a Danny Ings strike to give Burnley a 2-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary’s Stadium.

Burnley had the lead in a trice when Westwood’s corner went straight into the net as Ings allowed it to creep in at the near post.

Saints responded well and Ings atoned for his error in superb style on 18 minutes, turning at the top of the box before drilling a shot into the bottom right corner.

Jack Stephens headed onto the crossbar moments later from James Ward-Prowse’s free kick as the hosts asserted their dominance on the match.

It took something special for the visitors to regain the lead as Vydra took the ball down on his chest in the box and thumped a left-footed volley into the top left corner of Alex McCarthy’s goal.

The home fans were convinced they should have had a penalty 10 minutes from time as Stephen’s cross struck Ben Mee on the arm from point-blank range, but a VAR check failed to deliver the St. Mary’s faithful’s wishes.

Taking chances

As Southampton look to reach the next level, the common sentiment is that they give a good account of themselves with their attractive football but ultimately fail to get results.

Despite a 4-0 loss to runaway leaders Liverpool in their last fixture, much praise went to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men for a particularly impressive first half display, while the same could be said for their FA Cup fourth round exit to Tottenham in which they were much the better side.

This match played out in rather similar fashion. After conceding the first goal, Southampton responded and controlled possession and forward territory but failed to capitalise on any chances they created.

For all of the link-up play they produced, the end product was often found wanting and on another day the hosts might well have been out of sight before the half-time interval.

Instead they were forced home empty-handed as Burnley upped the ante in the second 45 minutes and ultimately hit the front, taking the three points from Southampton's grasp.  

Ings makes his case

With Euro 2020 on the horizon and Harry Kane battling injury, Ings continues to show Gareth Southgate why he should be the man on the plane for England.

His 15th Premier League goal of the campaign was up there with his best thus far, with the footwork to turn atop the penalty area more than matched by a piercing finish low into the corner of the net.

It is becoming a rather customary occurrence whenever Ings steps on the pitch in the red and white stripes, a wonderful sight for him given his long history with injuries.  

With Marcus Rashford also set to be on the treatment table right up until the tournament’s opening, Southgate has an important decision to make on who to include up front when he names his 23-man squad in June.

With the current form he is in coupled with his desire and hunger for success, Ings could be the man to set England on their way to a tilt at the European crown.

Burnley being Burnley

Sean Dyche set up his team to defend well and pick Southampton off on the counter attack, aiming to use their physicality against a fragile Saints defence.

Losing Chris Wood early in the first half did nothing to deter the Clarets from their plan as they got bodies in and around Southampton’s central defenders in support of the substitute Vydra.

Burnley looked most dangerous in the opening half when they were winning second balls in the final third and quickly getting on the front foot. The midfield trio of Westwood, Jeff Hendrick and Jack Cork lifted the intensity and were able to do this more often in the second period, keeping Southampton on the back foot.

Dwight McNeil was a rare non-factor on the left hand side, but the dynamism of former Saint Jay Rodriguez alongside the sturdiness of Burnley’s midfield ensured there were other areas in which they could exploit their opponents.

And the visitors would do what Southampton failed to in taking their chances when they arrived, setting up a smash and grab victory to propel themselves within three points of sixth place.

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