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Southampton 1-2 Burnley: Matej Vydra goal boosts Clarets’ European hopes

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Matej Vydra

Matej Vydra’s goal was his first for Burnley since 22 September 2018

Matej Vydra’s superb goal boosted Burnley’s hopes of playing in Europe for the second time in three years as they won a weather-affected Premier League game at Southampton.

The result lifts the Clarets up to 10th, five points behind Sheffield United in fifth.

The visitors had made the perfect start, Ashley Westwood scoring direct from a corner after 93 seconds.

Danny Ings, who was deceived by the flight of the ball for Westwood’s goal, made amends by equalising with a rasping drive into the bottom right corner from 18 yards.

With Saints mastering the wet and windy conditions brought on by Storm Dennis better than their opponents, Jack Stephens then headed Sofiane Boufal’s delivery against the Burnley crossbar as the hosts pressed for a winner.

But Vydra’s stunning left-foot effort, into the top-left corner from 18 yards, ensured Burnley claimed their first league double over Southampton since 1947.

  • Follow live text commentary of Southampton v Burnley

Clarets aim for Europe

Burnley arrived on the south coast after winning at Old Trafford in their last away game.

And a typically gritty performance, illuminated by Vydra’s goal, helped them equal their longest unbeaten run of the run of the season, four matches.

Dyche’s side last qualified for European competition in 2017-18, with a seventh-place Premier League finish, and may well fancy their chances of emulating that achievement.

Games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham aside, the Clarets have a reasonably promising run-in.

And if Manchester City’s ban from European club competitions is upheld, it opens up the possibility of the team finishing fifth playing in the Champions League, with Europa League qualification extending further down the table.

More to follow.

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