Burnley earn crucial EPL win over Saints

Connor Roberts of Burnley runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor on April 21, 2022 in Burnley, England.

Managerless Burnley have moved to within a point of Premier League safety as first-half goals from defenders Connor Roberts and Nathan Collins delivered a 2-0 win over Southampton.

Playing their first home game since the shock sacking of Sean Dyche last Friday, Burnley breathed new life into their survival bid as they secured back-to-back home wins for the first time since December 2020.

The win made it four points from six under caretaker boss Mike Jackson and was only their fourth victory in the last 25 at Turf Moor.

The three points lift the Clarets to within touching distance of Everton, albeit having played a game more.

The great escape could yet still be on, and were it to come, club chairman Alan Pace would claim vindication for his decision to end Dyche's almost decade-long tenure last Friday.

Across from Turf Moor, the Royal Dyche pub displayed a message branding the move a "joke" and pledging not to change its name.

Meanwhile, Pace used his programme notes to say the decision was "not taken lightly at all" and that Dyche will "rightly be regarded as a true Clarets legend".

But inside the ground the focus was firmly on the fight against the drop. There were no chants for Dyche until the 87th minute, no anger directed at Pace in the directors' box, just strong backing for the team.

It helped that they were playing against a Southampton side in poor form, having won only three of 16 away league games all season and winless in five before a 1-0 home victory over Arsenal at the weekend.

Burnley, the second-lowest scorers in the league, registered 16 shots, with Fraser Forster the man chiefly responsible for keeping the score in check.

The hosts took the lead with 12 minutes gone. Roberts' first Burnley goal was a beauty as he cut inside on his left and bent the ball beyond the reach of Forster.

There was also nothing the goalkeeper could do in the 44th minute when Collins rose to head in Josh Brownhill's corner - with the goal surviving a VAR check for a possible offside against Jack Cork.

Burnley thought they had a third just after the hour mark when a combination of Rodriguez and Cork bundled the ball home after Forster failed to deal with James Tarkowski's header back across goal, but after another long check it was ruled out for offside.

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