English Premier League

Burnley 2 – 1 Brentford

Burnley boosted their slim hopes of Premier League survival with a nervy victory over 10-man Brentford at Turf Moor.

Jacob Bruun Larsen’s early penalty gave the hosts the perfect start after the video assistant referee (VAR) adjudged Sergio Reguilon to have committed a professional foul on Clarets winger Vitinho, resulting in a straight red card for the Tottenham loanee.

Dara O’Shea’s heavy backpass almost gifted Brentford an equaliser, but Arijanet Muric – making his Premier League debut in place of first-choice Clarets goalkeeper James Trafford – produced a fine clearance to stop the ball trickling over the line.

David Datro Fofana was guilty of one of the misses of the season shortly before the interval, somehow scuffing his shot wide after Lorenz Assignon had picked out the young Ivorian.

But Chelsea loanee Fofana made amends midway through the second period, taking Wilson Odobert’s pass in his stride and calmly beating Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken to double Burnley’s advantage.

Wilson Odobert spurned an excellent opportunity to make it 3-0, before Kristoffer Ajer’s late header gave Brentford hope.

The visitors thought they had salvaged an unlikely equaliser deep into added time when Shandon Baptiste’s cross looped over Muric and into the far corner, but the goal was ruled out for a foul by Ivan Toney on the Burnley keeper.

The Clarets’ second home win of the season means they are now eight points adrift of safety with nine matches left to play, while Brentford sit four points above the bottom three.

Fofana turns from villain to hero
Burnley have left themselves with a mountain to climb as the Premier League season enters its final stretch, but this win has the potential to breathe life into their survival bid.

Clarets fans had to wait more than five minutes for referee Darren Bond to point to the spot after Reguilon had barged into the back of Vitinho, who had just pulled his leg back to shoot after collecting Josh Cullen’s lofted ball into the box.

But Bruun Larsen was not to be denied, the former Dortmund youngster keeping his composure to slam the ball beyond Flekken with ten minutes on the clock.

Only Brentford have dropped more points from winning positions than Kompany’s team this season, and had it not been for Muric the Clarets could have found themselves on level terms heading into half-time.

The Kosovan managed to clear O’Shea’s wayward pass off the line before denying Wissa in a one-on-one as Brentford continued to pose a threat on the counter-attack.

That second stop spared Fofana’s blushes after a first half to forget for the 21-year-old striker, who somehow failed to hit the target from Assignon’s pass with three minutes of the first half remaining.

Moments later, Fofana delayed his shot after dispossessing the Brentford goalkeeper inside the area, giving the Dutchman the opportunity to atone for his error and clear the ball out for a corner.

But the Ivorian turned from villain to hero in the second half, his composed finish giving the Clarets a two-goal cushion with under half an hour left to play.

Ajer’s header set up a nervous finish, and Burnley fans’ hearts were in their mouths when Baptiste’s looping cross nestled in the back of the net, but the goal was correctly disallowed.


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