2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Sam Vokes (81')

Sam Vokes strikes for Burnley to seal win over Southampton

Southampton-born Sam Vokes headed a late winner against his hometown club as Burnley added to their impressive points haul on the road by grinding out a 1-0 win at St Mary's.

The Wales international striker, a boyhood Saints fan, climbed off the bench to meet Johann Berg Gudmundsson's inviting cross with nine minutes remaining.

Sean Dyche's men have now taken 11 points from their opening six away league games having already won at Chelsea and Everton and drawn against Tottenham and Liverpool.

It was a smash and grab job on the south coast after Southampton dominated the match, albeit creating little as their struggle for goals continued.

Saints began the game in the ascendancy but it was the visitors who managed the first attempt at goal when Gudmundsson fired well wide from distance following a sloppy pass from Cedric.

It proved to be the Clarets' only sight of goal in the opening period and the goalless half-time scoreline owed much to their goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Minutes after Southampton winger Nathan Redmond had wastefully fired over the crossbar, Pope did well to turn behind a volley from Moroccan Sofiane Boufal following Cedric's ball into the box.

Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski then blocked Ryan Bertrand's powerful goalbound effort before the away side were once again indebted to Pope three minutes prior to the break.

The former Charlton keeper got down low at his near post, this time denying a stinging shot from Redmond which was destined for the bottom left corner.

Referee Lee Probert's half-time whistle prompted murmurings of discontent from some Saints supporters and their concern was perhaps understandable given their side had only managed nine goals in their opening 10 league games of the season.

Mauricio Pellegrino's men continued to have the better of the play after the break.

The ineffective Manolo Gabbiadini, who during the game was named in Italy's squad for their World Cup qualifying play-off with Sweden, glanced a header off target from Cedric's delivery, before Burnley wide-man Gudmundsson denied Redmond with a last-ditch block.

Clarets keeper Pope then quickly redeemed himself by spectacularly tipping over Maya Yoshida's dipping effort having flapped at the initial corner.

Saints had had little to concern them at the other end of the field but Burnley boss Dyche set about changing that in the 65th minute by introducing attacking duo Vokes and Ashley Barnes from the bench in place of Chris Wood and Jeff Hendrick.

The substitutions paid off with 81 minutes on the clock as Burnley broke the deadlock with their only attempt on target.

Iceland international Gudmundsson picked up the ball on the right wing and his inswinging cross was guided into the bottom right corner by the forehead of Vokes.

Southampton pushed for a leveller in the closing minutes but they mustered little before being booed off by their own fans.

English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester City 27 +59 72
2 Manchester United 27 +32 56
3 Liverpool 27 +30 54
4 Chelsea 27 +26 53
5 Tottenham Hotspur 27 +28 52
6 Arsenal 27 +15 45
7 Burnley 27 -3 36
8 Leicester City 27 -1 35
9 Everton 27 -14 34
10 AFC Bournemouth 27 -10 31
11 Watford 27 -10 30
12 West Ham United 27 -12 30
13 Newcastle United 27 -11 28
14 Brighton & Hove Albion 27 -14 28
15 Crystal Palace 27 -17 27
16 Swansea City 27 -17 27
17 Huddersfield Town 27 -24 27
18 Southampton 27 -12 26
19 Stoke City 27 -26 25
20 West Bromwich Albion 27 -19 20

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