2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Salomón Rondón (83')
  • Ashley Barnes (22')
  • Chris Wood (73')

Burnley keep European hopes alive as West Brom look cast adrift

Ashley Barnes scored a superb volley as Burnley kept alive their dreams of European football next season and edged West Brom nearer to relegation from the Premier League.

There was little to choose between the two sides on Saturday. Neither have been prolific scorers this campaign but Burnley are organised and dogged and when Barnes' scissor kick put the visitors ahead after 22 minutes it was already a long way back for the Baggies.

Chris Wood marked his recall to the team with the second goal after 73 minutes to seal a third straight Premier League victory, although Salomon Rondon pulled a goal back late on and it finished 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

The win moved Burnley to within two points of sixth-placed Arsenal. West Brom, meanwhile, have now lost eight on the spin in the league and remain bottom of the table and 10 points adrift of safety.

The hosts created the first chance after nine minutes. A patient, tidy move through the pitch saw Allan Nyom find some space out wide on the right. His cross was headed towards goal by Jay Rodriguez and Rondon flicked it on with his head but Nick Pope plucked the ball from beneath the crossbar.

Burnley took the lead midway through the first half as Barnes scored for the fourth successive game. The ball fortuitously ricocheted into the path of Aaron Lennon down the right. His cross was slightly behind Barnes but the striker hooked a volley over his shoulder and the ball flew past Foster and into the top corner of the net.

West Brom had it all to do now. The Baggies had not come from behind to win a Premier League game since February last year.

As they looked to get back into the match, Alan Pardew's team were taking chances at the back and leaving themselves open to the counter attack.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou caused them problems with his pace and his cross-field pass should have brought a second goal but Wood dragged his shot wide from inside the penalty area.

West Brom enjoyed their best spell just before half time as Rondon brought a decent low save from Pope with a glancing header from Livermore's cross before Rodriguez sliced a shot wide.

Pardew made an attacking substitution at the break, bringing on winger Matt Phillips for full-back Kieran Gibbs.

His side saw much more of the ball during the early stages of the second half and Rodriguez twice nearly got on the end of dangerous crosses into the penalty area.

However, the all-important second goal of the game went Burnley's way when Wood headed the ball over the line from close range after Foster had blocked his initial attempt.

That sparked a mass exodus of home supporters but those who left missed Rondon's reply. The Baggies striker neatly nicked the ball away from James Tarkowski inside the penalty area before firing a low shot into the bottom corner. It proved to be in vain, though.

English Premier League Standings

1 Liverpool 26 +46 76
2 Manchester City 27 +39 57
3 Leicester City 27 +27 50
4 Chelsea 27 +8 44
5 Manchester United 27 +12 41
6 Tottenham Hotspur 27 +8 40
7 Sheffield United 27 +4 40
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 27 +6 39
9 Arsenal 27 +3 37
10 Burnley 27 -6 37
11 Everton 27 -5 36
12 Southampton 27 -14 34
13 Crystal Palace 27 -8 33
14 Newcastle United 27 -17 31
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 27 -7 28
16 AFC Bournemouth 27 -17 26
17 Aston Villa 27 -18 25
18 West Ham United 26 -15 24
19 Watford 27 -19 24
20 Norwich City 27 -27 18