Burnley 3, Sheffield Wednesday 1

  • Late Taylor and Gray goals seal third consecutive victory for the Clarets
  • David Jones put the Clarets ahead early in the game after his free kick beat Wednesday keeper Wildsmith
  • Atdhe Nuhiu levelled for the visitors with a well headed goal

New man Andre Gray scored on his home debut as the Clarets beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 at Turf Moor.

The striker netted in stoppage time, adding to goals from David Jones and Matthew Taylor, as the hosts climbed in to the play-off spots.

Burnley's David Jones is swamped by his team-mates as he celebrates scoring the opening goal

Burnley's David Jones is swamped by his team-mates as he celebrates scoring the opening goal

It was the first time in 10 attempts, and almost 15 years, that the Clarets had defeated the Owls on home soil with Steve Davis scoring the last winner in a 1-0 victory in the old Division One.

Searching for a third Championship win in succession, following on from victories over Brentford and Bristol City, the Clarets couldn’t have wished for a better start as Jones opened the scoring in the seventh minute.

The midfielder, who hadn’t scored since a 2-0 triumph over Derby County 18 months ago, dusted himself down after being grounded by Sam Hutchinson to float an exceptional set-piece from 20 yards over the wall and beyond Joe Wildsmith.

But Sheffield Wednesday levelled in the 20th minute. Kieran Lee kept the away side’s attack alive, finding Daniel Pudil on the left hand side once Barry Bannan’s attempt was blocked, and the 29-year-old Watford loanee’s perfect cross was powered past Tom Heaton by the head of Atdhe Nuhiu, who towered above Ben Mee.

Burnley's Andre Gray celebrates scoring Burnley's third goal

Burnley's Andre Gray celebrates scoring Burnley's third goal

The hosts were a man light as the Austrian netted his first goal of the term - with defender Michael Keane receiving treatment on the sidelines.

After Keane returned to action and prevented Fernando Forestieri’s header from troubling Heaton, the former Manchester United man found himself in the thick of the action at the opposite end but a crowd of bodies stopped him from converting after Scott Arfield’s shot was blocked.

Nuhiu was proving troublesome for the Clarets, winning the majority of his aerial duels, and it was the frame of the 6ft 4in strike that caused problems again as Tendayi Darikwa and Heaton collided from his flick on as Forestieri made chase.

Bannan sliced a volley wide at the back post as the Owls continued to probe, with former Claret Ross Wallace involved in the build up.

Burnley were far from perfect but they continued to pull holes in Wednesday’s back line. Record signing Gray was denied a goal on his home debut courtesy of a fine block from Glenn Loovens following Michael Kightly’s penetrative pass.

And a ricochet off the boot of Pudil denied Gray’s right footed strike as George Boyd wriggled in to space inside the area before squaring.

With the scores level at the interval, and Carlos Carvalhal’s seven changes settling, the visitors sought the initiative. Forestieri’s strike from the edge of the box rose above the bar and Nuhiu found the gloves of Heaton after taking on Darikwa and Boyd inside the box.

Wednesday appeared the most likely to snatch the all important second goal, though it transpired that Wildsmith was the busier of the two goalkeepers.

The teenager threw himself at the feet of Gray to foil the striker once he’d latched on to Kightly’s incisive pass and he saved substitute Taylor’s set-piece.

And the 19-year-old saved well with his legs when plunging to his left to save Boyd’s deflected volley.

However, there was nothing he could do to prevent Taylor from registering his second goal of the season. The former Hammer, who replaced Kightly, coolly side-footed Gray’s perfect delivery in to the roof of the net from close range in the 78th minute.

Burnley’s £6m record signing’s persistence then paid off late on when running down Liam Palmer’s clearance in the first minute of stoppage time, cutting past the defender inside the area after latching on to the loose ball and slotting the ball between Wildsmith’s legs to open his account.

The Clarets are now up to fifth in the Championship.

Related links

Clarets boss hails his side’s “powerful will and demand”