Burnley 1, Watford 0 FT

Jay Rodriguez claimed his 50th goal for his hometown club as Burnley ended a difficult week with a big win at Turf Moor.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 8:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 8:04 pm
Jay Rodriguez celebrates his goal against Watford

Rodriguez glanced home a classic centre forward's header with 17 minutes remaining, to net the only goal of the game and take the Clarets to 42 points and effectively stave off any outside concerns of being dragged into trouble.

Sean Dyche had little option other than name the same starting XI on duty at Manchester City, although he had a full compliment on the bench, with Phil Bardsley back in the fold after signing a new deal, and young midfielder Mace Goodridge fully fit.

Former Clarets striker Andre Gray was on the bench for the Hornets, along with one-time loan man Nathaniel Chalobah.

Burnley conceded the first chance of the game as long-time target Craig Dawson headed straight at Nick Pope from Will Hughes' free kick, when he had time and space.

But the Clarets started well, pressing high and forcing errors, playing at a fine tempo considering the heat.

Ashley Westwood lifted a ball over the top for Rodriguez, and his half volley caused problems for Ben Foster, who just got a hand on it and recovered to help it away.

Burnley were moving the ball well and creating openings, and Dwight McNeil's cross was met by home debutant Josh Brownhill, who couldn't direct his header towards goal.

Rodriguez then headed home Westwood's cross, but he had just gone too early and was offside.

The Burnley-born frontman then couldn't work the ball wide of Foster from Matej Vydra's pass, with Brownhill in space to the right.

Vydra hit the post after lobbing Foster - caught in no man's land again - and Rodriguez showed good technique to drill the rebound goalward, only for Dawson to clear off the line, before Brownhill dragged the loose ball wide.

Dawson remained a threat from set pieces at the other end, and headed over Tom Cleverley's corner, as the sides went in goal-less.

Watford made two changes at the break, with Abdoulaye Doucoure and Craig Cathcart on for Cleverley and Christian Kabasele, and the had the first chance of the second half, as Will Hughes sent an effort just wide of Pope's right hand post.

The Hornets continued to enjoy a spell of pressure, without working Pope, although it required a big challenge from James Tarkowski to stop Danny Welbeck getting a shot away when seemingly well-placed to score.

Charlie Taylor then did well to get a touch to stop Ismaila Sarr going clear, with Pope completing the clearance.

Burnley remained penned in up to the drinks break, with McNeil clearing a Deeney header off the line from a corner, before Hughes blasted over the rebound.

With Dyche unable to make a change of note to alter the flow of the game, he stuck to his guns, and he was rewarded when Brownhill fed McNeil on the left, and his glorious centre was quite brilliantly glanced home by Rodriguez for his 50th goal across two spells with his hometown club.

Rodriguez was replaced shortly after, as Erik Pieters went to left midfield, with McNeil off the front, and former Watford man Vydra could have doubled the lead when he chopped inside, but Foster was equal to his shot.

Adam Masina headed over a corner for the visitors as we entered five minutes of added time, but Burnley saw out the game to claim a welcome three points.

TEAMS:

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Vydra, Rodriguez.

Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Jensen,Pieters (80), Bardsley, Long, Thompson, Dunne, Thomas, Goodridge.

Watford: Foster, Dawson, Cleverley (Doucoure 46), Deeney (Gray 85), Welbeck, Masina, Hughes (Chalobah 82), Femenia, Sarr, Kabasele (Cathcart 46), Capoue.

Subs: Gomes, Mariappa, Pedro, Pussetto, Pereyra.