Norwich City 0, Burnley 2 FT

Burnley matched their record Premier League points tally, and kept their European hopes alive with victory over relegated nine-man Norwich at Carrow Road.
Chris Wood puts Burnley ahead at NorwichChris Wood puts Burnley ahead at Norwich
Chris Wood puts Burnley ahead at Norwich

The Clarets hit the 54-point mark they reached in 2018 as Chris Wood's goal in first half stoppage time, and a late Ben Godfrey own goal, sent them ninth in the table, a point behind seventh place Spurs.

And whether they are to claim a Europa League slot or not, with one game still to play, they are guaranteed of a top 10 finish for the second time in three seasons.

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They were more than helped by Norwich's ill discipline, with first Emiliano Buendia sent off, somewhat harshly, although he gave referee Kevin Friend a decision to make by bringing his elbow down towards the head of Ashley Westwood.

The force was minimal, and Westwood somewhat over-egged any impact, but by the book, Friend, who took a look at the screen on halfway, had little option.

And he had no choice whatsoever right on half-time as Josep Drmic stupidly and rashly flew into a challenge with Erik Pieters, high and out of control.

Burnley immediately took advantage, with Chris Wood forcing a Johann Berg Gudmundsson cross in with an overhead kick attempt, the ball going in by the near post off his shin.

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And after a awkward second half, as they struggled to carve out any clear openings against two deep banks of four, Godfrey sliced a Pieters cross into his own net 10 minutes from time to seal it.

Both sides made one change from their previous outings, Burnley forced into theirs as Charlie Taylor missed out with a hamstring strain, with Pieters moving back to his more recognised role, and Gudmundsson coming in for his first start since October.

Jay Rodriguez shrugged off a calf problem to start, while young striker Joel Mumbongo was on the bench for the first time.

Norwich restored Buendia to the starting line up, for Lukas Rupp, as they looked to end a run of eight-successive Premier League defeats.

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Buendia pulled up in the warm up, but was fit to start after treatment.

Norwich pressed from the off and won a corner in the opening seconds, with James Tarkowski blocking Todd Cantwell volley from Buendia's set piece.

The Canaries had the lion's share of possession, as you would imagine, with Burnley looking to press and harry and win the ball high, as they did effectively in the 2-0 win at home.

Dwight McNeil was a bright spark for Burnley, wearing a cast on his right hand, and he fired over the top from 25 yards after sending Buendia completely the wrong way - McNeil's match-up with fellow young Lion Max Aarons was a good contest, both looking to drive the other towards their own goal.

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Norwich had the best chance of the opening quarter, as skipper Alex Tettey had a shot deflected behind off Tarkowski after Godfrey's point-blank header was saved by Nick Pope from another Buendia corner.

Burnley responded, and Dyche was furious as Rodriguez, off balance after being clipped, took on the shot and dragged it wide, with the manager wanting a foul.

But the hosts were down to 10 men 10 minutes before the break as Ashley Westwood and Buendia got in a tangle, and the Argentine rather petulantly caught the Burnley midfielder with an elbow to the head.

There wasn't great force behind it, but he gave Friend a decision to make, and after looking at the screen, he produced a red card.

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A fine save from Tim Krul from a deflected McNeil free kick then denied the Clarets the opener.

But in stoppage time, Norwich were down to nine as Drmic clattered Pieters, with no option other than to issue a second red card.

And Burnley instantly punished the Canaries as Tarkowski fed the ball out to Gudmundsson, whose cross in was met by Wood to make it 1-0.

You felt that was sufficient to win the game, but could Burnley add to their lead and make life easier?

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After the break, camped on the edge of the Norwich area, Pieters tried his luck from 25 yards, with good friend Krul making a finger-tip save.

Wood could have had a second, but took his eye off a fine ball from Westwood and completely missed what was a clear sight of goal.

The Clarets struggled to craft any golden chances, although Krul saved from Rodriguez's near post flick from a Westwood centre, while Pieters - determined to score against Krul - had an effort deflected over.

But they could relax 10 minutes from time when Pieters' centre was sliced into the far corner of his own net by Godfrey to sum up Norwich's day.

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Pope had to make an excellent save to prevent Onel Hernandez's deflected effort looping in, but that preserved his 15th clean sheet to forge ahead again in the race for the Golden Gloves, and Burnley could have had a third, only for Krul to come out smartly to block from substitute Matej Vydra from Phil Bardsley's wonderfully-weighted pass, while Bardsley himself then forced Krul into another good stop, palming away his volley from a Westwood corner.

Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Godfrey, Hernandez (Idah 86), Lewis, Cantwell (Rupp 76), Klose (Zimmermann 46), Buendia, Drmic, McLean, Tettey (Vrancic 90).

Subs: McGovern, Stiepermann, Pukki, Famewo, Martin.

Burnley: Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Pieters; Gudmundsson (Brady 60), Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood (Vydra 79).

Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Thompson, Dunne, Benson, Goodridge, Glennon, Mumbongo.