Premier League
Burnley1Watford0

Burnley 1-0 Watford

Scott Arfield
Scott Arfield's goal was his second of the season - the other having come at Liverpool in September

Watford head coach Marco Silva said Marvin Zeegelaar's red card was "harsh, harsh, harsh, harsh", after Scott Arfield's first-half goal gave Burnley victory over the Hornets.

Arfield's winner took Burnley within a point of the Champions League places, but the main talking point was Zeegelaar's 39th-minute dismissal.

The Ajax academy graduate was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Probert for a two-footed challenge on Steven Defour.

Silva described it as "the decision that influenced the whole of the match".

"We had to compete the rest of the game 10 men against 11," he added. "It was an unfair game then as a result."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Burnley 1-0 Watford: Marco Silva says referee had 'big influence' on match

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, though, supported the decision.

"It was definitely a red card," he said. "I thought so at the time. I've seen it afterwards and it's a poor challenge."

Probert had a number of tricky decisions to make - angering Watford by turning down two second-half penalty appeals.

"I don't want to talk here about the referee but I think everyone understands his big influence on the match," Silva added.

He upset the home fans too, ruling out an Ashley Barnes goal with just under 20 minutes left as the striker was judged marginally offside.

Probert pushed to the limit

Marvin Zeegelaar
Marvin Zeegelaar's red card came six minutes before Arfield's winner

In a match that had plenty of bite, Probert was the centre of attention - and Silva was not impressed.

Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson felt Probert was right to dismiss Zeegelaar - but former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane felt the defender's feet were too low for it be dangerous play.

"Zeegelaar goes low, hurling himself forward, but that doesn't look like a red-card offence," Kilbane said on the BBC's Final Score. Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes, meanwhile, called the dismissal "harsh".

Probert was tested several times in the second half. He said no to both of Watford's penalty appeals, first when Andre Carrillo went down under James Tarkowski's tackle, then when Richarlison went to ground after Phil Bardsley's challenge.

Further controversy came at the other end, with Barnes ruled offside as he swept in after Arfield's pass was deflected off Tom Cleverley. Probert ruled out the goal after consulting with his assistant. This time it was Burnley's turn to feel hard done by.

There was more to come. When Bardsley caught Richarlison late in the closing stages, Silva ran across the front of his technical area, waving his arms in anger, and had to be told to calm down by the referee - who was probably glad to blow the final whistle.

Burnley continue to overcome injury problems

Johann Gudmundsson
Johann Gudmundsson's first-half free-kick was pushed aside by Heurelho Gomes

The fact Arfield scored the winner was of great satisfaction for Burnley as he was the player brought into the starting line-up to replace Robbie Brady, who may miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

It was a lovely goal too, slotted in after Jeff Hendrick dummied Johann Gudmundsson's low cross to open up space.

Burnley's squad now has such depth their progress was not checked by the loss of a player they paid £13m for last January.

"The marvel of our squad is that we have players who can come into the team out of the blue and deliver great performances," said Dyche.

Gudmundsson and Defour shared set-piece duties with Brady absent, and the Iceland midfielder almost scored with a first-half free-kick that Gomes did well to push around the post.

Burnley are getting used to coping with long-term injuries now, having been without England goalkeeper Tom Heaton since September with a shoulder injury.

Nick Pope, Heaton's stand-in for the past three months, made an important first-half save from Abdoulaye Doucoure's snapshot, but was otherwise rarely troubled.

That was thanks to the defence in front of him, with Kevin Long performing well as he made his first league start of the season, in place of injured captain Ben Mee.

Continue like this, and Burnley may yet bring European football to Turf Moor. That would be an extraordinary achievement for Dyche - and would only compound the mystery as to why he has not been snapped up by another club.

Hornets draw a rare blank

Richarlison
Richarlison has had a fine season for Watford, but has now gone four games without a goal

Before arriving at Turf Moor, Watford had scored at least twice in every away game this season - and looked as if they might continue that run as they dominated the first 15 minutes.

Richarlison turned over Carrillo's bouncing cross in the seventh minute, and had that gone in, the visitors may well have gone on to win.

Kilbane's assertion that Zeegelaar's sending-off changed the game had merit up to a point, although Burnley had managed to work their way back into the match by then.

In any case, Watford continued to create half-chances even with 10 men. Janmaat's positive run soon after half-time was only thwarted by Defour's timely challenge, while Carrillo took too long to shoot after Richarlison had chested into his path, and Jack Cork whipped the ball away.

Andre Gray, signed for a club record £18m from Burnley in August, made only a brief substitute appearance against his former club, and was unable to make an impact.

There was not an awful lot to choose between the two sides in the end - and despite defeat here, Watford look more than capable of a first top-10 finish in the top division since 1987.

Man of the match - Johann Gudmundsson (Burnley)

Johann Gudmundsson
The midfielder played a part in the winning goal and did much to drive Burnley's atacking threat

'One-nil to the Burnley men' - the key stats

  • This was Burnley's 34th Premier League win and the 25th of those to have been won by a single goal margin (74%).
  • There have only been nine goals scored in eight Premier League games at Turf Moor this season (six for Burnley, three for their opponents) - fewer than at any other ground.
  • Three of the eight red cards to have been given before half-time this season in the Premier League have come against Burnley.
  • Watford have now been given seven red cards in the Premier League since the start of 2016-17; no side have more (they are level with West Ham).
  • Arfield scored his fifth Premier League goal - the fourth of which has been scored at Turf Moor.
  • The only Canadians to have scored more Premier League goals than Arfield (five) are Tomasz Radzinski (35) and Junior Hoilett (13).

'We deserved more from the game' - reaction

Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes: "It was a very harsh decision on the red card and we deserved more from the game as we fought to the end.

"We had some good opportunities and could easily have scored, but sometimes the game is like this.

"We now need to try to get back to winning ways again, but it's entirely up to us. We are having a great season and believe in our own quality."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Burnley 1-0 Watford: Sean Dyche celebrates 'really pleasing result'

Burnley boss Sean Dyche: "I'm really pleased with the result. Watford had a very strong start to the season and we knew they're a strong side. We started slowly but overall delivered a strong performance.

"It's strange when the opposition go a man down because you're then in a fight where everyone expects you to win. But overall this is another big three points for us.

What's next?

Burnley attempt to continue their push towards the top four at home to Stoke on Tuesday (19:45 GMT), while Watford go to Crystal Palace on the same night (20:00).

Line-ups

Burnley

  • 29Pope
  • 26BardsleyBooked at 86mins
  • 28Long
  • 5Tarkowski
  • 23Ward
  • 16DefourSubstituted forWestwoodat 90+4'minutes
  • 4Cork
  • 17Berg Gudmundsson
  • 13HendrickSubstituted forBarnesat 60'minutes
  • 37Arfield
  • 11Wood

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 9Vokes
  • 10Barnes
  • 18Westwood
  • 20Ulvestad
  • 21Wells
  • 22Lindegaard

Watford

  • 1Gomes
  • 2Janmaat
  • 6Mariappa
  • 27Kabasele
  • 22ZeegelaarBooked at 39mins
  • 8Cleverley
  • 16Doucouré
  • 28CarrilloSubstituted forGrayat 79'minutes
  • 37PereyraSubstituted forHolebasat 44'minutes
  • 11Richarlison
  • 9Deeney

Substitutes

  • 5Prödl
  • 10Success
  • 18Gray
  • 23Watson
  • 25Holebas
  • 29Capoue
  • 30Karnezis
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
19,479

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamWatford
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home8
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Burnley 1, Watford 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Burnley 1, Watford 0.

Richarlison (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley).

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Ashley Westwood replaces Steven Defour.

Offside, Burnley. Chris Wood tries a through ball, but Ashley Barnes is caught offside.

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adrian Mariappa (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Phil Bardsley (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Richarlison (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Burnley).

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Ashley Barnes (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Adrian Mariappa (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ashley Barnes (Burnley).

Attempt saved. Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Scott Arfield.

Attempt missed. Daryl Janmaat (Watford) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Tom Cleverley with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Andre Gray replaces André Carrillo.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Phil Bardsley.

Attempt missed. Steven Defour (Burnley) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Christian Kabasele (Watford).

Scott Arfield (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by André Carrillo (Watford).

Chris Wood (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Troy Deeney (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jack Cork (Burnley).

Offside, Burnley. Scott Arfield tries a through ball, but Ashley Barnes is caught offside.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Daryl Janmaat.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Offside, Burnley. Johann Berg Gudmundsson tries a through ball, but Kevin Long is caught offside.

Foul by José Holebas (Watford).

Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Burnley. Scott Arfield tries a through ball, but Jack Cork is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Ashley Barnes replaces Jeff Hendrick.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City15141046103643
2Man Utd1511223592635
3Chelsea16102428131532
4Liverpool1585233191429
5Tottenham1684428141428
6Arsenal1591529191028
7Burnley168441512328
8Leicester166552322123
9Watford166462527-222
10Everton155371928-918
11Huddersfield165381126-1518
12Southampton154561518-317
13Brighton164571421-717
14Bournemouth164481519-416
15Stoke164481935-1616
16Newcastle164391625-915
17West Brom162771222-1013
18West Ham163491432-1813
19Swansea163310918-912
20Crystal Palace162591027-1711
View full Premier League table

Top Stories