Irish Premiership: Crusaders 3-0 Linfield

Irish Premiership: Crusaders lash Linfield at Seaview

Champions Crusaders ended Linfield's 100% start to the Premiership campaign with a dominant win over the leaders.

Linfield were second best throughout at Seaview and the Crues were full value for their lead when Jordan Owens put them ahead on 39 minutes.

Paul Heatley doubled the Crusaders advantage on 49 and Owens completed the scoring with a 73rd-minute header after a brilliant Billy Joe Burns cross.

Crusaders's win reduces Linfield's lead at the top to two points.

Reece Glendinning did head an early Linfield chance wide but the Crues were largely dominant as the Blues struggled to contain the home team's greater urgency and physicality.

Billy Joe Burns, Richard Clarke and Colin Coates all went close for the defending league champions before Owens did nod them into the lead on 39 minutes.

After a poor attempted clearance by Sean Ward, Linfield centre-back Mark Haughey badly misjudged the flight of Burns's cross and Owens powered his header pass Ross Glendinning.

Heatley wasted a chance to double the Crusaders lead before the break as he over-ran the ball but the winger made no mistake on 49 minutes when he blasted to the net after a nod-down by the impressive Owens.

Gavin Whyte and Owens missed further chances to extend the Crusaders lead before the big striker glanced in his second goal of the day on 73 after a superb Burns delivery.

Andy Waterworth tested Sean O'Neill late on but it was an afternoon that Warren Feeney and his players will want to forget.

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