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Burnley 1-0 Brighton: James Tarkowksi goal earns Clarets hard-fought win

James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski's chested finish was his third goal of the season

Burnley manager Sean Dyche said he was "relieved" after his team climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with victory over Brighton.

The Clarets were 19th before Saturday's game, and without a win in their past eight league matches, but James Tarkowski's fortuitous first-half goal was enough to win a tight game at Turf Moor.

"It was a hard-earned and hard-fought win," Dyche told Match of the Day. "We thought we would have to dig in and we have done that.

"Performances have suggested we were getting back to that hardy edge that we know we have. We created chances but it wasn't about that today - it was about fight and spirit."

In a game of few chances, the Clarets took the lead five minutes before half-time as Tarkowski deflected in Jack Cork's shot with his chest.

Brighton failed to get going until the closing stages and rarely tested Joe Hart, though substitute Jurgen Locadia did spurn a great chance late on when he headed fellow substitute Glenn Murray's cross over the bar from six yards out.

Defeat leaves Brighton 11th while Burnley climb to 17th.

Asked about his post-match emotions, Dyche said: "I think a bit of relief, and enjoyment. We know we can play better but sometimes you have to grind. We did enough to get by."

Burnley back to their gritty best

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'We are 58 without a penalty' - Dyche

On 13 December 2017, Burnley beat Stoke to move into the Premier League's top four. Almost a year on, this victory also gave Dyche's side upward momentum, but only out of the bottom three.

Despite their position in the lower reaches, though, there is cause for optimism for Dyche, with his side back to their gritty best.

The Clarets were much improved, controlling possession for much of the first half before making the breakthrough.

By the time Tarkowski scored, Brighton keeper Mat Ryan had already made two good saves in quick succession to deny Chris Wood and Robbie Brady, while Hart did not have a save to make in the opening 45 minutes.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Brady's cross just eluding Wood at the back post shortly after the break, and Lewis Dunk forced to make a fantastic sliding block to clear Ashley Barnes' low shot.

The hosts had to be resilient late in the game, Tarkowski and Ben Mee standing firm under a barrage of pressure as Burnley conjured up memories of their efforts in 2017-18.

Victory is Burnley's first since a 2-1 defeat of Cardiff on 30 September and comes before back-to-back away games against Tottenham and Arsenal.

Toothless Brighton fail to unpick Clarets

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Brighton were the better team - Hughton

After their impressive victory over Crystal Palace on Tuesday, Brighton should have been high in confidence coming into the game, but that did not seem to be the case.

Their first shot did not arrive until the 19th minute, when Yves Bissouma drove infield and dragged an effort well wide, and they struggled to make an impression in the first half.

They did improve after the break - having nearly 70% of the possession - but still did little to test Hart.

In fact, their sole attempt on target did not come until the 93rd minute - when Murray had a header easily saved.

Neither Pascal Gross nor Davy Propper, who were both so influential in midweek, were unable to have a real impact as midfield counterparts Cork and Ashley Westwood took control.

But a position just outside the top half of the table at this stage of the season represents a solid start for Chris Hughton and his team.

"I thought our performance was really good," Hughton told Match of the Day.

"The only thing we were guilty of was having enough shots in the final third. On the balance of play I thought we were the better team."

Man of the match - James Tarkowski

James Tarkowski
The England centre-back gave his side the lead, made a team-high five clearances and won 76.9% of his duels

'A massive day' - what they said

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, speaking to Match of the Day: "It was a hard-earned win and hard-fought. We never thought it would come from being free-flowing. We thought we would have to dig in and we have done that.

"A goal is a goal. When you find wins hard to come by and clean sheets hard to come by, 1-0 is a very pleasing result."

Brighton manager Chris Hughton, on Match of the Day: "I thought we were the better side. I thought we had the better chances in the game. We were up against a direct Burnley with a lot of physicality. I thought we dealt with it very well.

"They are a team that plays a certain way. You know on second balls they will be good and strong and that is how they got their goal."

Burnley goalscorer James Tarkowski, on Sky Sports: "It was a tough afternoon. We had to get a goal and hold on. We know we have not been playing great recently so it was a massive day and big three points."

Seagulls struggles on the road continue - the stats

  • Brighton have won just two of their past 22 Premier League away games, drawing five and losing 15.
  • The three Premier League matches between these sides have produced just one goal.
  • Burnley registered a clean sheet at Turf Moor for only the third time in their past 18 league games there.
  • Cork has had 'goal involvements' in consecutive Premier League appearances (assist v Brighton, goal v Liverpool) for the first time since March 2016 with Swansea.

What's next?

Burnley face a tricky test as they travel to Tottenham on Saturday, 15 December (15:00 GMT), before Brighton host Chelsea the following day (13:30).

Line-ups

Burnley

  • 20Hart
  • 26BardsleyBooked at 90mins
  • 5TarkowskiBooked at 86mins
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Berg GudmundssonSubstituted forLennonat 72'minutes
  • 18Westwood
  • 4Cork
  • 12Brady
  • 11Wood
  • 10BarnesSubstituted forHendrickat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Heaton
  • 2Lowton
  • 9Vokes
  • 13Hendrick
  • 25Lennon
  • 27Vydra
  • 28Long

Brighton

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Bruno
  • 14Balogun
  • 5Dunk
  • 30Bernardo
  • 13GroßSubstituted forStephensat 79'minutes
  • 24Pröpper
  • 8Bissouma
  • 11KnockaertSubstituted forLocadiaat 63'minutes
  • 10AndoneSubstituted forMurrayat 63'minutes
  • 20March

Substitutes

  • 3Bong
  • 6Stephens
  • 7Kayal
  • 9Locadia
  • 17Murray
  • 23Steele
  • 28White
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
18,497

Match Stats

Home TeamBurnleyAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home14
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Burnley 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Burnley 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Hand ball by Chris Wood (Burnley).

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.

Attempt missed. Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Solly March with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Joe Hart.

Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Solly March with a cross.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Chris Wood.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by James Tarkowski.

Booking

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

Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Burnley).

Attempt missed. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jürgen Locadia.

Attempt missed. Jürgen Locadia (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Solly March with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

James Tarkowski (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Jeff Hendrick replaces Ashley Barnes.

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Solly March with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ben Mee.

Attempt missed. Jürgen Locadia (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Glenn Murray.

Attempt blocked. Ashley Barnes (Burnley) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robbie Brady.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Phil Bardsley (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Dale Stephens replaces Pascal Groß.

Attempt missed. Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pascal Groß.

Foul by Jürgen Locadia (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Phil Bardsley (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Solly March with a cross following a set piece situation.

Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Aaron Lennon (Burnley).

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Aaron Lennon replaces Johann Gudmundsson because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Johann Gudmundsson (Burnley) because of an injury.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

James Tarkowski (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Ashley Barnes.

Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Phil Bardsley (Burnley).

Foul by Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Man City1613214593641
3Tottenham16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Man Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester166462120122
10West Ham166372325-221
11Brighton166371922-321
12Watford156271821-320
13Wolves155461518-319
14Cardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle153481220-813
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249
View full Premier League table

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