Burnley climbed off the foot of the Premier League table with a fine 3-0 win at Brighton on Saturday.
Sean Dyche’s men kept their hosts at bay for much of the game and limited the Seagulls’ chances to a minimum, hitting them three times on the counter to take a deserved three points back to Lancashire.
Connor Roberts nearly found the top corner in the opening 10 minutes with a curling effort from distance, but the crossbar came to Brighton’s rescue.
After dominating the opening exchanges, Burnley took the lead through January signing Wout Weghorst. The Netherlands international was on hand to convert Roberts’ teasing cutback to grab his first goal for the Clarets.
The hosts’ first real sight of goal came on the 35-minute mark when Joel Veltman burst forward from the back, but his bobbling strike was held by Nick Pope.
A header by Adam Lallana from a Tariq Lamptey cross found the side netting soon after as Brighton ramped up the pressure.
But just as the Seagulls were getting into the game, Burnley went down the other end and found a second on the verge of half-time. Shane Duffy – seconds after getting into a scuffle with teammate Sanchez – failed to deal with a high ball, and Weghorst was able to slip through Josh Brownhill, whose deflected shot trickled into the net.
Brighton were unable to take advantage of some Burnley nervousness at the start of the second half, with Neal Maupay’s volley just before the hour mark the closest they came to pulling one back immediately after the interval.
Once again, despite Brighton’s dominance in possession, Burnley made them pay for their lack of cutting edge by adding a third. Yves Bissouma failed to deal with a duel with Jay Rodriguez, and Aaron Lennon was on hand to fire the loose ball into the roof of Sanchez’s net.
Dwight McNeil swept the ball into the net for a fourth, but a deflection in the build-up off of Weghorst meant that the offside flag was raised and the goal was ruled out.
The Amex Stadium quietly emptied as the match died down and Burnley enjoyed a comfortable ending to the game.
Here are your player ratings for both sides…
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 3/10 – Failed to command his own box and beaten fairly easily for the second goal despite the deflections.
Tariq Lamptey (RB) – 5/10 – Brighton kept feeding him but Lamptey was unable to consistently pick out a good cross.
Joel Veltman (CB) – 4/10 – Confident on the ball but that meant very little today.
Shane Duffy (CB) – 1/10 – Got into a heated argument with Sanchez before gifting Weghorst the ball in the lead-up to Burnley’s second. Given the run-around by the Dutchman all game long.
Marc Cucurella (LB) – 4/10 – Wasn’t outrageously awful but he contributed very little today.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 3/10 – Tried and largely failed to control the midfield and keep Burnley from getting in behind. Lost his head after being at fault for the third goal.
Jakob Moder (CM) – 4/10 – Some neat touches here and there when shuttling out wide but that was about it.
Adam Lallana (CM) – 3/10 – Another technical player who added nothing to Brighton’s attempts to score a goal.
Alexis Mac Allister (AM) – 4/10 – Hardly noticed the Argentine was even playing until he injured Maxwel Cornet at the start of the second half.
Danny Welbeck (CF) – 2/10 – Dropped deep to try and progress the ball without much luck. Subbed for a 17-year-old with Brighton chasing the game.
Neal Maupay (CF) – 3/10 – Dropped deep to pick fights with Burnley players.
Leandro Trossard (AM, 55′ for Lallana) – 3/10 – Did not have an impact on the game at all.
Solly March (LM, 55′ for Moder) – 6/10 – Came off the bench and was immediately Brighton’s most influential player.
Evan Ferguson (CF, 68 for Welbeck) – 5/10 – Now Brighton’s youngest every Premier League player. Burnley scored almost immediately after he was brought on.
Nick Pope (GK) – 5/10 – Little to do though he did fail to clear his lines early after the break to bring some unwanted pressure to his backline.
Connor Roberts (RB) – 8/10 – A super performance from back to front, very deserving of his assist.
Nathan Collins (CB) – 8/10 – Stepped forward to try and break the lines. Looks a great long-term replacement for James Tarkowski.
Ben Mee (CB) – 7/10 – Had a mix-up with Pope as mentioned above but was otherwise fine.
Erik Pieters (LB) – 6/10 – Largely dealt with the threat of Lamptey.
Aaron Lennon (RM) – 9/10 – Not as quick as he once was but his movement and passing were exemplary. Scored a smashing goal and kept Cucurella quiet.
Jack Cork (CM) – 7/10 – Stopped Brighton from controlling the game despite having most of the ball.
Josh Brownhill (CM) – 8/10 – Like Cork did well to disrupt Brighton’s rhythm, but with the added bonus of a heavily deflected goal.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 5/10 – Appeared to be lacking in confidence, but that didn’t really matter too much today.
Maxwel Cornet (CF) – 7/10 – Looked lively on the edge of Brighton’s area without ever being too threatening. Linked up nicely with Weghorst and was brought off with an ankle injury.
Wout Weghorst (CF) – 9/10 – Sean Dyche has found his perfect striker – a 6ft6 target man who is capable of dropping deep and causing havoc just with his mere presence.
Jay Rodriguez (CF, 54′ for Cornet) – 7/10 – Did very well to tee up Lennon.
Ashley Barnes (CF, 88′ for Weghorst) – N/A