Christmas came early for Burnley fans as goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood secured a 2-1 win against Wolves at Turf Moor, moving the hosts out of the relegation zone.
Wolves were the dominant team in the first 25 minutes but it was Sean Dyche’s men who took the lead against the run of play. Charlie Taylor’s cross was met by Barnes, whose header squeezed past Rui Patricio for his first Premier League goal in over a year.
Burnley doubled their lead shortly after the interval, James Tarkowski heading the ball back across the six-yard box for Wood to lash in.
Substitute Josh Benson’s clumsy challenge gifted Wolves a penalty in the late stages, allowing youngster Fabio Silva to pull one back from the spot for the visitors.
Let’s get into some player ratings.
Nick Pope (GK) – 5/10 – Had very little to do as his team defended resolutely.
Matthew Lowton (RB) – 6/10 – Spurned a good chance in the first half that cleared the crossbar. Did well against the lively Daniel Podence.
Ben Mee (CB) – 7/10 – Was injured in the first half after the linesman held off raising his flag. Mee made the tackle and injured himself in the process. He battled on admirably and played the full 90.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 7/10 – Kept the ball alive to set up Wood for Burnley’s second. Defended well against Traore.
Charlie Taylor (LB) – 7/10 – His gut-busting run down the left flank allowed him to turn provider for the gracious Barnes, who nodded in to give his side the lead.
Robbie Brady (RM) – 6/10 – Didn’t have a bad game but lacked end product and committed some silly fouls.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 6/10 – Had a great chance to play Brady through in the first half but got it wrong. Also booked in the first period.
Josh Brownhill (CM) – 7/10 – Was whiskers away from doubling his side’s lead with a free kick that only narrowly missed the top corner. Clipped the crossbar with a curling effort from 20 years and was very unlucky not to score.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 6/10 – Had a very quiet first half and injured himself momentarily by trying to bring down Podence.
Ashley Barnes (ST) – 9/10 – Forced a good save from Patricio in the first half after getting a shot off in a bit of space. Got his chance only a few minutes later and scored his first goal in over a year. Replaced by Jay Rodriguez in the second half.
Chris Wood (ST) – 8/10 – After a quiet first half he came to life in the second with a thumping finish. Drew another save from Patricio after turning well and leaving Kilman for dead.
Erik Pieters – 6/10 – Came on to reinforce the Burnley defence as they saw out the last few minutes.
Jay Rodriguez – N/A – Nothing of note.
Josh Benson – 4/10 – His inexperience showed when he clattered into Fabio Silva in the box shortly after coming on.
Rui Patricio (GK) – 7/10 – Produced a fine save in the 28th minute from a well-struck Barnes effort from the edge of the area. Forced into a number of stops in the first half and kept his side in it.
Nelson Semedo (RWB) – 5/10 – Had some joy early on but was kept quiet as the game went on.
Max Kilman (CB) – 6/10 – Conceded a free kick on the edge of his own box in the first half after taking a bad touch and then lunging in on Barnes. A chastening evening all in all.
Conor Coady (CB) – 7/10 – Showed his leadership qualities throughout and was constantly bellowing orders to those around him, unfortunately to little effect. Got an important block in to stop Barnes making it 3-0.
Romain Saiss (CB) – 6/10 – Got forward well as the second half went on to try and add some physical presence in Wolves’ attack.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (LWB) – 6/10 – Made some good interceptions and is another example of young, fresh talent available to Wolves. Was replaced by Fabio Silva in the second half.
Ruben Neves (CM) – 6/10 – Went very close with a volley from the edge of the area, though his wait for a first league goal of the season goes on.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 6/10 – Played some good lofted balls out to Semedo in the first half and was his usual combative type. Was very lucky not to be sent off late in the second half after a blatant stamp on Brownhill while trying to retrieve the ball.
Owen Otasowie (AM) – 6/10 – The youngster has a great presence about him and wasn’t scared to put himself about on the pitch. Was replaced by Traore in the second half.
Pedro Neto (ST) – 6/10 – Showed plenty of attacking threat but often lacked the killer instinct to finish off chances.
Daniel Podence (ST) – 7/10 – Was very lively down the left-hand side and caused problems for Burnley’s defenders all game. Found it hard to find a way through with so many men behind the ball. His size didn’t help him against the gigantic Burnley back four, either.
Fabio Silva – 6/10 – Won and converted a confident penalty to get one back for his team.
Adama Traore – 7/10 – Very lively after coming on and delivered a great ball for Neto at the first back post, who headed over. Made constant runs down the right wing and floated in a number of crosses.
Vitinha – N/A – Nothing of note.