Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has warned his players they still have work to do to secure top-flight safety as Burnley boosted their own survival hopes with victory at Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries, who remain 10 points clear of the bottom three despite the defeat, made the best possible start on the south coast as Ashley Barnes sent a header into his own net under pressure from Nathan Ake.
But Sean Dyche’s side responded brilliantly, scoring twice in as many first-half minutes to turn the game on its head.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic misjudged Ashley Westwood’s corner, allowing Chris Wood to nod into an empty net from point-blank range.
The turnaround was complete two minutes later when Westwood converted Chris Mepham’s poor clearance, before Barnes atoned for his early own goal by slotting home Wood’s cut-back in the second half.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve got to say that we’re not safe,” said Howe.
“I don’t consider myself safe and on my holidays – and the players are the same. Until someone says we’re mathematically safe, that will be the case.
“You can’t take liberties in this game.”
The result lifts Burnley eight points above the relegation zone, two points and one place behind the Cherries.
Burnley capitalise on poor Cherries defending
A run of four straight defeats prior to last weekend’s 2-0 win over Wolves had left Burnley sliding alarmingly towards the drop zone.
Another reverse at Bournemouth would have increased the pressure on Dyche’s team before their game with fellow strugglers Cardiff next week, but the Clarets manager could hardly have wished for a better response from his players after such an early setback on the south coast.
Ake would have had a clear sight of goal had Barnes not tried to get a touch to Ryan Fraser’s inswinging free-kick, but the Burnley forward could only divert the ball beyond his own keeper Tom Heaton and into the corner of the net.
The visitors were gifted a route back into the game when Begovic completely misjudged Westwood’s corner, the Bosnian flapping at thin air before Wood directed his downward header into the net.
Burnley’s second was just as poor from a Cherries perspective. Dwight McNeil’s low cross should have been easily dealt with by Mepham, but the 21-year-old scuffed his clearance straight to Westwood, whose powerful effort beat Ake on the goalline.
For the Clarets’ third, Bournemouth appeared to switch off while appealing for a throw-in on the Burnley left and the visitors took full advantage, Wood beating Begovic to a low cross before teeing up Barnes.
Dyche’s side could have added a fourth late on, but Ben Mee failed to hit the target with a far-post header.
Bournemouth struggle with Clarets’ aerial threat
Howe, himself a former Burnley boss, has repeatedly stressed that the Cherries are not yet safe from Premier League relegation this season, despite their comfortable cushion over the bottom three.
It will take a spectacular collapse for Bournemouth to lose their top-flight status, but Howe will be deeply frustrated with his team’s defending after such a promising start.
All three of the visitors’ goals came from Burnley crosses which should have been comfortably dealt with by the home defence.
Begovic in particular endured an afternoon to forget, while Mepham also struggled against the physicality of Wood and Barnes.
The hosts looked lively at the other end in the first half, with David Brooks firing straight at Heaton from a good position and Callum Wilson sending a header narrowly over the crossbar.
But the Cherries were almost non-existent as an attacking threat in the second half as Burnley’s defence stood firm to secure the points.
Man of the match – Chris Wood (Burnley)
Burnley enjoy visiting the south coast – the stats
- Burnley completed their first league double over Bournemouth since the 1999-2000 season in the third tier.
- Bournemouth are only the second side in Premier League history to concede more than 60 goals in four consecutive seasons in the competition, after Wigan between 2009-10 and 2012-13.
- Only Wolves (four) have scored more Premier League own goals this season than Burnley (three).
- Burnley have scored 40 Premier League goals this season, only in 2009-10 (42) have they netted more in a single campaign in the competition.
- After losing their first four such games, Burnley are unbeaten in their last six Premier League matches on the south coast, winning four and drawing two.
- Ashley Barnes is the first Burnley player to score at both ends in a Premier League game.
- Burnley’s Ashley Westwood both scored and provided an assist in a Premier League game for the first time in his career (181st appearance).
- Since the start of last season, Chris Wood has scored 22 goals in all competitions, more than any other Burnley player.
‘It puts us in a much healthier position’ – what the managers said
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe: “We were looking at the second half and wanted constant pressure but it didn’t happen. Burnley managed their lead well. There were good bits in the first half. The second half was flat. That was the least we expected.
“We are still fighting for points. This season is very much alive. We are running out of games now. We need to pick ourselves up.
“We will have to look at everything – go back to basics and try and make things right.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche: “So many parts of the performance were strong today. I know Bournemouth have had a tricky spell in the league, but here they’re strong.
“There was no nervousness and we stayed clear-minded. We had some real moments of quality too.
“24 points since Christmas is a very strong return. The win puts us in a much healthier situation than we were two games ago. We want to finish the season well and the next game is very important.”
Bournemouth travel to Brighton on Saturday 13 April (15:00 BST), while Burnley host Cardiff at Turf Moor at the same time.