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MOTD- Burnley 2-0 Wigan Athletic
Burnley have sealed their return to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Wigan…
Goals from Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly sealed a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic, meaning that Burnley make their long awaited return to the Premier League since they were relegated in 2009/10 season after just one year in England’s top division. However, few expected Burnley to be pressing for an automatic promotion spot at the start of the campaign, given that many of their English Championship rivals splashed the cash in an attempt to get into England’s rewarding Premier League.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has only actually paid a transfer fee for one player since being appointed in October 2012 – buying Ashley Barnes from Brighton for £400,000 back in January. Ironically it was Barnes gave the Clarets a dream start as he tapped the ball home from close range after a low cross from Marney in 22nd minute.
While Wigan have had a massive dip in form in recent weeks and The Latics knew a win would all-but secure them a place in the play-offs but, bar a Fortune header against the bar, it was the hosts on top for the most part of the game.
Burnley made it 2-0 just before half-time, as Scott Arfield was fouled near the bye line and Michael Kightly stepped up to brilliantly curl home a fabulous free-kick.
It has to be said that Wigan did improve slightly after half-time – they were nearly rewarded for their improvement when Fortune latched on to Jason Shackell’s poor header, but his toe-poked effort was blocked by Tom Heaton. Later on in the game, Danny Ings nearly added to the score line with a right-footed shot that agonizingly rebounded against the outside of the post.
Sean Dyche was brimming with pride in his post-match interview after helping Burnley to automatic promotion, saying:
We were intent on getting promoted ourselves, not having to rely on anyone else for help. It’s getting harder to win automatic promotion to the Premier League because of all the constraints on teams like ourselves. I’m extremely proud.”
Burnley are now 4 points behind league leaders Leicester City, although the Foxes do have a game in hand which will be played on Tuesday evening.