BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley’s 11-match winless run in the Premier League ended when a late Chris Wood goal secured a 2-1 win over Everton, who finished with 10 men in an entertaining game at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Substitute Wood headed in Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner for the winner while Everton skipper Ashley Williams was sent off four minutes from time for a swipe at Ashley Barnes, who cancelled out Cenk Tosun’s first-half opener for the visitors.
Frustrated Everton fans vocally expressed their opposition towards manager Sam Allardyce with chants against the former England boss who took over at the club in early December.
The win moves seventh-placed Burnley to 40 points, widely seen as enough for top-flight safety, with nine games to spare, while struggling Everton are 10th on 34 points.
“It’s a marker of how far we have come in a short space of time,” said Burnley manager Sean Dyche. “We have deserved better in recent games so we wanted to bring freedom to our performance. We went 1-0 down but it didn’t knock us,” he added.
Everton, with just one away win this season, had gone ahead in the 20th minute with Turkish striker Tosun’s first goal for the club since he joined from Besiktas in January, a fine header after Seamus Coleman had flicked on a Theo Walcott cross.
In the last 53 games in which Burnley fell behind they had failed to win but there was a determination and positive intent to Dyche’s side on Saturday, despite a recent lack of victories.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will have impressed watching England manager Gareth Southgate with a series of fine saves, including a brilliant effort to keep out a first half Barnes header.
Dyche introduced New Zealand international Wood, returning from a two-month injury lay off, at halftime to go with two out-and-out strikers and the more direct approach paid off.
Matthew Lowton’s defence-splitting pass found Barnes who outpaced former Burnley defender Michael Keane and beat Pickford at the near post with a confident finish in the 56th.
Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson went close after 78 minutes, creating some space inside the Burnley box before firing just wide of Nick Pope’s left-hand post.
But two minutes later Burnley had the lead.
Pickford was unable to get off his line to reach Gudmundsson’s corner and Wood rose at the back post to power in a header from close range.
“For me to see the players under-perform in the second half is very disappointing. It’s my problem to sort it out,” said Allardyce.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris