Two Chris Wood goals in four first-half minutes helped Burnley to a comfortable Premier League win over Norwich at Turf Moor.
Wood’s goals ensured the Clarets recorded their first win since the opening day of the season as they climbed up to seventh in the table.
In an opening period characterised by Norwich playing themselves into trouble at the back, Wood capitalised on some slack marking to head the hosts in front from Ashley Westwood’s near-post corner.
The forward, who had to wait until November for his first league goal the last term, then doubled his and Burnley’s tally four minutes later, stroking Dwight McNeil’s driven cross into the roof of the Norwich net from five yards.
Alex Tettey’s first-half withdrawal due to a groin injury compounded a bad day for Norwich, who started the day without a clutch of first-team regulars.
The Canaries remain on six points in 15th, two points above the bottom three.
Going into their sixth match of the season last term, Burnley were bottom of the Premier League after collecting a solitary point as they struggled to contend with Europa League commitments, that added six games and trips to Greece and Turkey to their schedule.
But even without that added strain this time around, a slow start meant that this was a fixture the Clarets could ill afford not to win.
It was also one that was perfectly suited to their tactics and the pragmatic football manager Sean Dyche prides himself on.
Dyche, taking charge of Burnley for the 313th game to become the fourth-longest-serving manager in the club’s history – encouraged his team to press their opponents from the off.
And it yielded immediate dividends as Norwich’s determination to play out from the back at all costs played into Burnley’s hands.
Ben Godfrey’s concession of a first-minute corner after sloppily losing the ball on the edge of his own penalty area was a precursor of what was to follow.
Both Burnley’s goals came after the Canaries were caught out in a similar manner, though the first was also augmented by allowing Wood a free header a yard from goal from Westwod’s delivery.
Jack Cork, Jeff Hendrick and Ashley Barnes also had chances to increase Burnley’s lead before the interval as Norwich repeatedly ignored the warnings of the first 15 minutes of play.
While Norwich’s injury-ravaged squad defied the odds to surprise Manchester City last weekend, a trip to East Lancashire represented a totally different type of challenge for Daniel Farke’s side.
Burnley’s up-and-at-them style can cause problems for the best of teams and as Norwich found to their cost, they have the capacity to clinically unpick opponents’ mistakes.
The Canaries were also not helped by their chronic injury list, with 10 senior players unavailable and others like midfielder Ibrahim Amadou deployed out of position.
Cameroon-born Amadou, who endured a difficult afternoon throughout exposed to the bustling presence of both Wood and Barnes, was fortunate to escape a second yellow card after fouling Jay Rodriguez late on.
While former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Moritz Leitner showed some nice touches on his return from a calf complaint after replacing Tettey, a concern to Farke is the condition of goalkeeper Tim Krul.
The 31-year-old Netherlands international managed to get through the game but could now be set to join Norwich’s casualty list after injuring his back in the warm-up.
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Source – BBC