Burnley made it an impressive seven games unbeaten on Saturday, as they beat Norwich 2-0 at Carrow Road.
A VAR check saw Norwich go down to 10 men, as Emiliano Buendía was sent off for a violent elbow on Ashley Westwood. Josip Drmić then saw red 13 minutes later for a dangerous high tackle, reducing the Canaries to nine players before the break.
Burnley finally got themselves ahead deep in stoppage time, through a nicely taken goal from Chris Wood. Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson sent a ball into the box, and Wood's scuffed overhead kick beat Tim Krul at the near post to draw first blood for the Clarets at Carrow Road.
With ten minutes to go, Burnley wrapped up the win through an unfortunate own goal. Erik Pieters' cross flew into an empty box, but despite being completely free and without pressure, Ben Godfrey miscontrolled the ball and diverted it into his own net.
Key Talking Point
With nothing to play for but pride, Norwich were aiming to end a run of eight straight league defeats. But some reckless play from Buendía and Drmić saw both men sent off, each making rash and daft challenges to earn their marching orders.
As if the two red cards were not enough, some lacklustre defending allowed the visitors to score and add further insult to injury. The game was over in a matter of 15 minutes, and the worst part of it was Norwich were completely responsible for that. There was little sign of fight after the break, with Godfrey's own goal capping off a dire evening.
Norwich had a point to prove to themselves, but once again fell to defeat without a whimper. Dire defending, no cutting edge in attack, Saturday's defeat was a painful reflection of what has been a disappointing season, exposing all of the Canaries' flaws and demonstrating that a big rebuild is needed at Carrow Road.
Norwich Player Ratings
Starting XI: Krul (7*); Aarons (6), Godfrey (5), Klose (5), Lewis (6); Tettey (6), McLean (5); Cantwell (6), Buendía (4), Hernández (5); Drmić (4).
Substitutes: Zimmermann (6), Rupp (5), Idah (N/A), Vrancic (N/A).
While he should have done better for the opening goal, Tim Krul kept Norwich in the game far longer than they should have been.
Tim Krul deserves to stay in the Premier League— Olieć (@EddieOliech) July 18, 2020
Tim Krul is some keeper btw absolutely fearless that bloke— Joseph Buffwa (@josephmarsden8) July 18, 2020
Key Talking Point
With just one defeat in 14 games and chasing a European spot, Burnley came to Carrow Road full of confidence. Their draw at champions Liverpool was proof that they can perform when it matters, and while their first half performance was not a sight to behold, they simply had to watch as Norwich capitulated and allowed the Clarets to break the deadlock through Wood.
That goal gave them the control and lead they deserved, as Sean Dyche's side had breathing space and a lead to build on. They were solid as ever at the back - though there was little need for defensive heroics - and stayed compact to keep the hosts completely at bay. Their second goal came in unlikely fashion through an own goal, but it was enough to see out the deserved win for the visitors.
It was a decent performance from Burnley, who stayed focused and composed to capitalise on their two-man advantage and take all three points. The Clarets have been excellent in recent weeks and come away from east Anglia with a well earned three points, as they put themselves in a strong position to push on for European football on the final day of the season.
Burnley Player Ratings
Starting XI: Pope (7*); Bardsley (6), Long (6), Tarkowski (7), Pieters (6); Gudmundsson (7), Westwood (6), Brownhill (6), McNeil (6); Wood (7), Rodríguez (6).
Substitutes: Brady (6), Vydra (5).
Another day, another solid performance in goal from Nick Pope. Granted, he did not have much to do in between the sticks, but he was flawless as ever when called into action to keep his 15th clean sheet of the season. His claim to be England's number one is intensifying game after game, and rightly so.
Nick pope is genuinely world class and the best keeper in the league, full stop— Sam Jones (@JonesSam01) July 18, 2020
Nick #Pope needs to be England’s first choice for the Euros over Pickford and Deano. Consistent, reliable and versatile. Burnley will do well to keep him next season. #NORBUR @SkySportsPL @BurnleyOfficial— Jamie ? (@brunosrightfoot) July 18, 2020
Having played their last home game, Norwich end their top flight stay with a tricky trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Burnley are back at Turf Moor next weekend, when they host Brighton in Lancashire. If they earn all three points and other results go their way, the Clarets could be looking at a remarkable sixth place finish, which would be their highest ever Premier League finish.