PREM: Burnley 1-0 Stoke City


Joey Barton, Thomas Heaton and George Boyd embrace each other after Burnley beat Stoke

George Boyd scored the winner as Burnley eased their Premier League relegation fears thanks to a 1-0 win against Stoke City at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.


The midfielder guided home Jeff Hendrick's left-wing cross after 58 minutes for his first goal since finding the net against Bournemouth back in December. As a result, the Clarets have now moved up to 12th in the table on 35 points, eight clear of safety, while Stoke have dropped a place to 11th after a record-equalling fifth straight away game without a goal in the Premier League.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche made two changes from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Spurs on Saturday, with Belgian midfielder Steven Defour and Sam Vokes both recalled in place of Scott Arfield and Ashley Barnes.

Meanwhile, Stoke - who switched to three at the back - made four alterations following their weekend defeat at Leicester City, with the likes of Marc Muniesa, Mame Biram Diouf, Geoff Cameron and Charlie Adam all starting.

Striker Peter Crouch was only fit enough for a place on the subs' bench due to a knee problem, while neither Phil Bardsley or Xherdan Shaqiri made the visitors' squad.

The first half was a cagey affair and generally one to forget, with both sides seemingly content to get numbers behind the ball and wait for a mistake from their opponent, which never came.

The Clarets, without a win for two months, threatened from set plays, without ever really testing Lee Grant in the visitors' goal, while Stoke showed more attacking intent as they looked to end their own poor recent run of no wins in their last three matches.

The closest Stoke came to breaking the deadlock before the break, however, was when Adam met Marko Arnautovic's left-wing corner with a firm header, but it was straight at Tom Heaton.

The Austrian also wasted a couple of half openings after being played through on goal, only for heavy touches to see the chances go begging, although things did improve after the interval. Just before the hour-mark, Burnley did make the crucial breakthrough after brilliant footwork down the left by record signing Hendrick, who dribbled his way past three Stoke players before picking out Boyd, with the winger then beating Lee Grant with a composed finish.

Thereafter, the home side held out relatively comfortably for a vital three points as the Potters' away-day misery continued, with Mark Hughes's team having now lost seven of their last nine league matches on the road.



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