Burnley gave their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost with a vital victory to push bottom side Sheffield United further towards relegation.

A must-win game for both sides went the way of Vincent Kompany’s men as clinical finishing allowed them to move just three points off safety, while Chris Wilder’s side are now 10 points adrift.

The Clarets were second best for much of the first half with Arijanet Muric making crucial saves to keep his side in the contest, before they scored twice in the space of three minutes.

On-loan Jacob Bruun Larsen broke the deadlock on 38 minutes when his scuffed volley took a deflection and wrong-footed goalkeeper Ivo Grbic to dribble in at the near post.

In the next attack Burnley doubled their advantage courtesy of full-back Lorenz Assignon weaving through and poking home via Grbic’s outstretched leg and the crossbar.

Muric made an outstanding save to deny James McAtee’s strike which was bound for the top corner, but he could do nothing about Gustavo Hamer cutting inside and curling in a sumptuous finish to give Sheffield United hope.

But the visitors restored their two-goal advantage following Lyle Foster’s tidy, first-time finish from Assignon’s cross and substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson added a delightful fourth for a thumping triumph.

A tale of two keepers

Burnley won the reserve fixture 5-0 in December, spelling the end of Paul Heckingbottom’s tenure as Sheffield United manager, and this damaging defeat looks close to being their top-flight demise.

Both sides came up from the Championship last season and Kompany called the jump into the Premier League the “biggest in world football” but his team have given themselves a fighting chance to preserving their status with four games remaining.

This was just their second win in the past 16 league games and they will be watching Sunday’s game at Goodison Park closely, as an Everton win will allow Burnley to remain in touch with 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

But it could have been such a different story at Bramall Lane had the hosts not come up against an inspired Muric, who made amends after costly errors in the past two games against Brighton and the Toffees.

The Kosovo international stayed big to make a crucial stop to deny Oli McBurnie from close range early on and he made a fingertip stop from the home striker’s thumping drive.

The Burnley stopper also denied Brereton Diaz on a number of occasions, a header, a one-on-one effort and a low drive towards the near post.

Sheffield United missed their chances and were made to pay – Grbic did not cover himself in glory as he was slow to react to Larsen’s goal and Assignon’s shot bobbled in but he could do nothing about cool finishes from Foster and Gudmundsson.

The away side should have made it an even more handsome scoreline but Josh Brownhill’s lofted effort from long range sailed wide while Gudmundsson smacked the post with a well-struck volley.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

Read Previous

Chinese Grand Prix 2024- Max Verstappen on pole with Lewis Hamilton 18th

Read Next