Brentford 1-3 Burnley: Three first-half goals helps Clarets to comfortable victory

first_img George Boyd 1 Burnley moved within two points of second-placed Derby in the Championship as they were 3-1 winners over Brentford. The Bees were dealt with a blow beforehand, as defender James Tarkowski, who was set to start for Dean Smith’s side, made himself unavailable for selection after transfer speculation. The outcome was never in doubt after a one-sided first 45 minutes which saw the Clarets boss the game in every area of the field.It took them just 11 minutes to break the deadlock when former Bees striker Andre Gray teed-up Scott Arfield to curl a stunning shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.It was two on the half hour when Barton’s exquisite dipping free-kick cleared the wall and goalkeeper David Button’s outstretched arm to find the net.The first-half footballing lesson continued eight minutes later when a half-hearted headed clearance from Jack O’Connell was returned with interest on the volley by George Boyd to nestle in the bottom corner.The only surprise was that Gray, who left Griffin Park for £9million in the summer, failed to find the net in the opening 45 minutes.He was at the heart of everything positive in the first 15 minutes, firing narrowly wide and setting up Arfield for an early effort which flashed just wide.Brentford fans, who had to wait until the 37th minute for Alan Judge’s first bobbling effort on goal, booed off their men at the break.It was a different story after the break as Brentford emerged the brighter as Burnley sat deep and tried to kill the game off.Judge, also a Burnley target, flashed a shot wide of the upright to signal his side’s intent as the hosts pressed higher up the field.But all too often the final ball lacked quality and when it did reach the danger area Brentford looked toothless in front of goal.Half-time substitutes Sam Saunders and Lasse Vibe sharpened things up and it was no surprise when Judge cut in from the left to fire a low drive under Tom Heaton – a shot the goalkeeper should really have stopped.In the end it was a comfortable win for the Clarets, who closed the gap on leaders Middlesbrough to four pointslast_img read more