BURNLEY have confirmed their promotion to the Premier League after goals from Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly gave them the win they needed against Wigan Athletic.
Barnes and Kightly both struck before half time to put Sean Dyche’s Clarets on course for the three points that sealed their place in the Championship’s top two, and automatic promotion, with two games to spare.
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The opening stages produced nothing in the way of chances but then the Clarets sprung into life with a fine move that led to Barnes putting them ahead on 22 minutes.
Danny Ings hooked the ball into the path of Dean Marney, who advanced down the right channel before providing a fine cross for Barnes to convert from close range, to the delight of the Burnley fans.
Scott Arfield soon volleyed over, before Tom Heaton made a comfortable save from James McClean’s header at the other end. Wigan came an awful lot closer on the half hour mark as another free kick into the box was met by Marc-Antoine Fortune, whose header crashed back off the crossbar.
But Burnley doubled their lead in the 42nd minute when Kightly – the matchwinner at Blackpool on Good Friday – curled a superb inswinging free kick into the far corner from a tight angle.
Ben Mee then stung the palms of Ali Al Habsi with a fierce 30-yard drive as the rampant Clarets looked for a third goal.
Heaton had to deny Fortune as Wigan looked for a goal back in the second half, before Ings hit the post from a tight angle for Burnley.
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Emmerson Boyce headed narrowly wide for the visitors, but Burnley continued to push for a third goal and David Jones saw a free kick saved against his former club.
Barnes then saw a fierce volley parried by Al Habsi Derby beat Barnsley 2-1 but their result proved irrelevant as the Clarets got the victory they needed to confirm their place in the Premier League next season.
Burnley: Tom Heaton; Kieran Trippier (Chris Baird 77), Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee; Michael Kightly, Dean Marney, David Jones, Scott Arfield; Danny Ings, Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Alex Cisak, Kevin Long, David Edgar, Ross Wallace, Keith Treacy, Junior Stanislas.
Wigan: Ali Al Habsi; James Perch, Emmerson Boyce, Leon Barnett, Stephen Crainey (Rob Kiernan 46); Jack Collison, James McArthur, Jordi Gomez (Callum McManaman 46); James McClean (Nicky Maynard 76), Marc-Antoine Fortune, Jean Beausejour. Subs not used: Scott Carson, Gary Caldwell, Shaun Maloney, Nick Powell. Referee: Keith Stroud.