By Simon Evans
(Reuters) – BURNLEY 3 SOUTHAMPTON 0
Ashley Barnes struck twice as Burnley beat Southampton 3-0 in a meeting of two of last season’s Premier League strugglers at a wet and windswept Turf Moor on Saturday.
New Southampton striker Che Adams went close early, sliding in at the back post to meet a dangerous cross from Yan Valery but the 15 million pound signing from Birmingham City couldn’t find the target.
Burnley, who left their own close season signing Jay Rodriguez on the bench against his former club, had the ball in the net through Chris Wood in the 16th minute but provider Barnes was flagged offside and a Video Assistant Referee review backed the decision.
It was a scrappy affair in wild winds and driving rain but the breakthrough came in the 63rd minute when Saints defender Jannik Vestergaard misjudged a hopeful long ball forward from Erik Pieters and Barnes latched on to it and fired home.
The pair combined again for the Clarets’ second, seven minutes later with Dutch debutant Pieter’s cross from deep met superbly on the volley by Barnes.
Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson made it 3-0 in the 75th, winning a challenge with Ryan Bertrand and bursting goal ward before beating goalkeeper Angus Gunn with a precise finish.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)