Burnley 1-0 Watford: Scott Arfield scores after Marvin Zeegelaar red
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 09/12/17 6:49pm
Burnley took advantage of Marvin Zeegelaar's red card to beat Watford 1-0 and strengthen their position in the top seven in the Premier League.
Zeegelaar was dismissed in the 39th minute at a snowy Turf Moor for a two-footed tackle on Steven Defour.
Scott Arfield's cool finish put Burnley ahead on the stroke of half-time and Watford could not get back into the game despite a spirited second-half showing.
The win sees Burnley stay seventh in the table, but they now have a six-point lead over eighth-placed Watford, whose head coach Marco Silva was involved in lengthy discussions with referee Lee Probert at half-time and full-time.
Burnley: Pope (7), Bardsley (6), Tarkowski (7), Long (7), Ward (7), Gudmundsson (7), Cork (7), Hendrick (6), Defour (6), Arfield (7), Wood (6)
Subs: Barnes (6), Westwood (5)
Watford: Gomes (6), Janmaat (6), Mariappa (5), Kabasele (5), Zeegelaar (4), Pereyra (5), Doucoure (5), Cleverley (6), Carrillo (6), Deeney (5), Richarlison (5)
Subs: Holebas (5), Gray (5)
Man of the match: Johann Gudmundsson
Watford had won four of their previous seven away games in the Premier League this season and they started brighter, with Richarlison turning over at the near post from Andre Carrillo's cross.
Burnley eventually settled and Johann Gudmundsson saw a free-kick well saved by Heurelho Gomes.
Abdoulaye Doucoure was denied by Nick Pope at the other end, but the main talking point of the first half came in the 39th minute as Zeegelaar was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Defour.
Arfield, starting for the first time since October 21 because of Robbie Brady's injury, soon made the numerical advantage count with a composed finish from Gudmundsson's pass across the box.
But the visitors produced a determined performance in the second half, with Doucoure and Tom Cleverley both missing the target with shots from the edge of the box after the restart.
Both sides made two changes. Mee and Brady missed out with injury for Burnley so Long and Arfield started. Janmaat and Carrillo came in for Femenia and Prodl for Watford.
Burnley twice had the ball in the net but both Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes were flagged for offside, the latter a decision that was upheld by the referee after a discussion with his assistant.
Silva remained an animated figure on the sideline as the Hornets two saw penalty appeals turned away, and he also vented his frustration after a foul on Richarlison, before another discussion with the referee after the final whistle.
- This was Burnley's 34th Premier League win and the 25th of those to have been won by a single goal margin (74%).
- There have only been nine goals scored in eight Premier League games at Turf Moor this season (six for Burnley, three for their opponents) - fewer than at any other ground.
- Three of the eight red cards to have been given before half-time this season in the Premier League have come against Burnley.
- Watford have now been given seven red cards in the Premier League since the start of 2016-17; no side have more (level with West Ham United).
- The only Canadians to have scored more Premier League goals than Scott Arfield (5) are Tomasz Radzinski (35) and Junior Hoilett (13).
Sean Dyche: "It's a very good win in the end. We had two goals chalked off, which were big decisions, and we didn't get the rub of the green on them, but it was a deserved victory."
Marco Silva: "After one decision the referee made a big difference in the match, a big influence, and it was a harsh decision for me. It's not a red, that changed everything, and after two or three minutes they scored.The referee never had control of the match and he lost it with the moment when he made the mistake. I understand I can make mistakes and so can our players, and the referee can too, but he made a big mistake and that had a big influence."
Man of the match - Johann Gudmundsson
In a game of few clear chances for Burnley, it was Gudmundsson who looked their biggest threat. Not only did he set up the goal with a pass across the box, but he went close to scoring himself with a free-kick that was well saved by Gomes and a shot that was pushed away in the second half.
He also put in 10 crosses - five more than any other Burnley player - and continued to provide a good outlet for the Clarets.
Burnley are at home to Stoke on Tuesday before travelling to Brighton on Saturday. Watford go to Crystal Palace on Tuesday and then host Huddersfield, who have struggled on the road, next Saturday.