By James Kilpatrick
Burnley 2-0 Cardiff: Two Chris Wood headers deepens Cardiff relegation fears
Report and highlights as Cardiff are now five points off safety; Referee Mike Dean reverses decision to award a Cardiff penalty
Last Updated: 13/04/19 7:45pm
Two Chris Wood headers saw Burnley beat Cardiff 2-0 at Turf Moor to deepen the visitors' fears of Premier League relegation.
But there was considerable controversy surrounding the result with Cardiff twice denied after strong penalty appeals - with referee Mike Dean originally pointing to the spot after Cardiff's first appeal only to then reverse his decision.
Wood broke the deadlock in the first half after nodding past Neil Etheridge from a corner in the 31st minute.
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Cardiff thought they were awarded a penalty shortly after the break when Dean pointed to the spot for a Ben Mee handball, but the referee changed his mind.
And although Cardiff pushed for an equaliser, Burnley sealed the victory in injury-time when Wood headed in from point-blank range following a fine run by Dwight McNeil.
Burnley: Heaton (6), Lowton (6), Tarkowski (6), Mee (6), Taylor (6), Hendrick (6), Cork (6), Westwood (6), McNeil (8), Wood (9), Barnes (7)
Cardiff: Etheridge (8), Peltier (4), Morrison (6), Manga (5), Bennett (5), Gunnarsson (5), Arter (6), Camarasa (6), Hoilett (6), J Murphy (6), Zohore (7)
Subs: Mendez-Laing (6), Niasse (N/A), Reid (N/A)
Man of the match: Chris Wood
The result means Burnley have all-but secured their Premier League status for another season in 14th.
For Cardiff in 18th, their third Premier League loss in a row means they remain five points off safety with five games left to play ahead of their trip to Brighton on Tuesday.
How Cardiff's painful defeat unfolded
After a fast start, with early warning shots from both sides, Burnley had their first clear opportunity to break the deadlock in the 26th minute when a low strike from an unmarked Ashley Westwood was hit straight at Etheridge.
Five minutes later and Burnley took the lead through Wood. McNeil's whipped corner - in the windy conditions - was met by the New Zealand international who directed his close-range header into the net.
With ten minutes left of the half, Burnley could have gone two up through Westwood once again, but his low shot was expertly parried away by Etheridge.
In the 47th minute Dean awarded Cardiff a penalty when Mee appeared to head the ball onto his own arm. But after consulting with linesman Darren Cann, Dean changed his mind to the disdain of Neil Warnock on the touchline.
The decision fired the Cardiff players up and their biggest chance in the second half fell to an unmarked Junior Hoilett in the box in the 63rd minute, but he blasted his first-time shot over the bar.
Burnley fought back and Etheridge had to make a string of fine saves. First, he denied Wood from close range in the 74th minute, before he tipped Mee's header from a corner over the bar.
Referee Dean waved away appeals for a late Cardiff penalty when Bruno Manga's scuffed appeared to hit James Tarkowski's arm in the 89th minute.
And in injury-time Burnley doubled their advantage through Wood, who headed in from close range to capitalise on McNeil's brilliant run and cross down the left flank.
- Burnley have won three consecutive top-flight games by a margin of two goals for the first time since October 1968 (a run of four).
- Cardiff have lost six of their last seven Premier League games (W1) after losing just three of the eight before that.
- Burnley have scored in 12 consecutive home league games for the first time since November 2013 (12 in total in that run).
- Cardiff have lost consecutive matches against Burnley for the first time since the 1999-00 campaign in the third tier.
- Burnley manager Sean Dyce has never lost against Neil Warnock, winning five of his six matches against the Cardiff boss (D1).
- Since the start of last season, Chris Wood has scored more Premier League goals for Burnley than any other player (20).
- Burnley's Chris Wood has been directly involved in four goals in his last two Premier League games (3 goals, 1 assist), as many as he managed in his previous 11.
- No player has been involved in more Premier League goals this season as a teenager than Burnley's Dwight McNeil (8 - 3 goals and 5 assists, level with Ryan Sessegnon).
Neil Warnock: "I have no view at all [of Dean reversing his penalty decision] thanks. I've already seen the FA three times this week.
"I'm disappointed, I'll be asking the referee obviously. Mike says it hit his head first, I'm sure I'll get the right story from all three of them. We're disappointed Gunnarsson didn't get a penalty for being pulled down. He doesn't dive. Little bit unlucky today.
"There's still a chance. I might be smiling but I'm gutted underneath."
Sean Dyche: "A massive result. A lot of noise about this game but going into it with two big wins then going on this run, 27 points from 15 games, is an unbelievable return.
"We made hard work of it because in the first half I thought we should have been out of sight."
Man of the Match - Chris Wood
Although there were fine individual performances from McNeil and Etheridge, the Burnley striker was ultimately the one who made the difference with his two goals.
His hold-up play alongside Ashley Barnes also helped significantly to reduce the pressure on the Burnley backline when Cardiff were pushing hard for an equaliser for the majority of the second half.
Burnley travel to Chelsea on Monday Night Football - live on Sky Sports Premier League on April 22. Cardiff visit Brighton on April 16.