10 Dec Burnley 3 – 2 Bournemouth
Turf Moor claimed a fifth victim of the season as goals from Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward and George Boyd sent a battling Bournemouth home empty handed from Burnley.
The Clarets deserved their win, with Hendrick’s sumptuous dipping volley the pick of the goals, and have now taken 16 of their 17 points here in Lancashire, a home record to envy at either end of the table.
Benik Afobe had made it 2-1 in first-half injury-time and Bournemouth briefly threatened to mimic their late comeback against Liverpool last week when Charlie Daniels buried brilliantly in the 90th minute, but this time they fell short and lost 3-2.
The match marked a return for Eddie Howe to the side he managed briefly and unremarkably before Sean Dyche and also the first ever Premier League contest between the sides.
For entertainment value alone, the next instalment has plenty to live up to.
Bournemouth rewarded Afobe and Ryan Fraser for their goals in last week’s thrilling win with starting places, Jack Wilshere rested as Howe went 4-4-2.
Burnley had England international Tom Heaton back in goal after two games out, with Steven Defour returning in midfield and Sam Vokes replacing Andre Gray up front.
The first 10 minutes were bright and open, Nathan Ake’s back pass putting Artur Boruc under pressure at one end while Afobe’s snap shot drew Heaton into action at the other.
The game, seemingly, was anybody’s but by the 17th minute Burnley had raced into a 2-0 lead.
Hendrick’s glorious finish made it 1-0 after Heaton pumped the ball upfield and Matt Lowton picked out the Irishman with a controlled first-time pass.
The club’s record £10.5million signing took two deft touches to control the ball, spotted Boruc off his line and lifted his volley crisply into the top corner.
For a team with Burnley’s budget, it was the kind of contribution that justifies a rare splurge.
Bournemouth were rattled and paid the price as the deficit doubled from Defour’s corner.
The Belgian found Ben Mee with an outswinger and though Boruc pushed a powerful effort back off his line, Ward was on hand to prod home.
The Clarets continued to impose their game plan unchallenged, Michael Keane winning Heaton’s long free-kick with his head before nodding goalwards and drawing a diving save.
For their part Bournemouth lost discipline, with a few messy challenges and little attacking structure.
Eventually Afobe won a free-kick at the edge of the area but Heaton did brilliantly to palm Adam Smith’s dipping effort over the bar.
Howe’s side did get on the scoresheet before the break, though, Fraser’s bustling run and Simon Francis’ cutback leaving Afobe unmarked in the centre of the box.
He duly tucked his shot into the corner and sent the visitors in with a spring in their step.
A similar chance presented itself early in the second half, Fraser’s dribbling again pulling Burnley out of shape, but this time Afobe dragged wide.
Both sides went to their bench with the game still up for grabs, Ashley Barnes and Gray on for the hosts and Bournemouth sending for Wilshere.
Barnes had two good chances, flashing wide moments after coming on then half-heartedly heading when onside and in a scoring position.
Gray might also have settled it, flashing a volley directly at Boruc after breaking through the middle. It was left to Boyd to add a third for Burnley, finishing with a drive across across goal having collected Gray’s clever back heel.
The game ended in a flurry of activity – Marc Pugh with a penalty claim against Lowton, Boruc saving well from the impressive Gray and Afobe seeing a late effort chalked off for handball.
The pace finally looked to have relented when Daniels took everybody by surprise from a corner and lashed a drive high into the top corner, though it was a final moment of excitement.