Burnley storming towards Premier League return

Kompany’s side open up 11-point lead in race for promotion to top flight with win over Birmingham

AFP December 28, 2022


Anass Zaroury took less than a minute to announce his return from the World Cup as Burnley beat Birmingham 3-0 to open up an 11-point cushion in the race for promotion to the Premier League.

Moroccan winger Zaroury, who played for his country in the third place playoff just 10 days earlier, was thrown straight back into the action by manager Vincent Kompany and responded by scoring the quickest goal in the Championship this season after just 50 seconds.

Connor Roberts, another player who tasted World Cup action last month with Wales, netted just before half-time and Nathan Tella rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

The win takes Kompany's men back three points clear of Sheffield United at the top of the table.

However, more importantly they are 11 clear of rivals Blackburn, who sit third, with the top two automatically promoted to the top flight.

Reading boosted their playoff hopes with a 2-1 win over Swansea.

Paul Ince's side climb up to eighth with only goal difference keeping them out of the top six.

Andy Carroll opened the scoring for Reading before Tom Ince, son of the Royals' manager, doubled their advantage with his 100th career club goal.

Swansea pulled a goal back through Liam Cullen, but they remain just three points off the playoff places despite sitting down in 16th.


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