Back

Burnley bottom after Baggies battering and Berahino brace

Burnley have shortened to 6/5 in Coral’s to finish bottom market after suffering a heavy defeat at relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion. Baggies striker Saido Berahino and Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans starred for the hosts as Alan Irvine earned his first win at The Hawthorns.

A brace from the Burundi-born England Under-21 international brings his seasonal tally to five, four in six Premier League games, and this form will further press his claims for a senior call-up. It’s 66/1 Berahino is the top flight’s leading marksman come the end of the season.

Dorrans’ fine form, assists for both Berahino goals before rounding off the scoring himself late on, is also encouraging for Gordon Strachan. Scotland have Euro 2016 qualifiers against Georgia and then away to Poland which have the potential to make or break their chances of reaching the finals in France.

It’s been an excellent week for Albion head coach Irvine, whose appointment was far from well received in West Bromwich, following a third straight victory in all competitions. For Clarets counterpart Sean Dyche, though, defensive stability was shattered here.

Burnley, who now occupy the basement, need to wise up to the Premier League quickly if they want to alter perceptions they are in it just to make up the numbers. The team from Turf Moore are odds-on 4/11 favourites for the drop. Naivety in defence was clearly apparent as the Baggies went in at half time 2-0 up through very similar set piece goals.

No Clarets player took up station on the back post, despite multiple warnings from previous corners. Albion defender Craig Dawson, a player Burnley bid for over the summer, profited from this frailty, nodding in from Chris Brunt’s right wing delivery on half an hour.

Tom Heaton, in the visiting goal, had kept three consecutive clean sheets prior to this heavy defeat. He tipped over from Dorrans before the Scot flicked on compatriot James Morrison’s left wing corner for Berahino to turn in during first half stoppage time.

Dyche is currently without both Danny Ings and Sam Vokes, the 47-goal partnership that brought Burnley up from the Championship. Lukas Jutkiewicz ploughed a lonely furrow in attack here, with deadline day signing George Boyd seldom offering support.

Ashley Barnes was thrown on at the interval, while loanee Nathaniel Chalobah took over from former West Brom player Steven Reid in the holding role. Chelsea prospect Chalobah’s first involvement was to be booked for a poor lunge, while rare Clarets openings were spurned. Scoring remains a major issue for them and largely explains why they are bottom.

Berahino, meanwhile, fired past Heaton after clever movement and being played in by Dorrans to put Albion out of sight. Marvin Sordell proved more of a handful for a Baggies backline marshalled well once again by Joleon Lescott, but the sub still seldom got shots away. Irvine’s major coup was bringing the former Wolves defender back to the West Midlands.

There was still time for Dorrans to complete the rout, guiding in from Costa Rica World Cup star Cristian Gamboa’s pullback. West Brom are now out at 9/4 for relegation, yet there is renewed optimism among The Hawthorns faithful following a summer of sweeping change.