Burnley 3, Southampton 0

Johann Berg Gudmundsson makes it 3-0
Johann Berg Gudmundsson makes it 3-0
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Two goals from Ashley Barnes and a third from Johann Berg Gudmundsson gave Burnley the best possible start to their fourth successive season in the Premier League.

The game, which was goalless at the break, took a turn after the hour as the hosts netted all three goals in a potent 12-minute spell.

The fixture lacked any real je n'ais se quoi in the first half, with both teams cancelling each other out in a tentative start to the campaign. However, it did present the opportunity to see VAR in action.

Decisions in games will always divide opinion, with or without the use of VAR. There are no two ways about it.

Even with the added luxury of video replays - aired in real time, slow motion and freeze frame - journalists and club officials, sheltered from the unrelenting rainfall at the highest point of the James Hargreaves Stand, couldn't come to a compromise when questioning certain incidents within the game.

The new technology, which has been introduced in the Premier League this term, was employed twice in the first half alone, though, arguably, it should have been three.

Every moment was fast and effective, barely causing any disruption to the game at Turf Moor, which had hardly flowed, in any case. Che Adams, however, could consider himself a lucky boy, according to some of the cries.

The former Birmingham City striker, who was the subject of a bid from the Clarets in January, definitely went in high on new Burnley skipper Ben Mee, though there was certainly no intent or malice from the 22-year-old.

The one that got away from referee Graham Scott and his team came just minutes after Adams had gone close to opening the scoring for the Saints.

The Championship Player of the Year nominee, who had netted 22 times for the Blues, was on the stretch when meeting Yan Valery's deep cross, but his finish, which had travelling fans on their feet, was turned wide of the upright.

And so on to the moment in question, one that beggars belief as to why Scott didn't call on the support system available to him.

Angus Gunn was always running the risk when racing to the perimeter of his penalty area to collect an Erik Pieters delivery on a wet and, frankly, unpredictable playing surface.

It was clear to the naked eye that the young goalkeeper had strayed from his quarters, but Scott, remarkably, remained unmoved.

Oriol Romeu hooked the ball well over the bar as the game moved on and James Ward-Prowse fired straight down the throat of Nick Pope from 25 yards out.

From there, we moved swiftly on to the next 'big screen' drama. Jannik Vestergaard's untimely slip presented Ashley Barnes with possession and his centre was converted by New Zealander Chris Wood.

The linesman's flag, signalling Barnes's arcing run, had been raised, the build up was checked and analysed and an announcement confirmed that the goal had been chalked off. The correct decision.

Burnley's best chance of the half fell to Johann Berg Gudmundsson. The Icelandic international shifted the ball on to his left boot before offloading from the edge of the box. Gunn appeared to be beaten, sliding across to his left hand upright, but the attempt came back off the hoardings behind the goal.

Adams' challenge on Mee will likely be one that's up for debate throughout the weekend. He caught his opponent high, it could quite easily have caused injury, but there wasn't any extra pressure exerted in his attempts to win the ball. A red card may have been harsh, a mythical 'orange' card may have been bang on the money, so it came as a surprise that no yellow was brandished.

Nathan Redmond presented the away side's biggest threat before the break, cutting in past Gudmundsson to get a shot away. The effort was destined for the roof of the net, that was until Pope intervened with a smart fingertip save.

The hosts hadn't had a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, but they came alive after the interval as Southampton fell apart.

Ryan Bertrand wasn't far off hitting the target with a set-piece positioned right on the edge of the penalty area, but that was as good as it got.

Barnes put the Clarets ahead just after the hour when becoming the beneficiary of a huge defensive error.

Vestergaard misjudged the flight of a Pieters clearance, Barnes brought the ball under control in difficult circumstances and smashed it low past Gunn.

That opened the floodgates and seven minutes later the home side manufactured a two-goal cushion.

Pieters, making his debut for the club having joined from Stoke City in the summer, was at the heart of it again, supplying the cross that picked out Barnes unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.

The striker, who scored 13 goals in the top flight last term, wasn't missing from there, guiding the ball past Gunn first time.

Then, in the blink of an eye, it was 3-0. The Clarets, closing the ball far quicker than they had in the first half, won the ball high up the pitch from Pope's swirling clearance.

Gudmundsson nicked possession from substitute Pierre Hojberg and drove in to the area before threading the ball delightfully in to the far corner.

The Icelander's challenge on Hojberg was reviewed, but, realistically, the Clarets' third was never under any threat of being disallowed.

Barnes went close to his hat-trick late on and Pope denied Vestergaard at his near post following a game of pinball inside the box.

A three-goal margin may have seemed harsh on the Saints, but, all-in-all, it was a very good start to the season for Sean Dyche's side.