Watford 1, Burnley 2

Burnley raced in to pole position in the battle for Europe after moving six points clear of rivals Leicester City following victory over Watford.

Saturday, 7th April 2018, 6:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th April 2018, 6:26 pm
Sam Vokes volleys the Clarets level with his first touch after coming on as a sub

While the Foxes suffered a shock defeat to Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium, the Clarets had to come from behind to claim maximum points against the Hornets.

Roberto Pereyra had given Javi Gracia's side the lead in Hertfordshire but Sam Vokes equalised with his first touch of the game just seconds after being introduced from the bench.

Jack Cork secured victory minutes later when goal-line technology came to the aid of Paul Tierney to confirm that the midfielder's header had crossed the line.

Sam Vokes volleys the Clarets level with his first touch after coming on as a sub

The Clarets, looking for a fourth win in succession, thought they had the lead early on when Chris Wood's header from Matt Lowton's cross beat Orestis Karnezis, only for the linesman's flag to be raised for offside.

Moments later, the visitors were proving troublesome aerially from the opposite flank. This time it was Stephen Ward that supplied the delivery and Ashley Barnes's header looped over the crossbar.

But the Hornets carried a presence of their own in the final third and, from Daryl Janmaat's ball in to the box, Troy Deeney threatened.

The striker, sensing the assist from the right back, moved across James Tarkowski only to flick a header wide of the far post.

Sam Vokes turns to celebrate his equaliser at Vicarage Road

Tom Heaton's return to fitness, which saw the England international included in the matchday squad for the first time since September, means that Nick Pope now has a real battle on his hands to preserve his number one spot.

And he did his chances no harm when keeping out Pereyra three times in the first half at Vicarage Road.

The first was impressive as the 25-year-old dropped to his right hand upright to keep out the midfielder's strike from Will Hughes's pass.

The second was a more routine stop, collecting the Argentinian's attempt from distance, while the third was outstanding.

Sam Vokes volleys the Clarets level with his first touch after coming on as a sub

The Juventus man broke in to the box, worked the space to shoot on his left foot and, with his effort travelling towards the top corner, Pope sprung to his right to turn the ball wide.

However, the former Charlton Athletic stopper couldn't keep out Pereyra with his first attempt at goal in the second half.

A one-two between Abdoulaye Doucoure and Hughes worked Watford's entry in to the box, Ward's challenge inadvertently rolled the ball in to the path of Pereyra and he made no mistake from close range when tucking the ball between Pope's legs.

With the Foxes trailing at home to Newcastle United, Burnley boss Sean Dyche opted to go for the jugular, replacing Georges-Kevin Nkoudou with a third striker in Vokes.

Sam Vokes turns to celebrate his equaliser at Vicarage Road

That decision would be instantly rewarded. Within seconds, the substitute levelled with his first touch of the game.

Vokes had only been on the pitch for seconds when Adrian Mariappa glanced Lowton's set-piece on and, taking the chance first time, he threaded the ball through the legs of Karnezis in the 71st minute.

Then, two minutes later, the Clarets turned the game on its head. Kevin Long, in for the injured Ben Mee, turned Ashley Westwood's free kick back in to the mixer where, courtesy of advanced technology, referee Tierney determined that Cork's header had crossed the line.

Wood almost extended the advantage late on when breaking in to the box but the forward was foiled by Karnezis at the near post.