Burnley 3-0 Wigan: Tella bags brace as Clarets ease past 10-man Latics
Nathan Tella’s double helped runaway Championship leaders Burnley return to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wigan at Turf Moor which stretched their lead at the top to 13 points.
The Clarets were held by Wigan’s fellow strugglers Blackpool last weekend but never looked in danger of dropping more points once Tella had given them a deserved lead after 14 minutes.
Wigan remain bottom on goal difference and their cause was not helped by having to play the last hour of the game with 10 men after central defender Omar Rekik – on loan from Arsenal – was sent off by referee John Busby for a second caution, both for fouls on the lively Tella.
Tella is enjoying an impressive season-long loan from Southampton and added his second two minutes into the second half to take his tally to 16 in all competitions.
Substitute Lyle Foster added the third – his first for the club – as Burnley reached the 80-point mark. With 10 games still to play, they remain well on course to top the century mark.
Vincent Kompany’s slick-passing team dominated from the start and Anass Zaroury went close to giving them the lead after 10 minutes when his shot hit the post.
They didn’t have to wait long to make the breakthrough, however, with Tella steered a glancing header into the far corner of the net from Zaroury’s pin-point cross.
Rekik’s first caution had followed a reckless tackle on Tella in the ninth minute but the Tunisian international didn’t learn his lesson and saw red after diving in again on Tella 20 minutes later.
Wigan boss Shaun Maloney reacted by taking off striker Josh Magennis and sending on defender Stephen Caulker, who was denied an equaliser against the run of play when his close-range header was saved by Arijanet Muric.
Muric also saved from Ashley Fletcher’s shot after a mistake by Hjalmar Ekdal before the break but Burnley took only two minutes of the second half to give themselves a two-goal cushion when Tella scored with his second header of the game after Ashley Barnes had helped on Joey Gudmundsson’s corner.
After that it was just a case of how many rampant Burnley would score.
Zaroury (twice) and Vitinho squandered good chances to extend the lead before Foster scored with a shot from a tight angle in the 76th minute after being set up by fellow sub Michael Obafemi.
Jack Cork, another sub, went close late on with a fine shot that fizzed just wide as Burnley completed a high-scoring double over their Lancashire neighbours having won 5-1 at the DW Stadium back in August.