- Burnley were expected to win the Sky Bet Championship weeks ago
- They were already confirmed for promotion to the Premier League and only needed to confirm their title
- They did it in style winning the title at the home of old rivals Blackburn Rovers
Burnley won the Sky Bet Championship title with a 1-0 victory over rivals Blackburn Rovers.
In a tense east Lancashire derby, Vincent Kompany’s players were far from their best, but they showed why they are champions with tenacity in keeping Blackburn out and a moment of magic midway through the second half through Manuel Benson’s magnificent curling shot.
Benson’s 12th goal of the season – Burnley’s only shot on goal – was a goal worthy of winning the league, and to do it at the home of their toughest rivals rounds off a flawless season for the Clarets, who might yet surpass 100 points.
Jon Dahl Tomasson’s team put in another valiant performance, but it was painfully clear that their visitors have the firepower they lacked after they got into numerous promising situations but failed to make a decisive impact.
The Rovers are still outside the playoffs on goal differential after a seven-match winless streak.
Tyler Morton’s season was cut short due to a broken metatarsal, thus Rovers reshuffled, recalling Ben Brereton Diaz and Ryan Hedges. Burnley, on the other hand, began with a different centre-back partnership with Charlie Taylor and Ameen Al-Dakhil.
Early on, Al-Dakhil flicked a header wide, but Burnley produced little else as Blackburn dominated.
Tyrhys Dolan’s header was saved midway through the first half, and Joe Rankin-Costello had a better chance soon after but headed over from close range.
Blackburn fans were buoyed by their team’s bravery in pressing the Clarets high up the pitch, and Dominic Hyam’s shot was saved by Arijanet Muric late in the first half.
Only a brilliant 61st-minute save from Al-Dakhil prevented Brereton Diaz from squeezing the trigger inside the box after he had taken the ball down with a great first touch.
The Clarets, on the other hand, demonstrated why they are going up with the game’s sole goal in the 66th minute.
It’s a move Benson has honed this season, as he jinked down the right before cutting in on his left and curling a powerful attempt into the left corner past Aynsley Pears’ despairing dive.
Benson attempted to duplicate the technique 11 minutes later, but this time he got everything wrong and slammed his shot over the bar.
when Blackburn battled for an equalizer, gaps opened up for the visitors, and Benson almost scored a magnificent second late in extra time when he pursued a loose ball on the left with Pears crawling back from a Rovers corner, but his shot skimmed the bar.
It didn’t matter, and the celebrations in the away end were joyous.