Clement feeling the heat after Swansea loses at Burnley

November 18, 2017
Burnley's Jack Cork, left, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game against Swansea City during the English Premier League soccer match at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Saturday Nov. 18, 2017. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)

BURNLEY, England (AP) — Jack Cork heaped the pressure on former manager Paul Clement as Burnley swept aside Swansea 2-0 on Saturday, leaving the south Wales club three points off the bottom of the Premier League.

Cork, who was sold by Swansea in the offseason, headed in the opener in the 29th minute at Turf Moor. Ashley Barnes netted with a powerful strike five minutes before halftime.

Sean Dyche has now overseen Burnley’s first hat trick of top-flight wins since 1975.

While Cork’s form highlights Dyche’s canny knack of invigorating low-key personnel, Swansea’s woes were embodied by Renato Sanches. Once one of Europe’s hottest teenage properties, he is now something of a lost soul.

On loan from Bayern Munich, Sanches is not even a guaranteed starter at the Welsh strugglers and his efforts here can only have steered him closer to the bench. His set-piece delivery was dreadful, he dallied in possession and, when a woeful shot disappeared over the bar, he raised both hands in apology to his teammates.

The first half belonged to Burnley, which attacked with a frantic quality that unnerved the visitors and settled the result by the interval.

One passage saw three chances open up in a matter of seconds, including Lukasz Fabianski beating away Steven Defour’s drive and Sam Clucas smothering another attempt from Jeff Hendrick.

When a corner floated toward the far post moments later, only a sprawling save from Fabianski spared Martin Olsson an own goal.

The Polish goalkeeper was doing all the heavy lifting for his side, rising to the occasion again when Barnes met Matthew Lowton’s cross at the far post and produced a powerful header.

His resistance was broken on the half hour as Cork ferried the ball 20 yards up field before laying it off to Barnes and heading for the six-yard box. By the time he got there, unmarked, Robbie Brady had provided the kind of cross which demands to be planted into the corner, as Cork happily did.

Barnes’ brilliant strike made it two five minutes before the break. The forward gathered Hendrick’s pass with a neat touch before rifling a thunderous drive inside the near post.

Swansea sent on Wilfried Bony at the break but, like Sanches, he is a man shorn of form and fulfillment.

He snatched at his first chance, lashing wide from an inviting position, and was robbed by a sliding Lowton just as he shaped to shoot in the 75th minute.

Swansea’s bad luck caught up with Tammy Abraham, who departed on a stretcher having battled an apparent back problem for several minutes.