Sean Dyche conceded good fortune was on Burnley’s side after two Fulham own goals in three minutes saw the Clarets claim victory at Turf Moor, without registering a single shot on target.
“We have had a bit of luck today with the own goals but we haven’t had much this season,” admitted manager Dyche.
A stunning Andre Schurrle volley had seen the visitors take the lead after two minutes before defenders Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi both diverted the ball into their own net.
Jeff Hendrick was the provider for both goals, with the Republic of Ireland international’s drilled cross cannoning in off Bryan’s left leg for the equaliser.
And a clipped cross into the Fulham box from the left, saw Odoi head past Sergio Rico.
It is the first time since August 2003 that a team has scored two goals in the Premier League without a shot on target and Burnley have also become the fifth team to win a match in the competition without registering a single shot on target after Crystal Palace, Watford, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
Cottagers boss Claudio Ranieri introduced Luciano Vietto off the bench in the second half, and the striker came closest to finding the equaliser with two good chances.
He was denied first by James Tarkowski on the line before Clarets captain Tom Heaton produced a fine save.
A third consecutive league win sees Burnley move up to 15th in the table, while a tenth defeat on the road means Fulham remain in 19th.
Burnley recover after early setback
Victory for Sean Dyche’s men saw Burnley become the first side since Crystal Palace beat Watford in March 2017, to claim three Premier League points without a shot on target.
However, Schurrle’s sensational strike saw them make the worst possible start as they struggled to find any rhythm for the opening 15 minutes.
Hendrick, who was one of four players to retain his place in the starting line-up from last weekend’s FA Cup victory over Barnsley, was Burnley’s biggest threat.
As the home side began to impose themselves on the game, the midfielder had three shots – albeit all off target.
And when the equaliser eventually came, it was Hendrick who reacted quickest at the back post to collect a Dwight McNeil cross and his low centre ricocheted in off the helpless Bryan.
And the winner came after Hendrick switched sides and lifted a ball into the Fulham box from the left, and Odoi was equally as helpless as he nodded the ball into his own net.
In dreadful conditions, with rain and wind swirling round Turf Moor, Burnley also had the game’s best defender with Tarkowski making six clearances, the most in the game, in front of the watching England manager Gareth Southgate, and perhaps his best moment came when he kept out Vietto’s fierce effort on his own goalline with Heaton beaten.
Fulham’s defensive frailties exposed
While the scoreline was harsh on Fulham, who created the better chances and saw more of the ball, particularly in the second half when they had 71% of the possession, Ranieri will be most concerned with his side’s defending.
The Cottagers play with three centre-halves and two wing-backs, but the five-man defence lost possession 94 times between them at Turf Moor.
Having taken the lead, Fulham defenders were caught dawdling on the ball twice, as Maxime Le Marchand and Tim Ream both conceded possession in dangerous areas as Burnley were gaining a foothold in the game.
The Clarets let both opportunities slip from their grasp but the warning signs were there for the visitors.
Two own goals in quick succession showed signs of inexperience and uncertainty at the heart of the worst defence in the Premier League – the Cottagers have conceded 49 goals – and Ranieri may look to shore up his back line in this transfer window with a relegation battle looming.
Man of the match – Dwight McNeil (Burnley)
‘Football is fantastic’ – what they said
Burnley manager Sean Dyche told Match of the Day: “I am very pleased, a lot of hard work has gone into that from the players. Not just physically.
“Some of our performances have been OK but details kill you at this level. Big moments make a difference, as we saw today. James Tarkowski makes a brilliant block on the line and today it stayed out.
“A lot has been asked of us this season, we have come out of a real sticky first half of the season.
“We are not interested in selling any of our players. I believe in all of them.”
Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri on Sky Sports:
“Football is fantastic. We deserved more but that’s football.
“They had three chances and scored two own goals. We are alive, we never give up and we continue to fight.
“I am satisfied with our performance. We knew it would be a battle, they won so they are right and we are wrong.”
Fulham’s away woes continue – the stats
- Burnley have collected nine points from their last three Premier League games (P3 W3 D0 L0), one more than they managed from their previous 13 matches in the competition (P13 W2 D2 L9).
- Fulham’s 14 points after their opening 22 matches is their lowest tally at this stage of a season in the club’s history (converting three points for a win).
- Fulham are the first side to score at least two own goals in the first half of a Premier League match since Everton did so against Southampton back in April 2014.
- Fulham, who are yet to win away (P12 W0 D2 L10), are the first side in the Premier League to fail to win any of their opening 12 opening matches on the road in the competition since both Leicester (13) and Burnley (17) during the 2016-17 campaign.
- Andre Schurrle’s opener against Burnley (01:49) is the quickest goal by a Fulham player in the Premier League since Clint Dempsey scored against Norwich City back in March 2012 (01:46).
Burnley travel to Watford on Saturday, 19 January (15:00 GMT), while Fulham host Tottenham in a London derby on Sunday, 20 January (16:00).