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Sports Shorts: Burnley get promotion to English Premier League

April 22, 2014 10:38 IST

Sports Shorts: Burnley get promotion to English Premier League

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Burnley secured a return to the English Premier League amid joyous scenes at Turf Moor on Monday when a 2-0 home victory over Wigan Athletic sealed automatic promotion from the Championship.

First-half goals from Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly were enough for the Clarets to join LeicesterCity in the top-flight next season.

Fans invaded the pitch to celebrate after the final whistle while manager Sean Dyche was lifted into the air by jubilant players who embarked on a lap of honour.

"We were intent on getting promoted ourselves, not having to rely on anyone else for help. It's getting harder to win automatic promotion to the Premier League because of all the constraints on teams like ourselves. I'm extremely proud," Dyche told the BBC.

Burnley striker Danny Ings, who has formed a formidable partnership with Sam Vokes this season with the pair scoring 20 league goals apiece, added: "I'm so proud of all the lads. From pre-season to now they have been absolutely fantastic.


Image: Burnley celebrate following the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor in Burnley, England on Monday
Photographs: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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Burnley spent one season in the top-flight in 2009-10 before being relegated

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"Sam Vokes has been top class this year, it was a shame he was not out on the pitch today but he deserves it. People did not back us at the start of the season but it's been great to prove them wrong."

Burnley spent one season in the top-flight in 2009-10 before being relegated.

They can again look forward to visiting venues like Old Trafford and Anfield next season after reaching 89 points from 44 games, four behind leaders Leicester who have played one game less and look like being promoted as champions.

DerbyCounty (81), Queens Park Rangers (76), Wigan (70) and Brighton & Hove Albion (66) occupy the playoff places.

Burnley enjoyed a remarkable start to life in their only Premier League season in 2009 -- their first in the top-flight for 33 years -- when after losing their opening game at StokeCity they beat champions Manchester United and Everton at Turf Moor.

But despite their impressive home form, Burnley struggled on their travels and after manager Owen Coyle departed for Bolton Wanderers in January, replacement Brian Laws was unable to stave off relegation as they eventually finished 18th.


Image: Burnley celebrate following the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor in Burnley on Monday
Photographs: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
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Leverkusen's veteran Spanish 'keeper Palop to retire

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Bayer Leverkusen's veteran Spanish goalkeeper Andres Palop is planning to retire from soccer at the end of the Bundesliga season.

The 40-year-old, who featured in Sevilla's UEFA Cup title triumphs in 2006 and 2007, left the Spanish club for Leverkusen in June.

"After 19 years living and enjoying my time as a professional football player the time has come to hang up my gloves at the end of the current campaign," Palop said in a statement on Monday.

The keeper also had spells with Sevilla's La Liga rivals Valencia and Villarreal and was an unused member of his country's Euro 2008-winning squad.


Image: Andres Palop
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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