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Burnley clinch Championship title on a wild night at Blackburn

Burnley clinched the Championship title with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers on a wild night at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

With plenty resting on the outcome of the game, this fiery Lancashire derby was played at a frantic pace.

Blackburn were the better side for much of the game, but their lack of cutting edge saw them struggle to break through Burnley’s well-drilled defence.

Manuel Benson’s superb second-half strike was the difference between the two sides, sparking wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Rovers could count themselves unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty in stoppage time when Ashley Barnes handled Callum Brittain’s cross.

The defeat left Rovers outside of the play-off places and needing results elsewhere to go their way if they are to finish in the top six.

Burnley’s win guaranteed they would claim the Championship title, putting them out of reach of Sheffield United at the top of the table.

There were ugly scenes at the final whistle, with scuffles breaking out between the two sets of players.

Blackburn’s Sorba Thomas took exception to comments made by Burnley midfielder Jack Cork, sparking a melee in the centre of the pitch.

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany intervened, while Rovers counterpart Jon Dahl Tomasson was also involved as tempers flared.

There was a heavy police presence inside and outside the stadium, but they could not prevent fists from flying close to the press box after Burnley netted the winning goal.

Despite the unsavoury nature of the incidents, Kompany chose to focus solely on his team’s performance after the game.

“I’m really happy – I’m so proud of the guys,” he told Sky Sports.

“For anyone who doesn’t know what happens in this part of the world, this is a massive game, so there couldn’t be a better, bigger game for us to win the league. It will be talked about for generations.

“I thought it was a template for us for things to come. This season, everybody’s made so much of the football we’ve played, but today we’ve shown how we can grind it out. We defended so well.

“The backline were so brave, and they took out dangers so well. It’s a side of the game we love as well. We don’t have a problem with hunting or pressing.

“On the ball, it was difficult – they did well. But, for us, it wasn’t anything different than we’re used to – we just adapted and did really well.”

While Burnley can look forward to life in the Premier League, Rovers are in danger of missing out on the play-offs after spending most of the season in the top six.

They must beat Luton Town (H) and Millwall (A) in their final two Championship matches and hope for help from elsewhere to haul themselves back above the line.

Tomasson was understandably deflated in the aftermath of last night’s game but praised how his team took the game to Burnley.

“We are at two different places,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire. “Burnley have been in the Premier League and have the parachute money. But we were the best team today.

“They scored a brilliant goal – credit to them. I’m disappointed to concede that after a great performance. But our players kept going to the end.

“We must admit that the way we played was excellent at a high level against the best team in the league. Before they scored, we were dominant in the second half.”

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