(Reuters) – Burnley were relegated from the Premier League after a 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle United on the final day of the season on Sunday that sent them down to the second tier for the first time since 2015.
Leeds United, who were in the drop zone on goal difference heading into the last round of fixtures, remain in the top flight after a 2-1 win at Brentford ensured they finished above Burnley in 17th place.
Burnley, who last month replaced long-serving manager Sean Dyche with Mike Jackson on an interim basis with eight games left, finished 18th on 35 points, three behind Leeds, and will join Watford and Norwich City in the Championship next season.
“We’re devastated but over the season we’ve not been good enough,” Burnley defender James Tarkowski said. “We have had too many sloppy moments… We’ve had an incredible run in this league.
“It’s been a great achievement but that doesn’t mean we wanted it to end in the way we have done. There is never a lack of effort or desire from our team but we have just lacked individual quality in front of goal.
“We’ve given it our all. There is a great set of lads in there who’ve never given up but unfortunately we have come up short. It summed up our season… I can only apologise (to the fans) that we’ve not done enough.”
Maxwel Cornet’s second-half goal sparked a spirited fightback from Burnley but the hosts could not convert their late period of dominance into goals as Newcastle hung on for victory after Callum Wilson’s brace put them 2-0 ahead.
Newcastle, who lost forward Joelinton to injury early in the game, were awarded a penalty for a handball by Nathan Collins following a VAR review and Wilson slotted in from the spot to put the visitors ahead after 20 minutes.
Burnley mustered only one shot on target, when Dwight McNeil tested goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from long range just before the break, in a poor first half where they created little of note in attack.
Wilson doubled Newcastle’s advantage on the hour mark after finishing off Allan Saint-Maximin’s low ball across the box before Cornet halved the deficit around 10 minutes later to set up a frantic finish.
Cornet’s initial close-range volley was parried away by Dubravka and the Ivorian smashed in the rebound into an empty net, but Burnley’s valiant efforts were thwarted by Dubravka’s saves and a goal-line clearance from Matt Targett.
“Today was a very difficult day for me because I have emotional ties to Burnley,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, who was in charge at Turf Moor between January 2011 and October 2012.
“It is a very proud football club and it hurts to see them being relegated. I have been in that position and I know how difficult that is. I hope they bounce back quickly and I am sure they can.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Toby Davis)