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David Datro Fofana reminds Burnley how to celebrate with first win of 2024

David Datro Fofana (right) celebrates with Wilson Odobert

David Datro Fofana delivered a rare moment of joy to Burnley’s long-suffering support with the second-half goal that ultimately saw off 10-man Brentford at a breathless Turf Moor.

Celebrations have been in short supply at Burnley so the delirium which greeted a first win of 2024 was understandable. Delayed gratification and all that.

Turf Moor has held all the fortress qualities of a paper bag this season, so after what was just their second home win in the league all season there was every reason to let off some collective steam.

The Ivorian striker’s calm dispatch, which made it four goals since his arrival in January, made glorious amends for the absolute sitter he missed just before the interval, somehow managing to skew a chance from inside the six-yard box 10 yards wide.

Burnley fans and players celebrate
Burnley fans enjoy Fofana's strike - Reuters/Peter Powell

“He can still get better. He scored one but he could have scored two or three,” said Burnley manager Vincent Kompany, who admitted he was out of practice in reacting to a win.

“We have to celebrate but it will have to be spontaneous. I didn’t really plan for it. I’ve celebrated a few times in my life so I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it again.”

Second-bottom Burnley took full advantage of the leg-up they were offered by Brentford early on when Sergio Reguilon became the earliest recipient of a red card this season.

He was dismissed by referee Darren Bond in the ninth minute for bundling Vitinho over as he shaped to convert a cross from Josh Cullen 10 yards out. Jacob Bruun Larsen converted the penalty.

Fofana scored the second goal – after a flowing length-of-the-field move – and appeared to put the game out of sight but Burnley endured a nervy finish.

Kristoffer Ajer’s 81st-minute header made it 2-1 and Brentford had the ball in the Burnley net again from Shandon Baptiste’s cross in the seventh minute of added time. Unfortunately for Brentford, Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric – preferred to the axed James Trafford – was also in it after a shoulder barge from Ivan Toney and the goal was chalked off.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank had no complaints with that decision or the penalty and red card, but thought his side should have been awarded a spot-kick themselves when Ajer and Fofana both hit the floor in the second half after a wrestling match.

“How the referee missed it I don’t know. It is 100 per cent a clear penalty,” said Frank, whose side have won once in nine games and are now only four points clear of the relegation zone themselves.

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