BURNLEY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ashley Barnes of Burnley celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and AFC Bournemouth at Turf Moor on September 22, 2018 in Burnley, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

6 of Burnley's Best Moments In 2018

2018 has been a mixed year for Burnley. Their form since January has been that of relegation candidates, with only Huddersfield and Southampton having worse records over the same period of time, and the first half of 2019 looks set to be a battle for survival.


But this was also the year when European football returned to Turf Moor, when the Clarets broke a club record for the most consecutive Premier League wins, and when Sean Dyche had a pub named after him, so there were plenty of highlights.


Here are six of Burnley's best moments from 2018.

6. Hosting Olympiacos at Turf Moor

This was the night when Burnley's Europa League dream died, but it was also the night when an unfashionable club from Lancashire went toe to toe with a stalwart of European football and emerged with their heads held high.


3-1 down from the first leg, Burnley faced a momentous challenge but they rose to the occasion, with 18-year-old Dwight McNeil giving a sparkling display on his full debut. They couldn't convert their dominance into goals though, and Daniel Podence's strike killed their hopes before Matej Vydra's consolation.


Bearing in mind that this same Olympiacos team went on to eliminate AC Milan in the group stages, Burnley could feel justifiably proud of their performance against the Greek giants.

5. Biggest Ever Premier League Win

One point from their first five matches of the 2018/19 season left Burnley bottom of the Premier League, and the visit of high-flying Bournemouth looked like it could be another tough afternoon.


However, not only did Burnley get their first win of the season, they obliterated the Cherries, winning 4-0 to chalk up their biggest ever victory in the Premier League. Matej Vydra and Aaron Lennon scored before half time, and a quickfire brace from Ashley Barnes gave the scoreline an emphatic look late on.


This game showed what Burnley are capable of on their day, but they need to deliver this sort of performance more regularly if they are to start climbing the table.

4. Sean Dyche Signs New Contract

Now the second longest-serving manager in the Premier League, Sean Dyche has established his place in Burnley folklore after leading the Clarets to their highest top-flight finish since the 1970s and their first foray into European football since the 1960s.


Burnley have always shown faith in Dyche, even through relegation, and they did so again as they rewarded him with a new contract in January. He has received more criticism this season due to Burnley's poor form, but if he can keep them up again, it will another job well done.


He even had a pub near Turf Moor named after him - 'the Royal Dyche' - in recognition of his achievements at the club.

3. Best Top-Flight Winning Run Since 1968

Burnley had already broken their record for consecutive Premier League wins with three earlier in the season, but it was this five-match winning streak towards the end of the campaign which pushed them closer to European qualification.


It came completely out of the blue, with Burnley having gone eleven matches without a victory before beating Everton, which proved the catalyst for their sudden resurgence in form. It brought the feel-good factor back to Turf Moor after a tough few months.


The undoubted star of the run was Chris Wood, who returned from injury against Everton and scored in four of the five matches, including a brace against West Ham.

2. First Europa League Win Against Aberdeen

When they qualified for Europe, Burnley fans were probably dreaming of trips to Milan or Seville, not Scotland. The draw paired them with Aberdeen, who gave a good account of themselves in a 1-1 draw at Tannadice.


At Turf Moor, Burnley took an early lead through Chris Wood, but 18-year-old Lewis Ferguson levelled the scores with a brilliant acrobatic strike which took the match to extra time.


Sean Dyche's side dug deep and showed the resilience for which they had become renowned to get the job done in extra time, with Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes scoring the goals which finally silenced the stubborn Scots.

1. European Qualification Guaranteed

Burnley were effectively guaranteed a place in the Europa League after their five-match winning run, but it was several weeks before they could officially celebrate, with draws against Stoke and Brighton inching them closer to their goal.


Everton's failure to beat Southampton on the penultimate weekend of the season confirmed Burnley's qualification amid huge celebrations at Turf Moor. This was the first time they had qualified for a European competition in more than fifty years.


It was a remarkable achievement for a side that many people had tipped for relegation at the start of the season, and the weight of this historic feat was not lost on supporters who have stayed with the club through thick and thin.