Steven Defour’s brilliant second-half chip capped a sixth straight home win for Burnley as they knocked Bristol City out of the FA Cup.
The Clarets continued their impressive run at Turf Moor to move into the fifth round of the competition for the first time in six years with a comfortable 2-0 success over their Sky Bet Championship opponents.
Sam Vokes, who was seen among the Southampton fans celebrating their progress to Wembley in midweek, inched his employers closer to their own trip there with a first-half effort before Defour dinked a glorious chip over Fabian Giefer after the break.
After a club-record run of eight successive league defeats, a trip to Turf Moor presented the Robins with an opportunity to temporarily forget about their Championship troubles.
And a team featuring five changes started brightly and could have been ahead in the third minute had Milan Djuric finished after Jens Hegeler’s through ball when he held off Michael Keane but lifted high and wide.
Burnley only retained three of their XI from the side defeated by Arsenal and one of those, Defour, delivered a near-post corner which the recalled Johann Berg Gudmundsson headed against Josh Brownhill before dropping just wide.
But the second-tier team again had a great chance to go 1-0 up through Djuric.
Callum O’Dowda and Zak Vyner linked up down the right, the latter’s delivery finding an unchallenged Djuric, yet the Bosnian, who is yet to open his account for Bristol City, could only head straight at Nick Pope.
It proved to be a wake-up call for the Clarets, who led shortly after.
Bobby Reid gave possession to Defour and the Belgium international collected a return pass from Gudmundsson before unselfishly squaring for Vokes to sweep in a first-time finish from around 10 yards out.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 28, 2017
That effort, on the stroke of half-time, will have done little for a team low on morale, although even that could not explain the strong Aden Flint back-pass that Giefer had to stretch to stop going beyond him.
Defour then cut inside off the left to blast wide as Burnley looked for a second goal that might have sewn things up.
Visiting boss Lee Johnson introduced forwards Tammy Abraham and Aaron Wilbraham just after the hour, but seven minutes later his men were two goals down.
The attack originated from a Bristol City free-kick that Brownhill fired at Pope from range, with Defour then instigating the breakaway inside his own half.
He fed Gudmundsson and received the ball back, with Defour then moving on to his right foot and lofting an attempt high above Giefer from the edge of the area which looped back down into the net.
It was a touch of class from a midfielder once wanted by Manchester United and who is beginning to live up to his reputation in Lancashire.
Abraham has a burgeoning reputation himself, though the Chelsea loanee’s only sniff of goal saw him fire wide, while Defour almost contributed towards another goal as Vokes met his free-kick and crashed an attempt against the post.
It did not stop him collecting the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award, or earning a standing ovation as he made his way off late on in another home success for Sean Dyche’s side.