Burnley restored their three-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table as they saw off Birmingham 3-0.

First-half goals from Anass Zaroury and Connor Roberts proved more than enough for the Clarets to secure victory at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, while substitute Nathan Tella added a late third in stoppage time.

More importantly than their advantage over Sheffield United, Vincent Kompany’s side now have an 11-point gap between themselves and Blackburn in third. An immediate return to the Premier League is starting to look an inevitable prospect.

Anass Zaroury celebrates after giving Burnley an early lead
Anass Zaroury celebrates after giving Burnley an early lead

Birmingham, meanwhile, are left in 15th. But such is the nature of this season’s Championship that there are only three points between themselves and the play-off places.

Burnley strike early then cruise to comfortable win

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Connor Roberts doubles Burnley lead with fine goal to put the hosts in command against Birmingham.

It took just 48 seconds for the opener to come, as a brilliant counter led to Roberts teeing up Zaroury – who celebrated his return from the World Cup with Morocco by slamming the ball first time by John Ruddy.

Roberts then turned from creator to scorer as he doubled the lead on 44 minutes. Playing a one-two into the box with Josh Brownhill, before controlling with his right and finishing low into the bottom corner with his left.

And late in stoppage-time substitute Tella put the icing on the cake as he raced through on goal before slipping the ball past Ruddy in front of the jubilant home fans.

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