After six hugely eventful seasons, Burnley left the Premier League with a whimper.
The Clarets were relegated as they lost at home to a Newcastle United side that supposedly travelled across the Pennines with nothing to play for, and on a day when the Clarets desperately needed to summon the fighting spirit that had characterised their time in the top-flight, they were found badly wanting.
For a side that had to win to guarantee their survival, Burnley were lacklustre for the opening 70 minutes until the seriousness of their plight seemed to become clear. They rallied after that, but it was a case of too little, too late.
Off the pitch, the home fans tried their best to generate some intensity, letting off flares before kick-off and belting out a succession of songs, but on it, the home side’s players allowed their opponents to dictate the pace of play. Unsurprisingly, that suited Newcastle.
The visitors were forced into an early reshuffle when Joelinton was stretchered off, but still managed to claim the lead in the 20th minute. Nick Pope got a hand to Kieran Trippier’s in-swinging corner, but only managed to claw the ball onto the raised arm of Nathan Collins.
Craig Pawson initially missed the offence, but a swift check of the pitch-side monitor resulted in the award of a penalty, and Callum Wilson stepped up to slot home.
Burnley’s only first-half threat came via a couple of speculative long-range efforts from Dwight McNeil, but rather than raising their game after the interval, the home side became even worse.
News of Leeds’ opening goal at Brentford dampened the mood in the stands further, and the Clarets’ plight worsened when Newcastle deservedly doubled their lead on the hour mark.
Allan Saint-Maximin dribbled his way into the left-hand side of the area, and after the Frenchman squared the ball across the 18-yard box, Wilson was left with the simple task of slotting home his eighth goal of the season.
At that stage, the game looked up, but Burnley gave themselves a lifeline with 21 minutes remaining. Maxwel Cornet’s initial shot from Collins’ cross was saved by Martin Dubravka, but the ball fell kindly for the Ivorian to lash home the rebound.
Wout Weghorst came within inches of claiming a goal that might have kept Burnley up when he slid in to meet Ashley Barnes’ cross, only to prod the ball wide, and Jack Cork also came close with a goal-bound effort that was nodded away from just in front of the line by Matt Targett.
Leeds’ late winner in London rubbed salt in the wounds, but by then, Burnley’s inability to take care of their own business meant their fate was already sealed.
Pope 5; Roberts 5 (Weghorst 46, 6), Collins 4, Tarkoswki 5, Long 5, Taylor 5; McNeil 6, Brownhill 5 (Lennon 73, 6), Cork 5; Barnes 5, Cornet 6.
Hennessey (gk), Stephens, Bardsley, Thomas, Dodgson, Costelloe, McGlynn.
Dubravka 7; Trippier 7, Lascelles 7, Burn 8, Targett 8; Guimaraes 7, Longstaff 7, Joelinton 5 (Murphy 11, 6); Almiron 7 (Ritchie 89, 6), Wilson 8, Saint-Maximin 7 (Wood 72, 6).
Darlow (gk), Dummett, Schar, Krafth, Fernandez, Gayle.
Craig Pawson 7.