Burnley thrashed 10-man Sheffield United to record a significant Premier League win and pile huge pressure on Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom.
The Clarets had lost their past six league games and all seven at home this term, but moved off the bottom of the table, beating their fellow relegation candidates for a priceless second victory of the season.
Striker Rodriguez’s stooping header from Charlie Taylor’s pinpoint cross was the fastest in the top flight this season and gave Burnley a blistering start and a lead which they did not relinquish.
On-loan winger Jacob Bruun Larsen doubled their lead with a cool finish after latching on to Dara O’Shea’s long ball over the top as Burnley took total control.
The Blades were visibly frustrated and saw Oli McBurnie sent off for two moments of madness – the striker was fortunate to receive only a yellow card for an elbow into the face of O’Shea, but he inexplicably repeated the act in a separate challenge and was dismissed before half-time.
Burnley were dominant in the second period as Zeki Amdouni confidently drilled in a low finish, Luca Koleosho smashed in at the near post after hitting the woodwork and Josh Brownhill struck a fifth.
Burnley sit 19th, two points adrift of safety, while Sheffield United are bottom of the table.
Five-star showing from Clarets
Burnley boss Kompany has billed this game as “massive” for both teams in the build-up and it was his side who kept cool heads with a fabulous victory as they look to kick-start a faltering campaign.
The Clarets had not collected a Premier League point since winning 2-1 at Luton on 3 October, and this highly impressive showing two months on was also against a side who came up with them from the Championship.
Rodriguez’s early goal put them on the front foot and having dropped 14 points from winning positions this season – the most by any top-flight team – they managed to push on and take apart their opponents in a calm and assured manner.
The veteran striker could have had another in the 10th minute but could not find the target with his strike – Larsen, though, did roll home a calm finish to put his side in command.
Burnley popped the ball around confidently thereafter and there were no signs of the individual mistakes that have blighted them so much this term, as they took their chances in the second half for a valuable triumph.
Blades in big bother
The manner in which Sheffield United fell away after going a man down was alarming and leaves manager Heckingbottom clinging on to his job.
Skipper Oli Norwood’s powerful drive from long range pushed away by James Trafford and Cameron Archer blazed over from 12 yards before losing their heads with a show of petulance.
John Fleck received a yellow for a late tackle from behind on O’Shea and McBurnie senselessly struck the Republic of Ireland international twice before the break. In all, the away side received seven yellow cards and a red.
McBurnie’s sending off robbed his side of a potential fightback in the second half and with so much on the line, it has to go down as one of the most absurd red cards received considering the situation.
The Blades – who next face a daunting home match against Liverpool on Wednesday – have a huge task on their hands for survival, winning only one of their 14 games so far and conceding a league-high 39 goals.