Burnley earns their first win of the season by defeating Crystal Palace. The Clarets had lost five and drawn two of their first seven games to leave them second from bottom in the table. Burnley won for the first time in the Premier League this season by beating Crystal Palace at Turf Moor to move out of the relegation zone.
However, Chris Wood’s early strike – Burnley’s first goal at home this season – proved the difference, with the forward driving home from Jay Rodriguez’s pass after a mistake by the Crystal Palace defence.
Palace were without influential forward Wilfried Zaha after he tested positive for coronavirus and they missed his contribution in attack.
However, they did have the chance to equalise in the first half with on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi just failing to reach an excellent ball by James McArthur before Nick Pope tipped over Andros Townsend’s powerful effort.
Burnley should have put the game out of Crystal Palace’s reach soon after the restart but Johann Gudmundsson crashed his shot against the crossbar, a miss that almost proved costly soon after when a Dwight McNeil mistake put Batshuayi in on goal but he could not beat Pope.
There was one final chance for Palace to snatch an equaliser but Pope produced a superb save from close range to deny substitute Christian Benteke. The win moves Burnley up to 17th on five points, one point clear of the relegation zone, while Crystal Palace remain on 13 points in 10th place.
A much-needed win to give Clarets hope
After losing five of their six opening games in the league this season it had looked increasingly likely that Burnley’s five-year stay in the top flight was going to come to an end this season.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has steadfastly maintained that his side have looked more like their old selves in recent games even if results suggested otherwise, but this was a performance reminiscent of those in past seasons when they have surpassed expectations.
They took the very first chance that presented itself to them with Rodriguez pouncing after Cheikhou Kouyate fluffed a clearing header and the forward, restored to the side in place of Ashley Barnes, set up Wood to score his second goal of the season.
From then on, Burnley showed good resilience to hold onto their slender lead and secure three important points, particularly ahead of a tough-looking run of fixtures with games against Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal up next.
Palace feel Zaha’s absence
Zaha is undoubtedly a pivotal figure for Palace and the forward has made a particularly good start to this season with five goals and two assists in the eight games he has played.
It is no surprise that prior to Monday’s game the Eagles had lost 13 of their last 15 games without Zaha as in his absence they lack a real cutting edge in attack.
Against Burnley their approach play was good but moves often fell away once they got close to the box, with players either making the wrong pass or not getting into the best positions.
Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League since the opening game of the season, underlining the importance of scoring goals. This result highlighted their need to find a way to do that without putting the weight of expectation on Zaha.
Clarets the last to finally score at home – the stats
- Burnley have won back-to-back Premier League games against Crystal Palace having lost four consecutive.
- Burnley have picked up their first Premier League victory of 2020-21, with this their first win in the competition since beating Norwich 2-0 in July (winless in eight prior to today).
- Crystal Palace have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League games, conceding in eight consecutive matches since a 1-0 victory against Southampton in September.
- Chris Wood’s opener for Burnley was their first Premier League goal at Turf Moor this season (278th minute of action and 30th attempt at goal), meaning all sides across the top four tiers of English football have now scored a home goal in 2020-21.
- Since making his Premier League debut for Burnley (27-08-2017), Chris Wood has scored 36 goals in the competition, at least nine more than any other player for the Clarets.
- Since the start of 2014-15 (when Wilfried Zaha re-joined Crystal Palace), the Eagles have lost 20 of their 28 Premier League games without the Ivorian, including each of the last seven away from home.
- Johann Gudmundsson made his 100th Premier League appearance for Burnley this evening becoming the 10th player to reach this milestone for the Clarets in the competition.
Burnley travel to Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, 28 November (15:00 GMT) while Crystal Palace are at home to Newcastle on Friday, 27 November (20:00 GMT)
Source – BBC News