Tuesday 15 October 2019

Crystal Palace beat Burnley to pull clear of drop zone

Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha added to an own goal from Phil Bardsley.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, right, celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game (Nigel French/PA)
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, right, celebrates scoring his side’s third goal of the game (Nigel French/PA)

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

Crystal Palace moved eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

The teams began the day locked together on 30 points but Palace had much the better of things under grey Lancashire skies, with Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha adding to an own goal from Phil Bardsley.

Ashley Barnes pulled one back late on for Burnley but it was little consolation.

Both sides were looking to get back to winning ways after seeing lengthy unbeaten runs ended in midweek.

Palace came unstuck at Old Trafford after winning four of their previous six while Burnley’s defeat by Newcastle was their first in nine games.

Ashley Westwood returned for the hosts after illness while Palace boss Roy Hodgson made five changes, including bringing in goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with Scott Dann given the nod to replace Mamadou Sakho following his knee operation.

The first meaningful action of the game saw Palace take a 15th-minute lead. A fine move that began just outside their own penalty area ended with Zaha jinking his way into the box and crossing for Jeffrey Schlupp, whose pull-back hit Bardsley’s knee and flew past Tom Heaton.

The home side reacted well and piled the pressure on Hennessey, who did not look particularly secure in his handling.

He stood strong, though, to block a 23rd-minute shot from Chris Wood while Barnes, Ben Mee and Westwood also had sights of goal.

Crystal Palace’s Michy Batshuayi scores his side’s second goal of the game against Burnley (Nigel French/PA)

They came close again in the 35th minute when Charlie Taylor broke away down the left and crossed for Jeff Hendrick, whose shot was headed over the bar by Dann.

Tempers flared at the end of the half when Westwood caught Batshuayi after referee Lee Probert had blown his whistle, with Cheikhou Kouyate having to be restrained by team-mates.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche sent on Johann Berg Gudmundsson for Hendrick at the start of the second half but they quickly found themselves two down as Batshuayi had the last laugh.

Burnley paid the price for not closing down and Wan-Bissaka’s cross was brilliantly swept beyond Heaton by the forward for his second Palace goal.

Barnes looked poised to pull one back in the 54th minute but Dann produced a fine last-ditch block, while at the other end Heaton got fingertips to Schlupp’s fizzing effort.

The frustration was growing for the home fans and players, and Burnley probably should have been three down after Mee’s misjudged header let in Batshuayi but he tried to go round Heaton and ran the ball out.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring his side’s third goal at Turf Moor (Nigel French/PA)

However, Palace did not have to wait long for a third, Zaha getting the goal he deserved in the 76th minute as he again bamboozled the Burnley defence before shooting under Heaton, who probably wished Gareth Southgate had not chosen this day to make one of his frequent visits to Turf Moor.

Palace pushed for a fourth, with Patrick van Aanholt firing just over, but Burnley fans were at least given something to cheer as Barnes headed in Westwood’s cross in the 90th minute, and Hennessey then denied substitute Peter Crouch a first Clarets goal with a fingertip save.

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