Crystal Palace 0-3 Burnley: Clinical Clarets run riot at Selhurst Park
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The game was over after 10 minutes. On the 4th minute, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson opened the scoring with a wonderful curling shot just inside the Crystal Palace penalty area. 

Burnley doubled their lead five minutes later, when Jay Rodriguez rose highest in the penalty area to nod home the Clarets' second. 

The visitors wrapped up all three points just after half time, thanks to a sweet volley from Matthew Lowton which cannoned past Vicente Guaita, as Sean Dyche's side equaled their highest scoring Premier League away win in history at Selhurst Park.

The match

Burnley attacked from the first kick of the ball, with Sean Dyche taking note of the fact that Crystal Palace’s Achilles' Heel has been conceding early goals at an alarming rate in recent weeks. Burnley were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes.  

On the 4th minute, Erik Peters whipped a tantalsing ball into the box, that created confusion between Scott Dann and Patrick van Aanholt.

The ball proceeded to balloon off Dann and fall to Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson. The winger took one touch, twist and turned inside the box, before picking out the far left-hand corner by bending a shot out of the reach of Vicente Guaita and giving the Clarets the lead after less than five minutes on the clock.  

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The game rapidly went from bad to worse for Roy Hodgson’s side, with Jay Rodriguez doubling the Clarets’ lead on the 9th minute. Again, it was a ball into the box which created a frenzy in the Palace area. Dwight McNeil’s pinpoint corner led to confusion amongst the Palace defence, as Jay Rodriguez rose highest to nod home Burnley’s second and shocking Palace in submission.  

Palace finally woke up on the 25th minute, when Christian Benteke broke past James Tarkowski and set his sights firmly on goal. Benteke took one touch inside the area to set himself up, before crashing a shot against the legs of Nick Pope

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Palace continued to probe Burnley’s goal, with Jordan Ayew next in line to try his luck. With Jairo Riedewald surrounded by yellow shirts every time he received the ball, he did well to pick out Ayew on the edge of the box. 

Ayew hammered his effort towards goal, but saw his shot blocked by a sea of Burnley bodies.

The second half

Burnley started the second half in a similar vein to how they began the first 45, with a goal. However, there was nothing Palace could do about the unbelievable strike from Matthew Lowton.  

The right-back started the move off himself, picking the ball up from just inside the center circle. He breezed past one, then two, then three Palace players before playing the ball inside to Jay Rodiguez, who spotted Lowton continuing his run.  

Rodriguez chipped the ball over the entire dumfounded Palace defence for the onrushing Lowton, who at the first attempt, volleyed the ball viciously past Guaita; scoring his first goal for the club and it was the first time Burnley had scored three Premier League goals away from home since November 2019.  

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Palace were stunned.  

The Clarets continued to dominate Palace, with Dwight McNeil causing both Nathaniel Clyne and Van Aanholt problems. McNeil played a delightful ball into Ashley Barnes, who in turn picked out Ashley Westwood, but the midfielder failed to find the target with his long-ranged strike from outside the area.  

Palace had an opportunity to spare some of their blushes on the 75th minute, when Andros Townsend broke behind the Burnley defence.

Clyne sent a cross into the Burnley box for Townsend, who had darted into the area. Townsend took a heavy touch and hammered his effort over the bar.  

Palace continued to probe but lacked any form of cutting edge to get back into the game. The win moved Sean Dyche’s side 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

For Roy Hodgson’s side, they continue to fall down the league table, with only West Bromwich Albion having conceded more goals than the South Londoners this season. 

Palace continue to disappoint without Zaha 

Roy Hodgson called for the remainder of his squad to ‘step-up’ in the absence of Wilfried Zaha, following their lifeless performance away at Leeds United on Monday.  

Palace struggled to create opportunities without their talisman, with Zaha having contributed to 41% of Palace’s goals this season, and continue to look imbalanced, confused and disjointed without their key figure.  

Since 2017, in the 17 games Crystal Palace have played without Zaha, the Eagles have only won 2 games, averaging 0.4 points per game.  

Six of Crystal Palace’s eight wins this season have been recorded against teams with fewer points than them. So, it of course, raises the question once again of Palace’s ability to perform without Wilfried Zaha.