Despite the search for their first Premier League point and goal of the campaign extending, Palace were desperately unlucky not to achieve both on a frustrating afternoon at Burnley.
Chris Wood’s early strike ultimately settled the game in the Clarets’ favour, but Frank de Boer’s team would spend the rest of the match dominating possession, territory and chances but simply couldn’t find a way to force the ball home.
Having carved out 23 opportunities during the encounter, late ones for Christian Benteke and Scott Dann failed to be converted, meaning the Eagles still remain pointless and goalless despite deserving both from this performance.
Things began disastrously for Palace as they fell behind after just two minutes. There seemed to be little danger when Chung-yong Lee received possession in the Clarets half on the left flank but he attempted a risky backpass towards Wayne Hennessey 50 yards away, but it was far too short and seized upon by Wood who curled the ball home from 25 yards out to punish the South Korean on the occasion of his 100th appearance.
Such a huge setback could have sent Eagles heads dropping, but instead they quickly rallied and had two good opportunities to pull level immediately. Firstly, a Jason Puncheon corner found Dann at the back of the box, and a superb touch and turn allowed the centre-back to fire goalwards but Matthew Lowton cleared off the line, and then Benteke was fractions away from steering in a header from an Andros Townsend delivery.
A lively opening continued when Sam Vokes was next to try and get on the scoresheet but after a good cross by Stephen Ward found the striker he sent also sent a header just wide, and the two teams’ battle for aerial supremacy continued when James McArthur met a Yohan Cabaye corner on 21 minutes but couldn’t test Tom Heaton in the home goal.
However, the England international’s afternoon would end prematurely with 10 minutes of the half remaining as he injured his shoulder collecting a Lee cross, with Nick Pope forced to make his Premier League debut in Heaton’s place, and he would make his first stop in the division in stoppage time when he comfortably saved a deflected Townsend effort from outside the box.
Despite trailing at the break, Palace had created the better opportunities and would have felt hard-done-by at half-time, and even more so following the restart as they found themselves camped in the hosts’ half but unable to penetrate a claret and blue wall that sat deep and soaked up the persistent pressure.
Trying to find something different, De Boer handed Levi Lumeka his professional debut just after the hour mark, but chances continued to be squandered with Jeffrey Schlupp hastily blazing over from the edge of the box, but Hennessey would be next to be called into action when he denied last season’s scourge Ashley Barnes from netting in a third successive game between the sides by pushing away his curling shot on 73 minutes, in what would be the home side's second and final shot on target.
That was a rare foray forward for Sean Dyche’s team though and soon the Eagles were back on the attack, and they came so close to equaliser moments later when some intricate build-up play involving Benteke, McArthur and Townsend created a sight of goal for the Belgian, however his sidefooted effort, destined for the bottom corner, was briliantly saved by the boot of Pope.
The siege on the Burnley goal continued and Dann was denied in similar style to the first half when he was again found at the back post from a corner and blasted towards the target, only to see it scrambled away by James Tarkowski, then Townsend saw a left-footed curler deflected wide before Cabaye had a 30-yarder flapped away by Pope.
But with 90 seconds to go, possibly of the best chance of the game went begging for the Eagles. A clipped pass forwards was nodded into space by Benteke for Cabaye to race onto, and the Frenchman stood up a perfect cross to the back post where Dann was waiting to head in the equaliser, but he sent it wide of the mark to sum up a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for De Boer’s men.
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton (Pope 36), Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Berg Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour (Westwood 82), Brady, Wood, Vokes (Barnes 64). Subs not used: Bardsley, Long, Arfield, Walters.
Palace: Hennessey, Ward, Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Schlupp, McArthur (Riedewald 81), Cabaye, Puncheon, Townsend, Lee (Lumeka 65), Benteke. Subs not used: Speroni, Van Aanholt, Kelly, Milivojevic, Kaikai.