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Match Reports

Report: Rampant Palace fire three past Burnley

Burnley 1-3 Crystal Palace

2 March 2019

Things were the exact opposite for Crystal Palace when they faced Burnley for the second time this season.

It was the opposite leg of the fixture played at the opposite end of the country. It was the opposite style of play for Palace, who sat on the back foot compared with their offensive onslaught in December. It was the opposite in terms of its ruthlessness, with Palace netting freely rather than squandering chances in frustration.

One thing that wasn't the opposite, however, was the game's outcome as the Eagles ran out clear and deserving victors over Burnley for the second time this campaign.

Their trio of goals were netted across both halves, with Phil Bardsley scoring into his own net, Michy Batshuayi bagging half an hour of play later and Wilfried Zaha crowning things off striking home late in the game.

The hosts kick-started things with the first effort to warm the cold home crowd's hands, as, from a break down the right, Wayne Hennessey was called to glance a swinging cross over his bar with the tips of his gloves.

Despite Burnley's opening spell of pressure, Palace's contentment with sitting back paid off after barely 15 minutes of play when, charging down the field, Cheikhou Kouyate threaded through Zaha who fizzed a ball across the box.

Seeing it run wide, Jeffrey Schlupp raced to the edge of the area and hurled a cross back towards his teammates. To his own detriment, Burnley's Bardsley stood firmly in its way and the ball cannoned in off his out-stuck leg.

The Clarets looked to respond minutes later through Ashley Barnes, but Scott Dann's deflection was safe and, to Palace's relief, directed the ball out of play. The resulting corner tested them once more, however, and again Hennessey's fingertips were forced to tip a cross to safety.

With Burnley persistent in their determination to equalise, Hennessey justified his selection when he stood strong to deny Chris Wood from only a handful of yards.

Chance after chance tamely followed but the Eagles did as they have all season and defended with resolve.

Perhaps their closest first-half chance came when Jeff Hendrick brought down a lofted ball with his chest before unleashing an effort at goal which cannoned off the head of Patrick van Aanholt to safety. Had the Dutch defender not stood in its way, the shot would undoubtedly have been on target.

Less accurate, though almost as threatening, was Batshuayi's long-range effort at the other end of the pitch which flew over Tom Heaton's goal, alarmingly dipping and fizzing as it did.

Following the break, Palace burst the second-half into life in the 48th minute when Aaron Wan-Bissaka pressed down the right into Burnley's half before switching the ball to Batshuayi in the centre of the box. Handed the chance on a silver platter, the alert Belgian forward struck home from 12 yards with ease to double the Eagles' advantage.

Minutes later, Burnley squandered their most gilt-edged chance to pull a goal back in astonishing fashion as Wood headed the ball to Barnes who, from three yards out, struck the ball over under pressure from Dann.

Playing in a fine spell of form, Schlupp looked to crown off an impressive few months when he let fly from 20-yards, his venomous strike being edged just over by Heaton.

Burnley weren't finished yet, though, and Barnes was next to try to open their account, but his volley from 15 yards sailed wide of Hennessey's goal.

Albeit not in the vein they had been wanting, the host's finish did ultimately come, however, via the mesmeric feet of Zaha, who, having worked his way into Burnley's box, danced and shimmied his way into a shooting position before rifling home with devastating effect. His first and Palace's third ensured the Eagles returned to south London with three points.

Three points secured, the Eagles did still however give Burnley fans something to cheer when Barnes struck home from close range to open their account in the 90th minute.

Despite Palace's two-goal cushion, Barnes' effort still led to a tense conclusion and Peter Crouch almost bagged the Clarets' second to really set things on edge, but Hennessey's overworked fingertips were again the visitor's saviour as he pushed a fine effort wide of his far post.

The travelling Palace fans able to sigh a breath of relief, referee Lee Probert blew his whistle for full time as the south Londoners moved up to 13th in the Premier League table.

Burnley: Heaton, Taylor, Mee, Tarkowski, Bardsley, McNeil (Brady 72), Cork, Hendrick (Guðmundsson 45), Westwood, Barnes, Wood (Crouch 81).

Subs not used: Hart, Lowton, Gibson, Vydra.

Palace: Hennessey, Van Aanholt, Tomkins, Dann, Wan-Bissaka, Schlupp, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Meyer (McArthur 71), Zaha (Townsend 78), Batshuayi (Benteke 83).

Subs not used: Guaita, Ward, Kelly, Ayew.

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