EPL

Burnley misery continues as Palace make Clarets pay for lack of cutting edge

By Sports Desk November 04, 2023

Burnley became the first club in top-flight history to lose their opening six home fixtures of a season as Crystal Palace deepened the gloom over Turf Moor in a 2-0 win for the Londoners.

Jeffrey Schlupp put Palace ahead in the 22nd minute and Tyrick Mitchell’s second Palace goal sealed it in stoppage time as Burnley suffered a club-record eighth consecutive top-flight home defeat, a run that dates back to the final two fixtures of the 2021-22 campaign in which they were relegated.

A similar fate will surely await if Vincent Kompany cannot come up with answers quickly as his side again could not find any cutting edge – now without a goal in six of their 11 Premier League games.

It was not for lack of trying – Burnley had 67 per cent possession and 16 shots to Palace’s four – but it was the visiting fans singing loudly at the final whistle as Palace recovered from back-to-back defeats to move into the top half of the table.

Turf Moor was an almost impenetrable fortress during last season’s promotion charge as Kompany’s side won 16 and lost only one of 23 home games and, even when suffering relegation in 2021-22, Burnley lost only eight home league games all season. So far this season there have been no home comforts at all.

Burnley started brightly, with Vitinho winning a corner inside the opening 20 seconds before Zeki Amdouni headed a Johann Berg Gudmundsson ball wide, then narrowly missed the head of Jay Rodriguez – making his first league start of the season – with a cross of his own.

The Clarets were playing some lovely flowing football but without the end product they so badly need and they were punished as one of the best halves of football Burnley have produced this season nevertheless ended with Kompany’s side trailing.

Palace had barely been seen as an attacking force – the most dangerous they had been was when Odsonne Edouard clattered into James Trafford as the Burnley goalkeeper tried to play the ball inside his own goal area, earning a yellow card.

But they got a huge helping hand when Jordan Beyer, back in the Burnley defence after a month out with injury, got himself into a tangle as he tried to play the ball back to Trafford, allowing Jordan Ayew to nick the ball away and play in a low cross for Schlupp to stab home.

It was only the second first-half goal Palace have scored all season, but the 12th conceded by Burnley, the most in the league.

Burnley tried to muster a response. Luca Koleosho controlled Charlie Taylor’s chipped pass with a lovely touch, but Andersen slid in just in time to prevent a shot, and in first-half stoppage-time Koleosho saw a shot palmed over as they tried to catch Sam Johnstone out with a quick free-kick.

Standing in the east Lancashire rain, Kompany tried to inject some energy into his players early in the second half.

Rodriguez headed a deep cross from Dara O’Shea wide but Palace were defending in numbers and leaving no path through.

Roy Hodgson sent on Eberechi Eze, making his return after five weeks out with a hamstring injury, but the hosts stayed on top and should have levelled moments later when Koleosho again burst down the left and pulled the ball back only for Gudmundsson to turn it wide.

Rodriguez had the ball in the net in the 64th minute but did not need the assistant’s flag to tell him he had been offside when Amdouni’s blocked shot fell for him.

Still Burnley kept pushing. Koleosho blazed over before Johnstone tipped over Brownhill’s dipping shot, then saving Rodriguez’s header from the resulting corner.

But it was Palace who had the final say. O’Shea failed to clear a long ball in the corner and Eze laid the ball off for Mitchell to rub salt in Burnley wounds.

Related items

  • Outgoing Brighton boss De Zerbi not walking into new job Outgoing Brighton boss De Zerbi not walking into new job

    Roberto De Zerbi insisted he does not have another job lined up after overseeing his final game as Brighton and Hove Albion boss on Sunday.

    One day after surprisingly announcing De Zerbi's departure, Brighton ended their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 home loss to Manchester United.

    That meant they slipped below rivals Crystal Palace to finish 11th in the table, their first bottom-half placing since finishing 16th in 2020-21.

    De Zerbi has been linked with several big clubs since leading Brighton to European qualification last season, with Bayern Munich, Milan and Napoli touted as possible landing spots for the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk coach.

    However, De Zerbi says he has not reached an agreement with any other club, telling reporters: "There isn't any club – no-one offered me anything. At the moment, nothing.

    "I hope to work in the Premier League again. I don't know where or when, but it was an honour to work in the Premier League."

    Sunday's defeat was De Zerbi's 70th Premier League game in charge of Brighton, with his top-flight win percentage of 37 per cent (26/70) the highest of any boss in the Seagulls' history.

    Battling a lengthy injury list for much of 2023-24, Brighton made a total of 143 changes to their starting lineup throughout the course of the campaign, with only Manchester City in 2019-20 (144) ever making more in a single Premier League season.

    Asked by BBC Match of the Day if there was a particular reason for his exit, the Italian added: "We didn't find the agreement to move on. I want to keep my way. 

    "I know very well what I want to do and I know I am a coach and I have to accept the policies of the club.

    "They gave me an incredible chance. They gave me the possibility to know incredible people, to play and to work in the Premier League, to play in the Europa League. They gave me the opportunity to know this club, this city, these fans and that I cannot forget."

    Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna and Nice coach Francesco Farioli have both been tipped as possible contenders to replace De Zerbi, with Brighton having a reputation for excellent succession planning under owner Tony Bloom.

    Asked about the search for a replacement on Sunday, Bloom said: "We always try and have a plan. We have got a plan. We now need to execute that plan."

  • Mateta 'finishing everything that comes to him' as Palace rout Villa Mateta 'finishing everything that comes to him' as Palace rout Villa

    Jean-Philippe Mateta is "finishing everything that comes to him", according to his Crystal Palace team-mate Eberechi Eze.

    Palace thumped fourth-placed Aston Villa 5-0 at home on the last day of the Premier League season to seal an unlikely top-10 finish, with Mateta scoring a hat-trick and Eze adding two goals of his own.

    They ended the season with a seven-match unbeaten run under Oliver Glasner, who made a huge impact after replacing Roy Hodgson in February.

    Mateta has been a huge beneficiary, as since Glasner's first game in charge on February 24, he has scored 13 Premier League goals, which is more than any other player in the competition.

    He ended the campaign with 16 top-flight goals, putting him level with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Jarrod Bowen in the scoring charts. Only Andrew Johnson has netted more for the Eagles across a single campaign in the competition, when he netted 21 in 2004-05.

    "He is what I'm playing for," Eze said about Mateta, per Palace's official website.

    "He is finishing everything that comes to him, which makes our life a lot easier when I'm playing for him, so it's good.

    "I did come close [to a hat-trick myself], but the most important thing is putting in good performances. We're all going to flourish, we're all going to have games where we score.

    "We're preparing the work and we're doing the work before we go on to the pitch, so we're enjoying it, that's the main thing."

    The match also saw Mateta become just the second Frenchman to score in seven home Premier League home appearances in a row, after Thierry Henry for Arsenal between May and October 2004.

    Eze has also finished the season with a flourish, ending the campaign with 11 goals and four assists.

    Mateta is among those who have called for him to earn a place in the England squad for Euro 2024.

    "Of course it's an honour [to play for your country]," said Eze. "It would be a great experience.

    "I think it is a dream for any player to play in any big tournament. But the main thing, I'm being realistic. It is what it is: if I get a call, I get a call.

    "But the main thing is doing what I need to do for my club, and that's the performance."

    Villa are the first side to concede five or more goals in their first and final matches of a top-flight season since Manchester City in 1962-63, having been beaten 5-1 at Newcastle on the opening weekend.

    But they were magnificent in between those two losses, enjoying a campaign to remember as they qualified for the Champions League, confounding pre-season expectations.

    "Thank you to our supporters because even today they were with us," said Villa boss Unai Emery after Sunday's loss.

    "We achieved our objective on Tuesday [when UCL qualification was confirmed] and we did everything we could with our supporters in Villa Park on Monday [in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool].

    "They were travelling here to be with us, supporting us so we are disappointed with the result, but we have to accept it.

    "We have to be happy and share with our supporters the whole season, not just today. Every match is very important and we lost, but we’d achieved our target.

    "We have to accept it and keep going forward. Now it’s time to rest and try to follow our players with their national teams and prepare as best as possible the next season.

    "We have to enjoy the season we did and we’re very excited for the next season, but we have to take our time now."

  • Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign Howe taking plenty of positives despite frustrating Newcastle campaign

    Eddie Howe was keen to look at the positives after Newcastle United secured seventh place in the Premier League on Sunday.

    Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes were among the goalscorers as Newcastle won 4-2 at Brentford to finish their Premier League campaign.

    The victory ensured a seventh-place finish, and a Manchester City victory over Manchester United in next Saturday's FA Cup final will confirm Newcastle's place in next season's Europa Conference League.

    While this season did not quite live up to the heroics of last term, which saw the Magpies finish in the Champions League spots, Howe still feels it has been a successful campaign.

    "It summed up our season," Howe told BBC Sport. "We weren't totally secure at the back, but great credit to the players. They've done their job - now we wait and see.

    "We anticipated after losing against Manchester United that our control of the [European] situation had gone. It's never a nice situation, but whatever happens, happens.

    "We have issues to solve defensively. If we can do that, next season could be another season of really strong performances. This was a season that could have been better, but a good season overall.

    "We're a really united club. I think we're still moving forward, so there's a lot to be positive about."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.