Burnley captain Ben Mee headed in a 62nd-minute winner to earn his side a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace that moved the Clarets up to eighth in the Premier League.

Palace were perhaps fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Jordan Ayew survived a VAR review for a possible red card after catching Josh Brownhill in the face with his forearm.

Sean Dyche's side went ahead through Mee, whose diving header from Ashley Westwood's free-kick really should have been kept out by Vicente Guaita but was only pushed onto the post before going in.

Luka Milivojevic headed over a good chance for the Eagles, who saw Burnley move above them having collected a 13th clean sheet of the season in the process. 

Burnley players were "ashamed" and "embarrassed" that a plane with a banner saying "White Lives Matter Burnley" flew over the Etihad Stadium, according to club captain Ben Mee.

The aircraft was spotted shortly after Burnley and Manchester City players took a knee to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement – a feature of every Premier League game since it returned from its coronavirus stoppage last week.

Burnley issued a statement during the game condemning the banner and promising lifetime bans for those found to be responsible.

Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez each scored twice, while David Silva was also on target in a comprehensive 5-0 victory for City.

Mee said the Clarets were affected by the banner that reflected the views of only a minority of their supporters.

"It made a big impact on our players," Mee told BBC Radio 5 Live. "We, as a group of players, condemn it, we're ashamed, we're embarrassed.

"[It] completely misses the point of what we're trying to achieve as a football community, as a group of players. As a group of players we're really ashamed. It's a minority of our supporters.

"I know I speak for the main part of our supporters that absolutely distance ourselves from any sort of thing like that. It's a real shame to see and it definitely had a massive impact on us to see that in the sky.

"We were embarrassed. We were disappointed, upset, and it misses the whole point of what we're trying to do as a group of players throughout the Premier League and society, and the whole Black Lives Matter movement and community are trying to achieve."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche said the banner was "completely unacceptable" and not reflective of the views of the club or town.

"I heard a plane buzzing and I didn't realise what it was all about. Afterwards, immediately I found out, a couple of lads checked their phone and things had popped up and I found out from our press officer what had gone on. Unacceptable," said Dyche.

"But I don't think it's fair to attach the whole club and the whole town to that. I haven't read the statement - I've been told they've put out an immediate statement. It's completely unacceptable, it's not great, we know that, and especially at this time.

"Maybe my focus is different [to the players]. I was watching the pitch but, look, it's unacceptable, I don't know what else you want me to tell you about that because the players, there's a reality to our playing group and I think they've got a good professionalism but they've also got a good understanding of life as a professional.

"They know when things like that happen it's inappropriate, for one, and unacceptable. The club have made that clear, I'm making that clear, the captain's making that clear.

"I can't tell you whether it affected the players. They didn't mention it at half-time or anything. But I think I'd like to talk about football, as much as anything, and they were excellent tonight, Man City.

"If it did affect the players then hopefully that won't happen again. But I don't want it to take away from the game."

The resumption of football in Europe's top five leagues still appears some way off due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving players with plenty of time to analyse their performances this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking and passing numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of the defence.

We have analysed nine metrics for defenders to have featured in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose defending could use some improvement.

The metrics include success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges, errors leading to shots and goals and how many times a player has been dribbled past by an opponent.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For success rates in duels, tackling and aerial challenges we have only included players who have completed 20 actions in each category, which accounts to two per game.

The below therefore provides a good indication on where improvement is needed, and there are a few surprising names…

 

THE WORST DEFENDING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most tackles lost: William (29)
Worst tackle success: Alexander Hack (40.91 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Robin Koch (3)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: William (32)
Most duels lost: Stefan Lainer (125)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Robin Koch and Sven Bender (56)
Worst aerial success: Christian Gunter (22.86 per cent)

LALIGA:

Most tackles lost: Pervis Estupinan (34)
Worst tackle success: Nacho Monreal (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Joseph Aidoo and Sergio Ramos (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Marc Cucurella (35)
Most duels lost: Marc Cucurella (167)
Worst duel success: Daniel Carrico (40.3 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Didac Vila (55)
Worst aerial success: Xavi Quintilla (25.71 per cent)

LIGUE 1:

Most tackles lost: Boubacar Kamara (33)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Sofiane Alakouch, Timothee Kolodziejczak and Stefan Mitrovic (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Wesley Fofana, Alexander Djiku and Malang Sarr (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Arturo Calabresi (42)
Most duels lost: Issiaga Sylla (161)
Worst duel success: Colin Dagba (40 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Pablo Martinez (59)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Calum Chambers (38.46 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Jan Bednarek, Tyrone Mings, John Egan, Davinson Sanchez and James Tarkowski (4)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Benjamin Mendy (37.38 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Max Aarons (26.09 per cent)

SERIE A:

Most tackles lost: Matteo Darmian (32)
Worst tackle success: Andrea Cistana (40 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Jhon Chancellor, Fabio Lucioni, Jose Luis Palomino, Alex Sandro (2)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Stefano Sabelli (40)
Most duels lost: Giovanni Di Lorenzo (126)
Worst duel success: Hans Hateboer (40.63 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Mattia Bani (57)
Worst aerial success: Jeremy Toljan (28.00 per cent)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most tackles lost: Ricardo Pereira (50)
Worst tackle success: Lionel Carole (34.78 per cent)
Most errors leading to goals: Robin Koch and Jan Bednarek (3)
Most errors leading to shots (including goals): Pervis Estupinan and Fabio Lucioni (5)
Most dribbled past by an opponent: Ricardo Pereira (53)
Most duels lost: Ricardo Pereira (215)
Worst duel success: Julian Ryerson (35 per cent)
Most aerials lost: Ben Mee (84)
Worst aerial success: Hamza Mendyl (17.39 per cent)

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