Clarets Domination Only Worth a Point at Palace
Saturday 18th September 2010 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley earned a point in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday but how they came away without a win is still baffling Clarets fans considering we basically dominated this game having just over 60% of the possession. You can always tell the way games have gone when the opposition award their man of the match award to their goalkeeper and Julian Speroni was certainly on form in this match although when he was beaten he had to be grateful for the woodwork coming to his rescue on more than one occasion.
This was quite simply our best performance away from home for some time and indeed our best shift this season. At times especially in a purple patch during the second half we were simply sublime and if only we could play like that consistently there would be no stopping us this season.
Brian Laws made one change to the side that went down to a late goal in added time against Boro in midweek with captain, Graham Alexander perhaps surprisingly being dropped and having to be content with a place on the bench. Dean Marney returned to the starting eleven with Jack Cork taking over the holding midfield role. Michael Duff also returned to the eighteen being named on the bench. We therefore lined up as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Marney, Elliott, Wallace, Iwelumo
Subs: Grant, Duff, Cort, Alexander, Paterson, Rodriguez, Thompson
On a nice day in South London, Isle of Man referee, James Linington got the match underway with the Clarets still looking for their first away win of the season and George Burley`s men hoping they could maintain their winning ways after thumping Pompey 4-1 at home in midweek.
It was Palace who showed early promise though with a couple of attempts in the first 5 minutes. First a close range shot by Kieran Djilali from an Alex Marrow cross went over the bar and then Jensen had to save a shot from Neil Danns. The Clarets though now gradually began to take control of this game with Palace in all honesty only able to try and take advantage on the break.
With the match only 20 minutes old, Ross Wallace picked up a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Jay Rodriguez. A great chance then for the young striker to make an impression and he certainly rose to the occasion. If luck had been on our side, he may well have had a hat-trick before the final whistle blew.
Chris Eagles was again on form and looked to terrorise the Palace defence. After 25 minutes, Speroni was tested by a long range effort from Eagles; a shot the Palace keeper could only tip onto the bar.
Despite the best efforts from Jay Rodriguez in particular we just couldn`t get the breakthrough goal we needed with Speroni time-and-time again thwarting our efforts with half-time approaching. 0-0 then after 45 minutes with Clarets fans at this stage perhaps a little edgy despite the encouraging performance. There was this feeling that despite the dominance, Palace may well get the opening goal on the break if our luck, which seemed to be deserting us continued to do so in the second-half.
Brian Laws as expected made no changes for the start of the second half and now re really began to turn the screw in an exciting period that was both classy and pleasing on the eye. With some great runs down the flanks, some superb passing and crossing and numerous attempts on goals this period of about 20 minutes had everything except for one thing, a goal for the Clarets! Eagles had so many attempts on goal I lost count. Speroni had to come to the Eagles rescue yet again (no not Chris`s) when Rodriguez attempted a volley following a good cross from Tyrone Mears.
Palace though still had the tendency on occasion with Burnley pushing forward to catch us out on the break and there was always the fear this would lead to goal for the home side despite our dominance. A goal for them would have been a ridiculous travesty of justice but it was always at the back of your mind with Clarets fans unable to relax as we entered the last quarter of this match.
With 11 minutes to play, the woodwork again came to Palace`s rescue. The impressive Jay Rodriguez unleashed a shot from distance that rattled against the underside of the bar much to the relief of Speroni who this time had been well-beaten by the thumping drive.
There was just time for Palace to have one last attempt to break all Clarets fans hearts. Jensen, who had earlier saved well from the feet of substitute Wilfried Zaha now had to deal with a powerful shot from Neil Danns in the last minute of the game. This time the woodwork came to our rescue with Jensen parrying the shot onto the post.
A goalless draw then in the end but despite the frustrations and the feeling we should have won this game, it was an excellent performance from the Clarets and one in which we can be proud. The point still keeps us in contention although we have now dropped back to 8th spot with 11 points from 7 games. We are however still only three points behind second place, Ipswich although at the moment; league leaders QPR are running away with it after yet another win following their 2-0 victory away to Leicester City. They are now five points clear of Ipswich and eight points ahead of the Clarets.
All we have to do now is continue to play like we did against Palace and do so with consistency and we should be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. Can we do so though? Let`s hope so
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Davis, McCarthy, Danns, Garvan, Dorman (Bennett 61), Cadogan (Zaha 46), Djilali (Andrew 82), Marrow, Vaughan
Subs Not Used: Price, Barrett, O'Keefe, Counago
Booked: Yellow cards for Marrow, Dorman and Davis
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Marney, Elliott, Wallace (Rodriguez 21), Iwelumo (Thompson 70
Subs Not Used: Grant, Duff, Cort, Alexander, Paterson.
Booked: Yellow cards for Mears, Elliott, Carlisle, Fox
Possession: 38% Crystal Palace, 62 % Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Man)