Point at Palace but Penalty Paid!
Saturday 13th September 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
A point on the road is valuable in the Premier League so our 0-0 result at Palace on Saturday was welcome but it could so easily have been three had Scott Arfield not missed a late penalty. The match was billed as a bottom of the table battle with a result vital to both clubs. At the start of this game, Burnley and Palace were sharing the bottom two spots on the same number of points and goal difference with both looking for their first top flight league win of the season. Palace were encouraged by their previous 3-3 draw at Newcastle in their match before the international break whilst the Clarets were also enjoying their first point after earning a 0-0- draw at home to Manchester United. Former Eagles gaffer, Neil Warnock was now also back at the helm and had the chance to pick up his first win at his new club in front of the home support. In the end a 0-0 draw was probably a fair result and although it was now inevitable it would be the last game featured on 'Match of the Day` on Saturday night, it was at least a very entertaining match. Burnley could once again be probably blamed for giving Palace too much respect in the first-half along similar lines to their previous game on the road away to Swansea but at least this time they went into the break without being behind. In the second half, Burnley stepped up a gear and enjoyed large periods of possession but couldn`t make the pressure count. The Clarets looked like they would take maximum points though when Jedinak pulled down Jutkiewicz from a Kieran Trippier free-kick to concede a late penalty. In the absence of Danny Ings who worryingly had been replaced in the first half with a suspected hamstring injury, it was the responsibility of Scott Arfield to step-up and take the spot-kick. To be honest it was a well-taken penalty but Speroni, often a thorn in the Clarets side in past games, pulled off a spectacular save diving to his right and pushing the ball away with one hand to ensure the game ended in stalemate.
The point lifted Burnley to third from bottom with two points from four games. If we could just beat Sunderland at home next Saturday we could be in a good place to start climbing the table and press on with such a relatively easy spell of games coming up.
The big question ahead of this game was which of our three new signings on transfer deadline day would be selected for the starting eleven and make their full debut. The answer was just George Boyd who replaced Matt Taylor. Taylor sat out the game with a slight niggle after picking up a minor Achilles injury and missing training on Friday. New loans, Nathaniel Chalobah and Michael Keane missed out completely as indicated by Sean Dyche during the week so we lined up as follows:
Heaton, Me, Duff, Shackell, Trippier, Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Jutkiewicz, Ings
Subs: Gilks, Wallace, Reid, Ward, Long, Sordell, Barnes
Full Match Report
Mike Dean got the match underway and it was the hosts who started the brighter of the two teams. Zaha created the first chance, cutting the ball back to Delaney. His effort though was deflected for a corner from which Dann headed against the face of the crossbar. Burnley were finding it hard to get out of their own half at this stage and the Eagles pressure continued. The Clarets losing the ball in midfield allowed Zaha to pounce and he charged towards Trippier and got the better of him before unleashing a shot. Heaton managed to parry the shot but the ball rebounded off the back-tracking Shackell. The alert Clarets skipper though managed to hack the ball away off the goalline. Gradually though, Burnley came back into the game and began to exert their own pressure with George Boyd in particular looking lively on his debut. Arfield combined well with Danny Ings before drilling a low ball straight at the hosts` keeper. The game entered a quiet period now but it allowed Burnley to play their passing game and put together some attractive moves. Five minutes before the break though, Burnley lost Danny Ings to what looked like a tight hamstring. Marvin Sordell came on to replace him. It was a sad end to an encouraging half for the Clarets.
The Eagles started the second half just like the first looking like they meant business and they came close to opening the scoring in the 51st minute. Jason Puncheon put over a cross to the far post and Trippier could only clear back across his own goal with a header. The ball luckily though avoided finding the feet of the inrushing Gayle and flew wide of the far post. Palace debutant James McArthur, linked with a move to Turf Moor during the summer volleyed the ball just over the angle with the Clarets defence now being tested to the full. Burnley though now began to take control inspired in particular by the efforts of Scott Arfield. Arfield chasing forward unleashed a thumping, rising drive that forced Speroni into saving with his fingertips. Another run from Arfield just past the hour mark found Sordell who laid off the ball to David Jones. Jones though could only shoot directly at the keeper. Arfield was in all the action it seemed now. This time he latched onto the perfect pass from Tripper after his initial free kick had been blocked. Beating his marker on the right side of the box, he tried to curl the ball past Speroni but did not quite get the right purchase. If anybody deserved to score it was Arfield and he was presented with the ideal opportunity six minutes from time. A free-kick from Jones floated over into the box where Jedinak cynically brought down Jutkiewicz giving referee, Mike Dean no option but to point to the spot. Regular penalty taker Danny Ings was no longer on the pitch so upstepped Scott Arfield to place the ball on the spot. He belted the ball on target too but somehow Speroni pulled off a remarkable save flinging himself to the right and saving one-handed. It wasn`t going to be our day and we had to settle for a point in the end, a point that but for the penalty miss would have been gratefully accepted ahead of the game. Let`s hope those missed couple of points won`t come back to haunt us.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Mariappa, Dann, Campbell (Doyle 60), Zaha (Bolasie 68), Jedinak, Gayle (Williams 73), McArthur, Delaney, Puncheon
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Fryers, Ledley, Kelly
Booked: Yellow Cards for Puncheon 56, Jedinak 83
Burnley: Heaton, Me, Duff, Shackell, Trippier, Boyd, Marney, Jones, Arfield, Jutkiewicz, Ings (Sordell 42)
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Wallace, Reid, Ward, Long. Barnes
Booked: Yellow Cards for Ings 4, Sordell 52, Boyd 92
Possession: 45% Crystal Palace, 55% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)