Burnley 1-0 Palace
A late Junior Stanislas goal stole the points for Burnley as Palace failed to take advantage of their second half dominance. As the Eagles hunted a winner Damien Delaney got caught in possession and the resulting cross dropped to the former Hammer on the edge of the box who, under zero pressure, curled the ball into the top right hand corner.
Burnley were the better team in the first half, however, it was Palace who created the best chances with Grant twice saving expertly from Zaha and a deflection respectively. Murray also went close from eighteen yards whilst the home team could only muster up half chances at the other end.
The second half was a completely different story as Palace dominated possession only to lack the killer punch, seeing us fail to score in a league game for only the second time this season. Our luck in front of goal was summed up when Zaha was felled twenty five yards from goal, an identical position to which Moritz curled in his first free kick versus Wolves. Fifteen seconds earlier the Brazilian was replaced by Williams. “It just didn’t happen for us today” said Parish after the game, summing the day up perfectly.
After every Palace loss there is an element of doom and gloom amongst a section of Palace fans and yesterday was no different. There was even a drunken Palace fan at Burnley Manchester Road singing “Holloway’s a c**t, he’s ruined our team.” Obviously this very same fan was probably calling for Freedman’s head after three games but now he is suggesting that Freedman was the absolute bollocks? 3 losses in 24. It was not long ago when we were saying 3 wins in 24. Football fans are a funny breed at times.
For only the third time this season (first three games excluded) we were put under immense amounts of pressure via cross after cross. Barnsley away and Hull away were the other two times. Every time that Burnley, much like Barnsley and Hull, won possession they immediately looked wide. There were no attempts to penetrate through the middle. This is the way to get at us.
Zaha and Bolasie will track back and are competent defenders for wingers. However, they will not track back over and over. Teams that vary the way they attack us i.e. a mixture of going wide and through the middle, play into Zaha’s and Bolasie’s defensive strengths. When the attacks are coming through the middle it gives them an opportunity to rest, giving them the energy to defend the time that we are attacked down the flanks. When teams have been persistent down the flanks, Wilf and Yala will defend only 50% of the time meaning that the full back is defending two and often helpless in stopping a cross coming into the box. If Charlie Austin was on the field yesterday, the game would have been out of sight in the first half.
The reason we were a lot more successful in the second half is that we made them play through the middle in the second half by dropping Bolasie and Zaha five yards therefore cutting off the angle for the wide pass from Burnley players. When teams have to try and go through the middle they have to go through Jedinak and we all know how that ends.
“We have to look at our away mentality. We were far too open in the first half... our positioning wasn’t good enough” said Holloway.
Having Moritz on the field away from home does not help. I am a huge Moritz fan, however, in an ideal world he would start at Selhurst and act as an impact sub away from the home of football. Garvan reads the game better than Moritz in a defensive sense. Owen does a lot of work off the ball to shut off passes, not by closing the player on the ball down but by closing off the availability of a pass. Moritz does not do this thus we invite more pressure. Away from Selhurst, Garvan is going to be a big loss.
For the first time in the league we also had to deal with the absence of KG. How did O’Keefe do? He had a solid enough game, however, the understanding is not there with Jedinak (yet). At times Mile was trying to do much. He was over compensating and almost trying to do two players job. Once an understanding between O’Keefe and Jedinak develops this will not be a problem, however, until this understanding develops we may not be as solid as we have been in the middle of the park.
On another day one of our many blocked shots deflects in, we nick the three points and sit second in the league and everyone is happy. The performance would have been exactly and all would have been hunky dory. In a long Championship a lot of luck is required. During our long unbeaten run we had our fair amount of luck and this has been deserting us a little in the past seven or eight games. It will return and so will the results as the performances are still there.
For the rest of the season look at the stats from games at Turf Moor. I doubt you will see a team go there and enjoy 58% of the possession like we did. Keep the faith, the tides will turn again.
Man of the Match: Peter Ramage
There were not many standout performances going forward. With the amount of crosses that came into our box and were effectively dealt with it makes sense that a centre back should take the plaudits this week.
Delaney was probably shading it going into the last ten minutes, however, his error that led to the goal sees him miss out.
There is nothing glamorous about Peter Ramage. He is what he is, a decent higher end Championship centre back and since the Cardiff home game he has been very solid.
“Fuck Off, Mourinho! Ramage is ours!”
Brilliant from the Palace fans. Constant singing from beginning to end which had players (see Blake tweet below) and Burnley fans alike complimenting us on all the Social Networking sites.
For the first time in a while at an away game there was a pretty big HF contingent and this naturally aided the atmosphere and encouraged the constant singing that we all crave at an away game. If I am not coming back from up north with a sore throat, it has probably not been worth it.
Darcy Blake: “Palace fans behind me haven’t stopped singing yet. Great support #cpfc”
Yannick Bolasie: “Gutted we didn’t get a point or even 3 but hey that’s football we just got to keep going #cpfc #cpfcfamily #ontothenext
Matt Parsons: “Pissed that we lost... on to the next one.”
Steve Parish: “Disappointing result, good effort from everyone just didn’t happen for us today.”
Back to cup duties next. Stoke away. They are probably going to be hurting after the beating that Chelsea gave them. Do they have a response in them? We will find out.
Come on you Palace.