Burnley 3-2 Palace
Crystal Palace’s run of defeats extended to four at Turf Moor as a late Ashley Barnes strike stopped the Eagles comeback in its tracks. The hosts raced into a two-goal first-half lead only for the visitors to battle back to level late in the second half.
Sam Vokes poked Burnley into the lead after just ninety seconds. A poor Jason Puncheon corner was cleared and Sean Dyche’s men launched a counter attack that shred open Alan Pardew’s men and ended with the Welsh international scoring from close range after Scott Dann and Steve Mandanda failed to clear between them.
Gudmundsson scored twelve minutes later, again on the counter, shortly after Wilfried Zaha had seen an effort brilliantly saved by England stopper Tom Heaton. Once more it was like a hot knife through butter as one pass opened up the Palace defence and Mandanda will undoubtedly be disappointed with his efforts to keep the ball out.
Pardew’s half-time talk and second half substitutions breathed some life into Palace, aided by an exceptional run down the right by Wilfried Zaha, followed by a perfect cross that Connor Wickham finished off with aplomb on the hour.
Andros Townsend then won a penalty as his cross was unnecessarily handled by Matt Lawton. Christian Benteke showed no fear, stuttered his run-up and found the bottom corner.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Yohan Cabaye floated a free kick into the Burnley penalty area. Benteke wins the header but just moments later Burnley are two on one against Joel Ward in the Palace half and Ashley Barnes scores to win the game.
Townsend struck the post with the last kick of the game with Heaton soundly beaten – but the Eagles would have to head back to London with zero points.
Is it time for Pardew to go?
I started joking on Social Media during the game about what Pardew’s post-match press conference would be like – and my jokes were startlingly accurate. He sounds like a broken record, refusing to accept any blame for anything that goes wrong.
"We've made errors for the goals but played well and it frustrates me to say that. It's daft mistakes which have cost us. I think we got carried away at 2-2 and over committed at a set play and it cost us.
"This defeat is a big blow for us because we have some tough games coming up. We're going to have to be strong after the international break and get some results. We dominated and actually played some good football today.
"We don't look like a team that has lost four games, it's been fine margins. We need to cut out these mistakes, and get ourselves to a position where we can see out a game."
Yes we had 62% possession, yes we hit the post, yes Heaton made a great save from Zaha, yes it is fine margins – but this does not get away from the fact that all week you have talked about us working on defending and about us scoring the first goal for us to then laughably fail at both in short order.
As for transition in style, riddle me this. Both of our goals came from counter attacks. The Zaha chance came from a counter attack. The Townsend effort that struck the post came from a lump forward into the penalty area. Where are the fruits of this transition in style? For all of our passing, we would be better off playing 4-4-2 and lumping the ball at Wickham and Benteke as we looked more threatening with that approach in the second half.
I understand the need for this transition, but he has completely overdone it on the attack side, abandoned the defence and we are suffering horribly as a result. This problem isn’t new, it has been a problem for weeks and there seems no desire from Pardew to address it which means that he has to be questioned.
He has been backed in the window, he has players that we could not have dreamed would be at Crystal Palace and players that are certainly man for man far superior to the opposition in this one. Factor in the run of results in the second half of last season and we are looking at a record of 5 wins in 34 games. It is relegation form and our league position is now starting to show this.
I don’t think the board will sack him now. They would be well within their rights to do so based on those numbers but I do not see the point of putting a new manager in for the run of games that we have coming up. We play some serious teams over the next month and it is hard to see where a point is coming from at the moment. If we throw in a new manager now we run the risk of the new man getting off to a shocking start, giving him an uphill battle to win everyone over.
Pardew gets five more games I think. If we are in the relegation zone going into Christmas and our defence is still as leaky as it is now, I do not doubt that the trigger will be pulled.
Yes, he should have done better with the second goal, but calm your horses people. Short memory syndrome is in full affect amongst many Palace fans, some of which are actually calling for Hennessey to return to the first team.
Hennessey had over half a season before people started getting on his back, and that was after a consistent spell of shocking errors. Watch the highlights back and notice the incredible double save at 2-0 that keeps us in the game.
And for those of you suggesting that Mandanda is beyond criticism – behave yourselves. He is being criticised all of the place on the BBS, Holmesdale and all Social Media platforms. So it is clear that he is not immune to criticism. Give the man a fair chance before you start calling for his head.
Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha
Quite simply on a different planet to everyone else on the pitch. His consistency is hitting incredible levels now. His crosses are licking out Palace shirts more than half of the time, his dribbling is far more focused and it is only a matter of time before England recognition comes and a bigger club comes knocking.
To sum up Wilf, take a look at Burnley’s winner – his desire to try and track back to try and prevent the goal in the 93rd minute is admirable and shows his desire to win. Sadly, I do not see that in all of our players and it is worrying.
2-0 and you F***ed it up
Don’t sing this sort of song until the game is over. It was embarrassing having to walk through thousands of Burnley fans singing “2-0 and we f***ed it up” as they laughed at us after the game.
Up Next: Manchester City Home
I almost want to say that we should sack Pardew if we win this one. The reason? I would genuinely rather us beat the like of West Brom and Burnley and lose to City. Beating West Brom, West Ham, Bournemouth Burnley etc shows that we are building towards becoming a solid top half team. Losing to those teams and beating Man City only tells us that City have had a bad day.
Come on you Palace.