Three things we learned from Crystal Palace - Burnley
Crystal Palace - Burnley was a totally one-sided encounter as the Clarets hammered the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
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Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez put Burnley 2-0 up early on and Matthew Lowton finished off the win in style early in the second half.
With the win Burnley move up to 15th place in the table and are on 26 points, 11 points above the relegation zone. Palace are just two places and three points above them.
Three things we learned
1. Palace limping towards transition: Roy Hodgson and this aging Palace squad have done very well to be a solid mid-table team in recent seasons. Change is coming this summer, though. It remains to be see if Hodgson will be around to usher in that new era, as an injury-hit Palace squad are limping towards a huge transition period. They tried that in the past with Frank de Boer but it went badly wrong, but this time it is more about getting high earners off the wage bill and freshening things up. Palace have 12 players out of contract this summer and they’ve won just three of their last 13 games. They should be clear of relegation trouble and as soon as that is confirmed, they will start planning for a huge overhaul this summer. Their American owners own the Philadelphia 76ers too, so Palace fans will have to learn to trust this process...
2. Burnley back on track: They have looked more like themselves for several months now and the Clarets are looking up towards the top 10 rather than over their shoulder at the bottom three. Their biggest win of the season equalled their biggest-ever away win in the Premier League and this was a case of Burnley just wanting it more. They were dominant in every aspect of the game and were hungry. Any lingering doubts of being dragged into a relegation battle are now over.
3. Ben Mee’s positive injury update: The Burnley skipper went down after Jordan Ayew accidentally ran into his head/neck and it looked like he lost consciousness. Things were looking very bad for Mee as he was carried off the pitch and Burnley used their concussion sub. But the club have released a statement saying Mee is up walking on his own and was not transported to hospital. That’s great news and a lot more positive than many were expecting.
Man of the Match: Dwight McNeil - So many superb deliveries into the box and he has the quality Burnley need in attacking situations.
The Clarets came flying out of the traps and were quickly 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes.
A cross from Erik Pieters on the left caused problems between Scott Dann, Vicente Guaita and Patrick van Aanholt and Gudmundsson nipped in to control, steady himself and fire home to make it 1-0.
Dwight McNeil’s corner from the right moments later found Rodriguez in the six yard box and he headed home to double Burnley’s lead.
At the other end Christian Benteke was twice denied by Nick Pope, while Ben Mee should have probably made it 3-0 to Burnley before the break.
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The Clarets did make it 3-0 a few minutes after the break, as Lowton volleyed a superb effort home to wrap up all three points in style.
Palace never looked like getting back into the game and Rodriguez went close to scoring his second and Burnley’s fourth as they threatened to add even more gloss to a resounding win.
Ben Mee was carried off the pitch after a nasty head and neck injury, as the Burnley captain looked to have lost consciousness but regained it by the time he was stretchered off the pitch. A positive statement released by the Clarets suggests their skipper will make a quick recovery.