Burnley 3-2 Crystal Palace: Late Ashley Barnes strike puts Clarets ninth
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 06/11/16 9:12am
An injury-time strike from Ashley Barnes sealed a 3-2 win for Burnley against Crystal Palace at Turf Moor on Saturday.
The home side had appeared to be cruising towards a comfortable victory when leading 2-0 at the break thanks to early goals from Sam Vokes, after just 78 seconds, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
However, Palace boss Alan Pardew's double substitution just before the hour-mark paid immediate dividends, with striker Connor Wickham reducing the deficit with his very first touch.
When Christian Benteke converted an 81st-minute penalty, it appeared as though the spoils would be shared, only for Barnes to make a last-gasp intervention.
As a result, Burnley have jumped up to ninth in the Premier League table following their fourth home win of the season, while Palace have slipped to 15th after picking up only one point from their last six league games.
The Clarets made two changes from last weekend's heroic goalless draw at Manchester United, with influential Belgian midfielder Steven Defour back after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, on-loan Liverpool left-back Jon Flanagan made his first Premier League start for the club in place of the hamstrung Stephen Ward.
However, boss Sean Dyche opted to continue with just Vokes in attack, meaning forward Andre Gray had to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench, along with the fit-again George Boyd.
As for the visitors, Pardew opted to make three alterations from last Saturday's 4-2 loss at home to Liverpool, with Damien Delaney, Jason Puncheon and Andros Townsend all recalled to the starting line-up as he sought to end a run of three straight league defeats.
But Palace could not have made a worst start to the match after falling behind after just two minutes, and Pardew will be furious with the opening strike, coming as it did after his side had won a first-minute corner.
Much as they did in their 2-0 home win against Liverpool earlier in the season, though, Burnley were at their most dangerous when their opponents were attacking.
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After losing the ball from that early set play, Jeff Hendrick broke upfield at pace, before feeding Gudmundsson in the box, who in turn crossed to the unmarked Matthew Lowton at the far post.
And after Steve Mandanda had parried the right back's low shot, Vokes was there in the right place to tap in from virtually on the goal line for his third goal in his previous four league games.
Palace came close to equalising just before the quarter-hour mark, but found Tom Heaton once again in imperious form as the England international kept out Wilfried Zaha's close-range effort.
However, seconds later Burnley had doubled their lead as Vokes picked out Gudmundsson's run, although the Iceland international still had much to do before beating Mandanda with a low shot from the left-hand edge of the area that the Frenchman got hands to, but was unable to keep out.
The contest was turned on its head, though, as Pardew introduced Wickham and switched around wingers Zaha and Townsend, with the former then creating a goal for the substitute with an inch-perfect right-wing centre.
After that, it was all Palace and it came as no surprise when the visitors deservedly levelled matters nine minutes from time after another pacy counter, this time following a Burnley corner.
On this occasion it was Townsend who created the goal as the wide man's left-wing cross was handled by Lowton, with referee Anthony Taylor wasting no time in pointing to the spot
Benteke kept his cool from by sending Heaton the wrong way after his usual two-step run-up and at that stage, if any team looked like going on and claiming the win, it was the Eagles.
However, in the fourth minute of stoppage time Burnley once again caught their opponents on the break, this time after a Palace free kick was launched into the box.
After the home side had cleared their lines, though, they caught Palace out on a two versus one, with Gudmundsson crossing for Barnes to smash home his first goal since the 2014-15 season from six yards out.
Incredibly that was not the end of the drama as right from the re-start, and in the fifth and final minute of injury time, the ball dropped to Townsend on the edge of the area, only for his sweetly struck volley to beat the motionless Heaton, but strike the inside of the post and bounce to safety.
Burnley: Heaton (8), Lowton (7), Keane (6), Mee (9), Flanagan (6), Arfield (6), Defour (7), Marney (6), Hendrick (7), Gudmundsson (7), Vokes (8)
Subs: Barnes (8), Boyd (7), Tarkowski (6)
Crystal Palace: Mandanda (6), Ward (6), Dann (6), Delaney (6), Kelly (6), McArthur (6),Cabaye (6), Townsend (8), Puncheon (6), Zaha (8), Christian Benteke (7)
Subs: Ledley (6), Fryers (6), Wickham (7)
Man of the Match: Ben Mee