Crystal Palace 2-0 Burnley: Andros Townsend stunner helps hosts end winless streak
Last Updated: 01/12/18 9:29pm
Andros Townsend's stunning strike helped Crystal Palace end a run of eight games without a win with a 2-0 victory over Burnley.
James McArthur (16) gave Palace the lead with a left-footed cross that evaded everyone and went in off the far post and, after the hosts bombarded the Burnley goal without success for much of the second half, Townsend (77) found the top corner with a thumping strike to make sure of the points at Selhurst Park.
Burnley offered little as they succumbed to a fifth defeat in six league games and only the woodwork and some wasteful Palace finishing prevented them suffering a far heavier defeat.
The win was Roy Hodgson's side's first at home this season and lifts them to 14th while Burnley remain in the bottom three.
Max Meyer and Wilfried Zaha were lively from the first whistle for Palace and on three occasions in the first 10 minutes they threatened the Burnley goal.
Zaha skipped past Matt Lowton and his fizzed ball across the box was inches away from being converted by Cheikhou Kouyate, the Ivorian midfielder's goalbound shot was then deflected wide by his own team-mate and, a minute later, Meyer's curling effort was tipped round the post by Joe Hart.
Crystal Palace: Hennessey (6), Wan-Bissaka (6), Tomkins (7), Sakho (7), van Aanholt (7), McArthur (7), Kouyate (7), Milivojevic (7), Meyer (8), Townsend (8), Zaha (8)
Subs: Sorloth (N/A), Schlupp (N/A), Puncheon (N/A)
Burnley: Hart (7), Lowton (5), Long (5), Mee (4), Taylor (5), Lennon (4), Defour (4), Cork (5), Gudmundsson (5), Hendrick (4), Wood (4)
Subs: Brady (5), Vokes (N/A), Barnes (N/A)
Man of the match: Wilfried Zaha
Meyer was involved again for the opening goal, his run across the front post drew attention of defenders and goalkeeper and although he was unable to get a touch, McArthur's low left-footed cross bobbled in off the far post.
Burnley were rocked by the goal and Palace could have doubled their lead soon after as Zaha found Patrick van Aanholt, who burst into the box but found the side netting with his shot.
Meyer curled a left-footed shot just wide as half-time approached but if Sean Dyche hoped his side would come out fighting after the break, he was to be bitterly disappointed.
Palace had seen their opponents frailties in the first period and were unrelenting in their attempts to kill them off when play resumed.
Zaha forced another save from Hart after working space in the area and was then presented with an even better chance after Townsend robbed Kevin Long of possession on the halfway line and played in his strike partner, only for Zaha to fire over with just Hart to beat.
Roy Hodgson named the same XI that began the draw at Manchester United last week.
Meanwhile, Sean Dyche brought in Johann Gudmundsson and Jeff Hendrick with Robbie Brady and Sam Vokes making way. James Tarkowski returned to the matchday squad and took his place among the substitutes.
Luka Milivojevic dragged a shot wide from 10 yards and McArthur then looked certain to score, only for Charlie Taylor to deny him with a goal-saving block as the pressure continued to build.
The game was almost descending into farce as Zaha bent another fine strike beyond Hart, only to see it come back off the underside of the crossbar but with 13 minutes left, Burnley's luck finally ran out.
Kouyate freed Townsend down the right, the forward cut back inside and from the corner of the box, hammered a shot into the far top corner to secure the points in fine style.
- Crystal Palace mustered 29 shots in the game, more than they have managed in any Premier League game since 2003/04.
- Burnley have enjoyed just two wins in their last 19 Premier League games (D5 L12), after winning five in a row before that run.
- Crystal Palace registered their first victory in their last nine Premier League games (D3 L5).
- Burnley haven't won any of their last 22 away top-flight matches in December (D7 L15) since a 1-0 win in December 1969 against West Bromwich Albion.
- In league competition, Burnley have won just one of their last 13 away matches against Crystal Palace (D6 L6).
Man of the match - Wilfried Zaha
Nominally playing up front with Townsend, Zaha spent much of his time out on the left before driving at an increasingly nervy Burnley defence.
He may not have ended up on the scoresheet - and certainly could have done better on a couple of occasions - but he did little wrong with an effort that came back off the bar and, along with Meyer and Townsend, set the tone for Palace's performance.
A constant menace and if he can maintain this form, Palace should not have to wait as long for their next league win.
The midweek round of Premier League fixtures see Palace travel to rivals Brighton on Tuesday while Burnley have an extra 24 hours to prepare for a home clash with Liverpool on Wednesday.