Early goals in both halves helped Burnley to an impressive 3-0 away win at Crystal Palace, almost doubling their away goals tally for the season in one afternoon.
It was a speedy start as Johann Berg Gudmundsson (5) and Jay Rodriguez (10) fired Burnley into a quick two-goal lead, with Sean Dyche's side scoring in the opening half of a Premier League game for the first time in 2021.
Matt Lowton (47) then sent home a wonderful half volley just after the break. The only blemish on Burnley's afternoon was an injury for captain Ben Mee, who was stretchered off late on after taking an inadvertent shoulder to the head from Jordan Ayew.
- Match stats | How the teams lined up
- Premier League table | Premier League top scorers
- Premier League fixtures | Premier League results
Burnley later tweeted that Mee was up and about after his injury scare and Dyche confirmed to Sky Sports that he had not made a concussion substitution, saying: "It wasn't another change situation, we just didn't think he was concussed and therefore, we were just trying to do it right. If he's not concussed, he's not concussed so we just did a normal sub."
Good news: Skipper Ben Mee is up and about after his injury scare 🙌— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) February 13, 2021
Burnley scored as many goals at Selhurst Park on Saturday as they had in their previous 10 away league games combined, taking their tally for away Premier League goals this season from five to eight.
It was an ultimately disappointing Palace performance to mark Roy Hodgson's 350th Premier League game as a manager, mustering just three shots on target. They stay in 13th while Burnley go above Brighton and Newcastle into 15th, now 11 points clear of the bottom three.
How Burnley cruised to victory at Selhurst Park
Burnley took the lead inside five minutes at Selhurst Park after some terrible defending from Crystal Palace. Erik Pieters fired an inviting cross in from the left, with Scott Dann and Patrick van Aanholt unable to sort themselves out to clear. Gudmundsson then picked up the ball, ran to the space behind before firing a low shot past Vicente Guaita.
Shortly after, Ashley Barnes saw an effort deflected behind for a corner, which was delivered perfectly by Dwight McNeil. It was Rodriguez who made the contact, sending a header home from close range to double Burnley's lead with less than 10 minutes played.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Clyne (7), Dann (6), Kouyate (6), Van Aanholt (6), Milivojevic (6), Riedewald (6), Eze (6), Ayew (6), Batshuayi (5), Benteke (6).
Subs used: Townsend (7), Mateta (6).
Burnley: Pope (6), Lowton (7), Tarkowski (7), Mee (7), Pieters (7), Gudmundsson (7), Westwood (7), Cork (7), McNeil (8), Barnes (7), Rodriguez (7).
Subs:Long (6), Bardsley (6).
Man of the match: Dwight McNeil.
Crystal Palace improved after the early one-two punch, but their two shots on target in the half were weak from Christian Benteke. His first from the top of the area went straight at Nick Pope. However, his second showed some great control in the build-up but his eventual strike was seen away strong by Pope's outstretched foot.
Burnley began the second half as they had the first, adding a third inside two minutes. Lowton started the move himself, driving down the right and easily skipping past the challenge of Van Aanholt. He then squared the ball to Rodriguez at the top of the area and the striker chipped a lovely ball over the top for Lowton. It was then a wonderful half-volleyed finish from the defender, scoring his first Premier League goal in 158 games.
- Crystal Palace made three changes. Gary Cahill, Tyrick Mitchell and Jean-Philippe Mateta dropped to the bench with Cheikhou Kouyate, Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi coming into the XI.
- Burnley made one change from their last Premier League outing - Matej Vydra replaced by Jay Rodriguez. The striker is one of three players who keep their spots from the midweek defeat to Bournemouth in the FA Cup, alongside Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Dwight McNeil.
Burnley continued to probe for another as the half continued. Guaita made a much-needed save just after the hour as Barnes' strike was deflected goalwards by Cheikhou Kouyate, but it landed safely in the goalkeeper's hands. Just after, Ashley Westwood tried his luck from the same range but his effort went wide, hitting the stanchion behind the goal.
Palace's best chance of the half came from another good delivery from Nathaniel Clyne on the right, but Andros Townsend could only send the resulting effort flashing over the crossbar on the angle.
Soon after, the game was brought to a halt after Mee was inadvertently caught in the face by Ayew's shoulder as the Palace forward drove goalwards. After around five minutes, Mee was conscious but taken off the field on a stretcher, with Kevin Long coming on - Sean Dyche later confirming that it was not made as a concussion substitution. Almost immediately after play restarted, Pieters also went down with a pulled muscle, forcing Burnley into another injury substitution.
Crystal Palace's best spell of the game came in the final few minutes, putting plenty of pressure around the Burnley area, but the visitors defended resolutely and deservedly came away with three points.
Man of the match - Dwight McNeil
It was another wonderful performance from McNeil. He was the driving force behind Burnley's performance and barely put a foot wrong with his set-piece delivery.
He picked up an assist for the afternoon with his corner for Rodriguez's headed second, ending with an 88.9 per cent passing accuracy in the opposition half - level with Gudmundsson.
What the managers said
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: "Once again, we give ourselves an enormous problem by conceding goals so early in the game. They started well, we certainly didn't and suddenly we're 2-0 down with eight minutes gone.
"I'm hoping in the second half, we'd put a few things right, start to maybe play a bit more football and maybe, with some luck, claw ourselves back into the back.
"But we concede within two minutes of the second half, a third goal. Then of course, you're playing against Burnley, who are a very good team, they are particularly good at what they do.
"Once again, just like after the Leeds game, I can do nothing but stand here and admit we were beaten by a better team and we have to be disappointed that we couldn't do better ourselves.
"I thought they were very strong throughout the game in terms of their attacking and defending play. I didn't really think we were strong enough, even though we did get ourselves back into the game a little bit better in the latter parts of the first and second half. But it was never going to be anywhere near enough.
"At the moment, we're playing without four of our better players. We're not making a big thing about that, but it does help when you have all the players you want in your team available. That's not what we've had in the last couple of games and unfortunately, we are making defensive errors and they're being punished."
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said: "We've put in a lot of effort this season. We've had a lot of injuries, it's stretched us and these good moments, when you come away from home in the Premier League and get a win, it lifts everyone.
"There was energy and tempo to our play that we intended on. I thought the front two [Barnes and Rodriguez] were excellent today. Some of the work they put in, it wasn't always the cleanest but it was the awkwardness of it, it helps your team. There were big performances [from the whole team].
"I got questioned in the week for changing the team, but you could see the energy of the side today. The tempo we played at, the physical energy was there and the performance followed with a very good win as well.
"He [Mee] is fine. It's tough now. Everything has to be wrapped around everything to make sure people are well, of course. Then it's a strange thing when he comes walking past us, but I was pleased to see that."
- Crystal Palace have lost 18 of their last 20 Premier League games in which Wilfried Zaha hasn't played, with the Eagles failing to score in 16 of those 18 defeats.
- It was the first time Burnley had netted three goals in an away league game since November 2019 (3-0 v Watford).
- Burnley's Jay Rodriguez has scored five league goals against Crystal Palace, only versus Nottingham Forest (6) has he bagged more in his career.
- Burnley defender Matt Lowton scored his first Premier League goal since April 2013 versus Stoke City - seven years and 313 days ago.
Live Premier League
Crystal Palace are back on Sky Sports on Monday February 22 when they take on Brighton; kick-off 8pm. Burnley's next two fixtures will also be live on Sky Sports, hosting Fulham on Wednesday - kick-off 6pm - before welcoming West Brom on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.