Crystal Palace walked away 1-0 victors at home to Burnley on Saturday after a nervy second half.

By 90Min
January 13, 2018

Crystal Palace walked away 1-0 victors at home to Burnley on Saturday after a nervy second half.

For all intents and purposes, the home side should’ve had the game wrapped up by half-time after dominating the first-half and scoring through in-form forward Bakary Sako.

Burnley mounted an admirable resurgence in the second half to steal an equaliser but were met by a typically well-organised Roy Hodgson defence.

Crystal Palace dominated the first half, with great linking up play between Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke and Sako, who all had great chances to score.

Palace had a penalty shout early on after Sako went down with a challenge from James Tarkowski. 

Referee Michael Oliver waved play on, despite replays showing that first contact from Tarkowski may have been on Sako’s foot rather than the ball.

But Palace soon got their deserved first goal as Christian Benteke flicked the ball on first time to Sako, who cut inside from the left wing and hit it hard and low into the net.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope got a foot on the ball but couldn’t put enough behind it given the power it was struck with.

The home side very nearly stole a quick second as Benteke did the same again, this time for Zaha on the right. The Ivorian tried to lob the Burnley ‘keeper, but his effort was cleared off the line by Ben Mee.

What followed was a second half of great chances for Palace and sporadic efforts for Burnley, with Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes both having squandered rare chances to equalize.

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Sako almost scored a second that would’ve bettered his goal against Brighton in the FA Cup earlier this week, as a looping cross from Zaha was his first-time on the volley only for it to cut across goal and into the crowd.

Burnley’s first-half frustrations started to show as Steven Defour was booked for a kick out on Zaha.

Crystal Palace’s pressure was ever-present in the second half, with a great block from Charlie Taylor the only thing that stopped Wilfried Zaha giving Palace a two-goal cushion.

Burnley’s new loan-signing from Tottenham, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou came on, playing a pivotal role on the left-flank against Timothy Fosu-Mensah who had been in top form in the first-half.

The visitors started to get more into the game as after the hour mark, gradually taking a greater share of possession and asking questions of a Crystal Palace defence that had barely been tested until that point.

Giving credit where it’s due, Palace’s defense did a stellar job of keeping out the building number of Burnley presses.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Burnley’s best chance of the second half came as Ashley Barnes was through on goal but had his attempt saved by Wayne Hennessey.

Seconds later, an incident involving Zaha being barged into one of the TV camera by Taylor prompted an argument between several players from either side during which Taylor was booked.

The tensions kept rising as a second goal could have come from either side, keeping the Eagles fans in their usual loud and high spirits.

Benteke had a chance to bury Burnley under that second goal as he ran through the defense but waited too long to get the shot away and ended up hitting the side netting, only increasing the home fans nerves.

The result puts Palace up into 12th for the day, while Burnley remain in seventh.

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