Burnley’s pursuit of European soccer subsequent season continued as Ben Mee’s diving header gave them victory at Crystal Palace.
The Clarets’ skipper threw himself in to fulfill an Ashley Westwood free-kick and steer an effort previous Vicente Guaita, though the house keeper ought to actually have saved it.
It was reward for a Burnley aspect who had been with out three injured forwards and once more named solely seven substitutes, however had been marginally the extra constructive of the 2, with Dwight McNeil displaying flashes of inspiration within the last third.
Palace had Wilfried Zaha match after he limped out of their earlier sport, at Liverpool 5 days in the past, however his was a subdued show, like the remaining of his fellow dwelling forwards.
Their greatest likelihood fell to defender Gary Cahill, who fired straight at Nick Pope from contained in the field.
Burnley’s win takes them to 45 factors and lifts them as much as eighth within the Premier League desk – a league place that might nicely end in a Europa League place if Manchester City’s European ban is upheld.
Palace, who additionally held out hope of a late surge for a European place, are actually 11th within the desk, three factors worse off than tonight’s opponents.
Mee epitomises Burnley resolve
It has been a troublesome resumption for Burnley, however they proceed to seek out methods to confound expectation.
Their first sport again noticed them crushed 5-Zero at Manchester City on an evening overshadowed by a aircraft flying over the Etihad and organized by some of their followers, pulling a “White Lives Matter” banner.
The group have additionally needed to make do with simply seven substitutes, in consequence of accidents to key gamers and the failure to safe contract extensions with different first-team regulars.
Phil Bardsley, recent from signing a brand new deal, was restored to the aspect at Selhurst Park, however they had been once more with out Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart, and misplaced Jack Cork to harm in the course of the sport.
This, although, is a second successive 1-Zero win for Sean Dyche’s group, constructed upon a rock stable defensive show and the ruthlessness to grab upon an enormous likelihood when it got here.
Captain Mee has stood tall for his aspect each on and off the pitch because the restart.
It was he who got here out to passionately and eloquently condemn the banner flown by Clarets followers on the Etihad and he who caught his head in the place it hurts to attain his aspect’s winner at Selhurst Park.
He additionally contributed fantastically to yet one more clear sheet. That is 13 for the season now – solely newly-crowned champions Liverpool have extra.
Dyche could not have the largest squad, however the gamers he does have are full of character and resolve.
Palace fail key take a look at
It was no shame for Palace to have been dismantled at Liverpool of their earlier sport. Most groups have left Anfield on the again of a hiding this season.
Prior to that they’d received 4 on the bounce to propel themselves into the place to make an unlikely late dart for a European spot.
Tonight was a greater gauge for the place Roy Hodgson’s aspect are at – they usually had been largely discovered wanting.
Their organisation is well-established – previous to the defeat at Liverpool they’d received 4 on the bounce with out conceding – however with the onus on them to discover a option to unlock their opponents they’d little to supply.
Zaha was shackled fantastically by the mixture of Bardsley and Josh Brownhill, Andros Townsend did little and Jordan Ayew headed the very best likelihood that got here his means over the bar.
The Palace ahead additionally planted an arm into the face of Brownhill, prompting a VAR evaluation for a potential pink card, however the video officers sided in his favour.
European qualification just isn’t fully past Roy Hodgson’s aspect this season, however this was an enormous take a look at of their suitability and one they failed.