Crystal Palace vs Burnley match report: Scott Arfield’s bad penalty miss can’t blind Burnley to a good point

Crystal Palace 0 Burnley 0: Dyche delighted by first clean sheet on travels in Premier League as Palace see positives too

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The Independent Online

When your previous Premier League campaign produced 18 defeats in 20 away games, any point on the road is worth a celebration. Burnley’s travelling faithful duly acclaimed the draw, while knowing in their hearts that it should have been a rare victory at this level.

Five minutes from the end they were rightly awarded a penalty of the type that should be given more often, when Crystal Palace’s captain Mile Jedinak wrestled Lukas Jutkiewicz into a submission, but golkeeper Julian Speroni pulled off a superb save to deny Scott Arfield from the resultant spot kick.

Arfield remains the scorer of his team’s only goal in five league and cup games this season and he will know better than anyone that they cannot afford to spurn opportunities like that. Last season, Danny Ings and Sam Vokes chalked up 47 goals between them but Vokes is out for up to three more months with a cruciate ligament injury and Ings, booked for diving after only three minutes, went off with a hamstring strain three minutes before half-time.

Any pessimists among the visitors must have feared the worst in the opening ten minutes, but after a spell on the rocks Burnley steadied the ship and found calmer water. Palace’s early storm, it transpired, had soon blown out. Wilfried Zaha, the latest young player to prove that a move to one of the bigger clubs can come too soon after his disappointing year at Manchester United, was outstanding in that period but for the remaining 80 minutes Palace produced far too few genuine chances.

 

As well as the return of a favourite son, Palace welcomed back a father figure in manager Neil Warnock for a first game at a place he has claimed feels like home. He was so happy with life last night that he even praised referee Mike Dean and complained about only the “disgrace” that Yannick Bolasie did not arrive back from international duty with DR Congo until 10am on Friday.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was equally bubbly, all the more so when informed that this was the first time the club had kept a clean sheet away from home in the Premier League. It followed on from one at home to United and was rarely in danger after the opening flurry.

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George Boyd battles with Frazier Campbell for possession

During that period Zaha’s clever turn after receiving a short corner from Jason Puncheon allowed Damien Delaney a shot that he put too high; Scott Dann, Delaney’s fellow centre-half, headed Fraizer Campbell’s cross against the bar; and Zaha went inside on to his right foot to force goalkeeper Tom Heaton to parry before Jason Shackell almost ran the rebound into his own net.

Later in the half, Michael Duff’s weak header went straight to Dwight Gayle, who can sometimes look raw at this level and did so in shooting wildly over the bar when he had time to compose himself. Palace then fell away, like the quality of the game, and Burnley, after producing little for a long time, pushed forward with greater conviction.

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Jason Shackell clears off the line

Arfield, energetic in midfield, hit their first shot on target after more than a hour and, in the 85th minute, Jedinak conceded the penalty following David Jones’s free-kick. It was not badly hit but Speroni cemented his reputation as the most popular Argentinian in this part of the world by pushing Arfield’s effort around the post for a corner.

As often happens, the save galvanised the home crowd and team but, without any more positive outcome than Joel Ward’s shot curled past a post and an unavailing shout for a penalty of their own, they too had to settle for a point.

Line-ups:

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Speroni; Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Puncheon, Jedinak, McArthur, Zaha (Bolasie 69); Campbell (Doyle 61), Gayle (Williams 75).

Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton; Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee; Arfield, Jones, Marney, Boyd; Jutkiewicz, Ings (Sordell 42).

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Scott Dann (Crystal Palace)

Match rating: 5/10

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