Chris Wood scores again as Burnley beat Crystal Palace to pile yet more pressure on Frank de Boer

Burnley 1 Crystal Palace 0: Wood scored the only goal of the game to leave De Boer still without a win after four games in charge

Chris Wood scored the only goal of the game after just three minutes
Chris Wood scored the only goal of the game after just three minutes

A manager with a proven track record of maximising a limited squad's potential, one who consistently projects an air of stability but also promises gradual, steady growth. Crystal Palace, here's what you could've won.

Sean Dyche was among the candidates for the Selhurst Park job in the summer and chairman Steve Parish may now scribble his name on a shortlist again sometime this week. The expectation before this game was that should Frank de Boer suffer a fourth defeat in his first four Premier League matches in charge, the “long-term project” he has spoke of in south London would be cut short.

Despite a spirited response to a wretched start, with his side trailing to Burnley for 87 minutes following Chris Wood's early goal, this defeat pushes De Boer closer to the trap door. When reviewing the match with Parish, the Dutchman may correctly claim that Palace were the better side, citing their dominance of possession, their greater number of efforts on goal and how well they limited their hosts after the frantic opening exchanges. Parish, however, need only look to Turf Moor's home dugout for a manager that understands points come before projects in the Premier League.

The pressure is on De Boer after four straight defeats 

After receiving criticism for not tailoring his system to his playing squad, De Boer showed a willingness to adapt, switching his 5-3-2 formation to a 4-3-3 and making three changes in personnel. It was to no avail. His side began in the worst possible manner.

Lee Chung-yong, one of the three changes, was the one at fault for Burnley's opener, the South Korean wilting under the press of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and playing a horrendous back-pass without seeing Wood waiting to pounce.

Dyche's newest recruit collected the stray ball and had the time and space to move closer in on goal. Instead the £15m acquisition from Leeds United took the chance first-time, arcing a delightful finish from range over the on-rushing Wayne Hennessey. Three minutes in and already, De Boer was reminded that he may be unemployed come the morning.

Wood opened the scoring after just three minutes 

To Palace's credit, they sought an immediate response. Scott Dann saw a shot cleared off the line while some around Turf Moor were still celebrating Wood's opener and a Christian Benteke header dropped narrowly wide shortly after, but their attacking endeavours were let down by further defensive frailties. The combative pairing of Wood and his strike-partner Sam Vokes had the early beating of a backline that, despite the change in formation, was racked with tension.

By contrast, after that initial flurry of chances that followed the opening goal, Burnley's defence coped while their guests pressed for an equaliser. Palace became dominant but the Clarets were comfortable, and their only real moment of concern came when Tom Heaton left the pitch with a shoulder problem after emphatically claiming a cross. Nick Pope, making his first Premier League appearance, replaced him and held well when tested by an Andros Townsend effort at the end of the first 45 minutes

Palace pressed but couldn't get an equaliser 

Palace resumed control after the interval but still found it difficult to fashion anything in the way of a clear-cut chance. De Boer appeared to want to ruffle the inexperienced Pope and, as his side grew increasingly desperate for an equaliser, they became less precious about the possession-based approach that their manager intends to foster. Long, high balls onto the head of Benteke proved no more effective, however, and there was not a chance of real note for the opening 25 minutes of the second half.

Once one came, it fell to young Levi Lumeka, thrown on for Palace in place of Lee. The teenager's deflected header skimmed wide for a corner, from which Jeffrey Schlupp was presented with a clear sight of goal. Rather than earn his manager a reprieve, he blazed over.

The game was more open now, at least, and as the minutes ticked by, Burnley began to cede more ground in their own half. A moment's carelessness almost cost them the three points when Benteke bundled through to go one-on-one with Pope, but the stand-in saved well. Several Palace players could have equalised from a corner shortly after, but Burnley blocked and beat the ball away from the goalmouth scramble.

There were yet more corners to come and Cabaye stung Pope's palms with a decent long-range effort, but by far the best chance fell to Dann, who looked certain to level after finding space at the far post. Pope was stranded and only a back-tracking Matthew Lowton had hope of preventing a goal. In the end, he had no need to. From four yards out, Dann somehow nodded wide.

De Boer's position will come under yet more scrutiny

He lay face-down on the turf in disbelief, providing a picture to sum up Crystal Palace's current predicament. No wins, no points, no goals and perhaps now no time left for Frank de Boer to change that either.

Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton (Pope 36); Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Ward; Gudmundsson, Defour (Westwood 82), Cork, Brady; Vokes (Barnes 64), Wood.

Substitutes not used: Walters, Bardsley, Long, Arfield.

Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Hennessey; Ward, Dann, Fosu-Mensah, Sclupp; McArthur (Riedewald 81), Puncheon, Cabaye; Townsend, Lee (Lumeka 65), Benteke.

Substitutes not used: Speroni, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Kaikai, Kelly.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Durham)

Attendance: 18,862

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