Burnley registered their first home win of the season, picking up a 1-0 victory over struggling Crystal Palace.
Despite having the lions share of play, the Eagles failed to turn their dominance into goals, and their wait for Frank De Boer’s first point in English football goes on.
An early strike from Chris Wood, who was making his home league debut, was enough to seal all three points for the Clarets, who move up to seventh in the process.
Despite a sprightly start, Palace found themselves behind after just three minutes.
A slack pass from Chung Yong Lee sent Wood clean through on goal, and he made no mistake from 35 yards, guiding the ball past a hapless Wayne Hennessey, who was stranded on the edge of his box.
The Eagles almost hit back straight away, when Burnley failed to clear a corner and Scott Dann fired a shot goal-ward, but Matt Lowton was on hand to clear off the line.
In what was an end to end game early on, Burnley nearly extended their lead, when Stephen Ward supplied Sam Vokes with a free header six yards from goal, but his glancing header drifted agonisingly wide of the far post.
Christian Benteke also went close for the visitors when he headed Andros Townsend’s cross inches wide of Tom Heaton’s post.
Heaton’s day wasn’t to last much longer though, after a collision with Ben Mee saw him fall awkwardly and pick up what looks to be a dislocated shoulder.
James McArthur was next to try his luck for Palace, as he met Yohann Cabaye’s corner, but again, he couldn’t keep his header on target.
Early in the second half, Jeffrey Schlupp was presented with a golden opportunity as the ball broke to him 18 yards from goal, but unchallenged, he blazed his shot over.
Palace created another golden opportunity 15 minutes from time, when Benteke broke through the Clarets’ back line, but stand-in goalkeeper Nick Pope stood firm, producing a smart stop to keep the Belgian at bay.
Dann went close again for Palace late on, when he brought down Townsend’s corner and fired across goal, only for the impressive James Tarkowski to make an excellent block to preserve the Clarets’ clean sheet.
Undoubtedly the best chance of the game also fell to Dann, when in the dying moments he was presented with a free header three yards from goal after Cabaye stood up a perfect cross, but the former Blackburn centre half somehow headed wide.
All in all, it was a typical dogged Burnley performance. All 11 players giving their all for the shirt and throwing themselves in front of shots to preserve all three points. A change in system meant a change in style for Burnley, as they reverted to a more direct style, with two target men leading the line. Seven points from four games is a more than respectable return for Burnley, and they now look competent at Premier League level.
As for Palace, it would be easy to dismiss Frank De Boer, but they did show today that they are improving and I think it would be a hast decision to dismiss the Dutchman so soon. They were by far the better side today, and they can count themselves slightly unlucky to have come out on the losing side. An individual error cost them today, but there is nothing De Boer could have done about that, which makes some of the criticism coming his way slightly harsh.