Burnley 0 Crystal Palace 2: Nick Pope’s dream turns to nightmare as he gifts Eagles another win over the Clarets

NICK POPE’S dream run came to a nightmare end as his blunders handed Palace a fourth successive victory over the high-flying Clarets.

Pope, who made his first England start in the 4-0 win in Kosovo, was brimming with confidence after sandwiching that effort with two more clean sheets for the Clarets.

Burnley keeper Nick Pope reflects on his opening-goal woe after he was beaten at his near post by Crystal Palace dangerman Wilfried Zaha
Burnley keeper Nick Pope reflects on his opening-goal woe after he was beaten at his near post by Crystal Palace dangerman Wilfried Zaha
CameraSport – Getty
Wilfried Zaha lashes home the breakthrough goal for Crystal Palace but might have been surprised his shot beat Nick Pope
Wilfried Zaha lashes home the breakthrough strike for Crystal Palace but might have been surprised his shot beat Nick Pope
Reuters
Jeffrey Schlupp roars with delight after bagging the second Palace goal on 78 minutes
German widemen Jeffrey Schlupp roars with delight after bagging the second Palace goal on 78 minutes
PA:Press Association

But he knew he was at fault as he was beaten at his near post by Wilfried Zaha in first half stoppage time.

And Pope was red-faced again when Palace substitute Jeffrey Schlupp fired 78th minute clincher between the Burnley keeper’s legs, pouncing on a botched clearance from Clarets skipper Ben Mee.

Even though there was an element of luck to both goals, Palace fully deserved all three points, ending a run of five games without a win.

As for Burnley, there was none of the bite and urgency that earned them back-to-back 3-0 wins over West Ham and Watford. It was back to earth with a bump for Sean Dyche’s side.

Zaha gave Burnley the runaround when Palace won 3-1 at Turf Moor in March – scoring one goal and creating another – and it was panic stations again as he sprinted forward from his first touch.

TORMENTOR ZAHA

James Tarkowski took the Palace winger out after Zaha knocked the ball past him, winning his side a free kick in a dangerous spot, just outside the box.

Pope had Luka Milivojevic’s effort covered as it dipped just over the bar. But it was an early warning for the home team – and a taste of things to come as Zaha continued to scare them to death.

Dyche’s team were strangely lethargic as Palace dominated possession, and the Londoners should have gone ahead after 28 minutes, with Zaha and van Aanholt linking to good effect down the left.

Van Aanholt’s cutback found the unmarked Cheikhou Kouyate six yards out, but he made a real mess of the chance, knocking it back to van Aanholt off his shin.

The Eagles mob opening scorer Wilfried Zaha as victory moved them into the top half of the Premier League table

The Eagles mob opening scorer Wilfried Zaha as victory moved them into the top half of the Premier League table

Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez is thwarted by Spanish stopper Vicente Guaita
Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez is thwarted by Spanish stopper Vicente Guaita
Reuters
Palace keeper Vicente Guaita keeps Burnley at bay as the visitors won 2-0 to go level on points with the Clarets
Palace keeper Vicente Guaita keeps Burnley at bay as the visitors won 2-0 to go level on points with the Clarets
Reuters

This time the full back found Jordan Ayew and he smashed the ball home. But van Aanholt had clearly strayed into an offside position, and VAR confirmed the touch judge was right to raise his flag.

It would have been a different story if Kouyate had not snatched at the first cross.

The Clarets responded to that left-off by stringing together easily their best move of the half.

Robbie Brady played a neat one-two with Chris Wood before slipping the ball through to Barnes. But the striker’s clumsy first touch sent the ball spinning away from him, and Guaita quickly snaffled it up.

Zaha was continuing to torment the home defence, and the Palace dangerman decided to try his luck in first half stoppage time.

SHOCKING MISTAKES

It looked as if Pope was mesmerised by the speed with which Zaha transferred the ball from his right foot to his stronger left. His low shot squeezed past the Burnley keeper, whose angry kick at the turf as he got back to his feet told its own story.

Dyche’s face was just as revealing as he headed down the tunnel, with steam coming out of his ears

It was no surprise to see the home team step up the tempo when they came back out, and they should have been level on 57 minutes after another shocking mistake from Kouyate.

His attempt to head the ball back to his keeper fell well short, and Chris Wood’s eyes lit up as he sensed a seventh goal in his last seven Premier League outings.

But he summed up Burnley’s day by blasting the ball high over the bar from eight yards out.


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Wood was then denied by a goal-line clearance from James McArthur, as he tried to force the ball home after the Clarets finally won their first corner – with an hour gone!

Schlupp had only been on the field nine minutes – replacing Andros Townsend – when he accepted Mee’s gift, with a bit of help from Pope.

Guaita snuffed out any chance of a Burnley fightback with a brilliant diving save from Wood’s diving header. He probably gave Pope a cheeky wink after that one.

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