Palace Get Defeat They Deserved After Passive Performance Against Burnley

The Clarets completed the double over Palace for the season with a hard working performance that Palace can only dream of emulating at the moment.


13th February 2021


Crystal Palace 0-3 Burnley


Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU


Behind closed doors


Referee – Michael Oliver

Assistants – Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett, David Coote (fourth official)

VAR – Jarred Gillett, Timothy Wood (assistant)



RED CARD – none


Johann Gudmundsson (5), Jay Rodriguez (10), Matthew Lowton (47)


Jordan Ayew


This was a damaging defeat for players and management alike, but how damaging it will be remains to be seen. In truth, Palace had pretty much lost this game in the opening minutes by giving the hosts every encouragement and everything that had been worked on during the week on the training ground went by the wayside. In fact, we have to question what they work on as this performance raises a number questions, not least the lack of real effort and any kind of cohesion on the pitch. There are injuries to key players but there is enough experience in the starting line up to get something out of a game such as this. Unfortunately that was not the case and with a big game away at our rivals in a little over a week, there is plenty to be concerned about.


Nothing of note


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“This result goes down in the club annals as one of the poorest home performances since promotion in 2013. We were tactically poor, out thought and out fought by a Burnley team who were first to every ball. Players like managers also have to take responsibility. It was a display which was passive and lacking the basic work rate and commitment required in any competitive sport let alone football at the top level. Defensively we were shocking and disjointed conceding two soft goals in the first ten minutes. Effectively, playing against a team who defensively give very little away, the final result was almost decided there and then. A defence that lacks leadership and basic organisation always looked likely to concede more goals. We never looked like recovering.

Tactically, players’ inept performances aside, I’m surprised Hodgson abandoned the 4-2-3-1 formation we employed so successfully against Wolves with Eze in a more central role. A 4-4-2 formation can work well with teams like Burnley but it doesn’t suit our players. Too many look like square pegs in round holes. A rule of thumb in coaching, devise a tactical system which plays to the strengths of the players at your disposal.

In summary, we have players who have seemingly lost confidence in themselves and dare I say it also in the management team. Ultimately there are some players who have contracts which won’t be renewed at the end of the season plus the whole squad knowing in reality that this applies to the manager and coaching staff too. Changes are required and timings will be critical.

From a bigger picture perspective, my consistent criticism over the past few years has been our patchy recruitment with no coherent strategy. It has finally caught up with us. An ageing squad playing a game at the very top level which demands high tempo, athleticism, physicality and fitness levels. On the latter attribute, look at how many players are frequently on the treatment table and unavailable for lengthy spells of the season. That’s even before we consider whether there are enough players in the squad who have the technical ability to play at the top tier.”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (6) – Conceded three goals but not at fault for any of them, otherwise hardly tested.

17 NATHANIEL CLYNE (6) – Arguably the best performing defender for Palace with plenty of involvement and overlapping to support the attack.

6 SCOTT DANN (6) – For a defender of his experience and quality, he found it difficult to cope with the two big bustling centre forwards.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6) – Back in the side and it was a long afternoon for the Senegal international looked a little rusty to start with and then found it difficult in similar fashion to Dann.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – Troubling performance from the Dutch full back who struggled to cope with the opposition’s direct approach. His mix up with Dann led to the opening goal.

44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) – There was no losing of the midfield in the game as the opposition by-passed it for the most part and while Jairo showed some good touches at stages of the game, he found it hard with very little support in the midfield.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (6 – CAPTAIN!) – The game looked to pass the captain by for the most part and was very little help to Jairo alongside him. You have to question his captaining qualities at the same time as he hardly seems motivational.  

9 JORDAN AYEW (7 – TEB MAN OF THE MATCH!) – The one player that comes out of this defeat with any kind of credit. Worked hard with and without the ball and always looked like the player that would find a way through the opposition.

25 EBERECHI EZE (6) – Targeted for close attention by the opposition which is found difficult to shake off. Showed some nice touches but not enough without Wilf in the side. Perhaps we are expecting too much of him every game.

23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6) – Was involved in a couple of good moves and linked up with Ayew and Benteke well but never had a clear cut chance on goal. Replaced by 10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (7) on 62 minutes who tried to inject some much needed urgency into the hosts. Had a great chance to pull a goal back but blasted wide.

20 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (7) – Couple of really good chances to score in what was not a bad showing from the Belgian striker but needs goals. Replaced by 14 JEAN-PHILIPPE MATETA (6) on 76 minutes who in his short time on the pitch showed some good movement and touches. Would have been good to try and get him a goal before the final whistle but it was not to be.


1 Jack Butland, 3 Joel Ward, 24 Gary Cahill, 27 Tyrick Mitchell, 34 Martin Kelly


1 Pope, 2 Lowton, 5 Tarkowski, 6 Mee, 23 Pieters, 7 Gudmundsson, 18 Westwood, 4 Cork, 11 McNeil 10 Barnes, 19 Rodriguez

SUBSTITUTES – 8 Brownhill, 12 Brady (replaced Gudmundsson on 72 mins), 15 Peacock-Farrell, 16 Stephens, 26 Bardsley (replaced Pieters on 87 mins), 28 Long (replaced Mee on 84 mins), 34 Dunne, 45 Driscoll-Glennon, 46 Mumbongo


ROY HODGSON – “It was pretty obvious that it was a performance we cannot be in anyway happy with or proud of. We were beaten by the better team. They dealt with our attacks easily and we found it difficult to deal with their attacks. I am afraid it one of those defeats that you have to take on the chin but there won’t be many of us going home thinking we did the best job we could do.”

SEAN DYCHE – “I thought there was a really good energy to the performance, a real good tempo and quality as well. I thought it was a very good performance, we found all kinds of different chances. The tempo was there from early on. In the second half we started well and got a fantastic goal and really controlled it out from that. We take things one game at a time, as we did today.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Matthew Lowton (9.4) while the most shots were from Christian Benteke, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez (4). The most tackles were by Jordan Ayew, Matthew Lowton and Ben Mee (3) while Michy Batshuayi and Matthew Lowton (3) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 6.22 – 7.39
  • Total shots: 13 – 16
  • Shots on target: 3 – 4
  • Possession: 53.3% – 46.7%
  • Pass success: 77% – 73%
  • Passes: 422 – 385
  • Dribbles: 12 – 11
  • Aerials won: 22 – 26
  • Tackles: 16 – 17
  • Fouls: 15 – 14
  • Corners: 7 – 4
  • Saves: 1 – 3
  • Dispossessed: 9 – 12


At the final whistle, Palace were 13th in the Premier League with 29 points from 24 games, 2 ahead of Wolves in 14th and level with Southampton in 12th.


22/02/2021 Brighton & Hove Albion – Premier League (8pm – Sky)

28/02/2021 Fulham (h) – Premier League (12pm – BBC)

06/03/2021 Tottenham Hotspur (a) – Premier League (3pm – TBC)


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