Date: 28th February 2011 at 5:00pm
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Burnley earned a point in a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park back in September this season but how they came away without a win baffled Clarets fans considering we basically dominated this game having just over 60% of the possession. You can always tell the way games have gone when the opposition award their man of the match award to their goalkeeper and Julian Speroni was certainly on form in this match although when he was beaten he had to be grateful for the woodwork coming to his rescue on more than one occasion.

This was quite simply at the time our best performance away from home for ages and indeed our best shift all season on the road. At times especially in a purple patch during the second half we were simply sublime.

The match was played on Saturday 18th September in front of a crowd of 14,451 fans.

Brian Laws made one change to the side that went down to a late goal in added time against Boro in midweek with captain, Graham Alexander perhaps surprisingly being dropped and having to be content with a place on the bench. Dean Marney returned to the starting eleven with Jack Cork taking over the holding midfield role. Michael Duff also returned to the eighteen being named on the bench. We therefore lined up as follows:

Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Fox, Cork, Eagles, Marney, Elliott, Wallace, Iwelumo

Subs: Grant, Duff, Cort, Alexander, Paterson, Rodriguez, Thompson

On a nice day in South London, Isle of Man referee, James Linington got the match underway with the Clarets at the time still looking for their first away win of the season and George Burley`s men hoping they could maintain their winning ways after thumping Pompey 4-1 at home in their previous midweek game.

It was Palace who showed early promise though with a couple of attempts in the first 5 minutes. First a close range shot by Kieran Djilali from an Alex Marrow cross went over the bar and then Jensen had to save a shot from Neil Danns. The Clarets though now gradually began to take control of this game with Palace in all honesty only able to try and take advantage on the break.

With the match only 20 minutes old, Ross Wallace picked up a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Jay Rodriguez. A great chance then for the young striker to make an impression and he certainly rose to the occasion. If luck had been on our side, he may well have had a hat-trick before the final whistle blew.

Chris Eagles was again on form and looked to terrorise the Palace defence. After 25 minutes, Speroni was tested by a long range effort from Eagles; a shot the Palace keeper could only tip onto the bar.

Despite the best efforts from Jay Rodriguez in particular we just couldn`t get the breakthrough goal we needed with Speroni time-and-time again thwarting our efforts with half-time approaching. 0-0 then after 45 minutes with Clarets fans at this stage perhaps a little edgy despite the encouraging performance. There was this feeling that despite the dominance, Palace may well get the opening goal on the break if our luck, which seemed to be deserting us continued to do so in the second-half.

Brian Laws as expected made no changes for the start of the second half and now we really began to turn the screw in an exciting period that was both classy and pleasing on the eye. With some great runs down the flanks, some superb passing and crossing and numerous attempts on goals this period of about 20 minutes had everything except for one thing, a goal for the Clarets! Eagles had so many attempts on goal Clarets fans lost count. Speroni had to come to the Eagles rescue yet again (no not Chris`s) when Rodriguez attempted a volley following a good cross from Tyrone Mears.

Palace though still had the tendency on occasion with Burnley pushing forward to catch us out on the break and there was always the fear this would lead to goal for the home side despite our dominance. A goal for them would have been a ridiculous travesty of justice but it was always at the back of your mind with Clarets fans unable to relax as we entered the last quarter of this match.

With 11 minutes to play, the woodwork again came to Palace`s rescue. The impressive Jay Rodriguez unleashed a shot from distance that rattled against the underside of the bar much to the relief of Speroni who this time had been well-beaten by the thumping drive.

There was just time for Palace to have one last attempt to break all Clarets fans hearts. Jensen, who had earlier saved well from the feet of substitute Wilfried Zaha now, had to deal with a powerful shot from Neil Danns in the last minute of the game. This time the woodwork came to our rescue with Jensen parrying the shot onto the post.

A goalless draw then in the end but despite the frustrations and the feeling we should have won this game, it was an excellent performance from the Clarets and one in which we can be proud.

Before this season the last time these two sides met was during our promotion season of 2008-9.

Our first clash was at Selhurst Park very early on in the season on the 23rd August 2008. It was only our third match of the season and we had started it badly under Owen Coyle. We were thumped 4-1 in our opening game away to Sheffield Wednesday and then went down 3-0 at home to Ipswich.

Clarets fans had little optimism therefore ahead of the Palace game and we would have readily taken a point from the Eagles before the match.

In the end that’s what we got after a goalless draw but it felt like a loss after Palace, reduced to nine-men held on to secure a point. Jamie Scowcroft and Shaun Derry had both picked up second yellows and were sent off after 47 and 52 minutes respectively but despite second-half pressure from the Clarets we just couldn’t get the breakthrough.

Burnley: Jensen, Duff (Blake 63), Carlisle, Kalvenes, Caldwell, Elliott, Alexander, McCann, McDonald (Gudjonsson 74), Eagles, Paterson (Akinbiyi 82).

Subs Not Used: Penny, Jordan.

Booked: Paterson, McDonald, Carlisle.

You can read more about this match by delving into our match archive and clicking this link:

Palace Nine Survive

The return game at Turf Moor played on the night of Wednesday 11th March 2009 was a completely different kettle of fish with the Clarets coming out eventual winners 4-2 against Neil Warnock’s men.

The Clarets started the match knowing that if they won, they would be back in the play-offs positions in 6th spot.

There looked little chance of that happening with Burnley 2-0 down after only 35 minutes of play and Clarets fans fearing the worst. There was some joy for the Clarets though in the first half after a Carlisle header brought the score back to 2-1 six minutes before half-time.

Most of the second half was a pretty, nervous frustrating affair with Burnley having the greater of the possession but unable to make it count. Countless referring decisions also seemed to be going against us with one or two appeals for a penalty waved away.

With just seven minutes remaining though, the Clarets were awarded a penalty and Alexander made no mistake from the spot to equalise. 2-2 Clarets, but a point was not enough really to maintain our challenge for a play-offs spot and somehow we now had to find that winning touch and score again.

Boy did we do that, adding two more goals in this exciting ten minute period. Thompson put Burnley ahead with a fierce shot on 88 minutes and then Jay Rodriguez coolly slotted in the fourth to give the Clarets a handsome 4-2 victory.

Burnley: Jensen, Williams, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Elliott, Alexander, McCann (Gudjonsson 72), Blake (Eagles 69), Thompson, Paterson (Rodriguez 61).

Subs Not Used: Penny, McDonald.

Goals: Carlisle 39, Alexander 83 pen, Thompson 88, Rodriguez 90

There is more about this match in our archive if you want to read the full match report. Here is the link:

Clarets Stun Palace with 3 in 10

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