BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Burnley in a disastrous performance at Selhurst Park.
Two goals inside the opening 10 minutes by Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez ensured a terrible start to the game by the Eagles. Matt Lowton’s stunning volley two minutes into the second half condemned the South Londoners to a fourth defeat in six Premier League matches.
A little under 45 per cent of Palace’s 29 points this season were earned across a 42-day period between September 12 and October 24. They have also lost 18 of the last 20 games in which Wilfried Zaha has not played.
Burnley went ahead after five minutes. Scott Dann and Patrick van Aanholt failed to clear a cross and Gudmundsson took a touch before curling the ball into the corner of Vicente Guaita’s goal.
The Clarets had doubled their lead soon after – and Palace’s defending had not improved. Rodriguez, unmarked at a corner, headed in from three yards.
Palace grew into the game but their atrocious start had given them a difficult task. Christian Benteke twice tested Nick Pope and also had a second-half header well saved by the England international.
But this game was effectively over two minutes into the second period. Matt Lowton charged forward, eased aside Van Aanholt and exchanged passes with Rodriguez. The Burnley right-back watched the ball drop over his shoulder and hammered a volley into the corner.
There was to be no consolation from Palace. Andros Townsend smashed an effort over the crossbar after creating space inside the penalty area.
Dwight McNeil came within inches of adding a fourth Burnley goal from long range.
Roy Hodgson’s side visit rivals Brighton & Hove Albion next week.
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