Photos: Crystal Palace 0, Burnley 0

Scott Arfield missed a late penalty to let Crystal Palace off the hook at Selhurst Park.

The Scot, who scored eight penalties for Falkirk in the SPL, was the designated kick taker after striker Lukas Jutkiewicz was wrestled to the ground by Eagles midfielder Mile Jedinak.

However Palace stopper Julian Speroni telegraphed the spot kick in the 86th minute, diving to his right to palm clear.

But it’s another point and another clean sheet for the Clarets who climbed off the foot of England’s top tier at the expense of Newcastle.

After the pre-match showpiece, which centred on Wilfried Zaha’s Selhurst Park homecoming, with the England international stepping on to the pitch behind his team-mates to an animated hero’s ovation, referee Mike Dean soon condemned striker Danny Ings’s supposed simulation attempts.

The striker, fresh from international duty with Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions in Euro 2015 qualifying, cushioned Kieran Trippier’s lofted pass with expertly before being wiped out on the edge of the box by Damien Delaney. Dean, much to Ings’s disbelief and displeasure, held a yellow card aloft.

For 20 minutes the home side - also celebrating manager Neil Warnock’s second coming at the club - commanded the first ever Premier League fixture between the two. When Ben Mee failed to cut out Zaha’s cut back inside the area, defender Delaney pulled an effort across goal but wide of the angle.

Palace had power, pace and purpose, but they also posed an aerial threat - portrayed when Scott Dann’s header from Fraizer Campbell’s centre arced rainbow-like over Tom Heaton but cannoned back off the bar.

Almost two years ago, in Eddie Howe’s final game with the Clarets, Zaha was the tormentor as the winger scored twice in a 4-3 triumph. And he threatened again as Warnock inverted his wide men, cutting in past Trippier on to his favoured right foot, forcing the save from Heaton, before an awkward ricochet was hacked off the line by skipper Jason Shackell.


Hide Ad

The Clarets stopper then foiled Jason Puncheon midway through the half after the Eagles winger stepped infield from the right flank, traded passes with Dwight Gayle, but posted an effort that had Heaton’s name and address marked on the ball.

But Sean Dyche’s side weathered the storm and neutered their opponent’s sting by keeping possession against a Palace side refusing to press beyond the halfway line. The Clarets, at times, were intricate at carving inroads behind the home side’s backline, and the movement between Arfield and Ings was unfortunate to go unrewarded when Speroni intercepted the midfielder’s pull back with Lukas Jutkiewicz lurking.

Eventually, Palace opted for the percentage pass and they also profited from it when Michael Duff’s header from Dann’s pass dropped for Gayle on the edge of the box but the former Posh forward missed the target.

Arfield and Ings were central to Burnley’s break once more when teaming up with Jutkiewicz to assist £3m debutant George Boyd but Dann got across well to block as the new boy pulled the trigger on the stroke of half-time.


Hide Ad

Dyche would have once again been proud of his side’s first half performance, though it was tainted as Ings limped off clutching his hamstring and replaced by Marvin Sordell.

The second half started similarly to the first - Gayle couldn’t quite connect with Mile Jedinak’s header on the stretch before Delaney powered a header in to the side-netting after getting across Ben Mee from a corner.

In a pulsating game, with play swinging like a pendulum, Jutkiewicz then sliced wide of Speroni’s near upright after James McArthur’s misplaced pass fell victim to the away side’s high, unrelenting press. The £7m midfielder tried to make amends for his error with an effort that flashed over the bar from the edge of the box.

Warnock’s men were severely restricted in the second half, with the Clarets organisation, shape and discipline resonating throughout their performance. While negating Palace’s forward threat, they broke exuberantly. Arfield stung the palms of Speroni before Jones saw his shot saved by Palace’s number one.


Hide Ad

And as time ticked towards the 90 minute mark, Arfield sliced wide from Trippier’s cutting pass while Eagles substitute Jonathan Williams poked wide at the other end.

In the 86th minute, Arfield had the perfect opportunity to present the Clarets with all three points. Jedinak dragged down Jutkiewicz and Dean pointed to the spot.

However, Speroni, who has spurned Burnley so many times in the past, floated to his right to save with a strong hand.