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Crystal Palace 0-1 Burnley: Mee winner continues Burnley’s pursuit of Europe

Ben Mee (centre) celebrates with Burnley team-mates

Burnley's pursuit of European football next season continued as Ben Mee's diving header gave them victory at Crystal Palace.

The Clarets' skipper threw himself in to meet an Ashley Westwood free-kick and steer an effort past Vicente Guaita, although the home keeper should really have saved it.

It was reward for a Burnley side who were without three injured forwards and again named only seven substitutes, but were marginally the more positive of the two, with Dwight McNeil showing flashes of inspiration in the final third.

Palace had Wilfried Zaha fit after he limped out of their previous game, at Liverpool five days ago, but his was a subdued display, like the rest of his fellow home forwards.

Their best chance fell to defender Gary Cahill, who fired straight at Nick Pope from inside the box.

Burnley's win takes them to 45 points and lifts them up to eighth in the Premier League table - a league position that could well result in a Europa League place if Manchester City's European ban is upheld.

Palace, who also held out hope of a late surge for a European place, are now 11th in the table, three points worse off than tonight's opponents.

Mee epitomises Burnley resolve

It has been a difficult resumption for Burnley, but they continue to find ways to confound expectation.

Their first game back saw them beaten 5-0 at Manchester City on a night overshadowed by a plane flying over the Etihad and arranged by some of their fans, pulling a "White Lives Matter" banner.

The team have also had to make do with just seven substitutes, as a result of injuries to key players and the failure to secure contract extensions with other first-team regulars.

Phil Bardsley, fresh from signing a new deal, was restored to the side at Selhurst Park, but they were again without Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart, and lost Jack Cork to injury during the game.

This, though, is a second successive 1-0 win for Sean Dyche's team, built upon a rock solid defensive display and the ruthlessness to seize upon a big chance when it came.

Captain Mee has stood tall for his side both on and off the pitch since the restart.

It was he who came out to passionately and eloquently condemn the banner flown by Clarets fans at the Etihad and he who stuck his head in where it hurts to score his side's winner at Selhurst Park.

He also contributed superbly to yet another clean sheet. That is 13 for the season now - only newly-crowned champions Liverpool have more.

Dyche may not have the biggest squad, but the players he does have are full of character and resolve.

Palace fail key test

It was no disgrace for Palace to have been dismantled at Liverpool in their previous game. Most teams have left Anfield on the back of a hiding this season.

Prior to that they had won four on the bounce to propel themselves into the position to make an unlikely late dart for a European spot.

Tonight was a better gauge for where Roy Hodgson's side are at - and they were largely found wanting.

Their organisation is well-established - prior to the defeat at Liverpool they had won four on the bounce without conceding - but with the onus on them to find a way to unlock their opponents they had little to offer.

Zaha was shackled superbly by the combination of Bardsley and Josh Brownhill, Andros Townsend did little and Jordan Ayew headed the best chance that came his way over the bar.

The Palace forward also planted an arm into the face of Brownhill, prompting a VAR review for a possible red card, but the video officials sided in his favour.

European qualification is not completely beyond Roy Hodgson's side this season, but this was a big test of their suitability and one they failed.

Man of the match - Ben Mee (Burnley)

Ben Mee (left)
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Line-ups

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 24Cahill
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 10TownsendSubstituted forMeyerat 77'minutes
  • 8Kouyat√©Substituted forMcCarthyat 45'minutesBooked at 61mins
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 18McArthur
  • 11Zaha
  • 9J Ayew

Substitutes

  • 7Meyer
  • 12Sakho
  • 13Hennessey
  • 22McCarthy
  • 35Woods
  • 36Tavares
  • 39Mitchell
  • 40Pierrick
  • 44Riedewald

Burnley

  • 1Pope
  • 26Bardsley
  • 5TarkowskiBooked at 58mins
  • 6Mee
  • 3Taylor
  • 8Brownhill
  • 18Westwood
  • 4CorkSubstituted forLongat 70'minutes
  • 23Pieters
  • 11McNeil
  • 27Vydra

Substitutes

  • 15Peacock-Farrell
  • 28Long
  • 33Thompson
  • 34Dunne
  • 37Thomas
  • 40Jensen
  • 44Goodridge
Referee:
Simon Hooper

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamBurnley
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away1
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Crystal Palace 0, Burnley 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 0, Burnley 1.

Attempt saved. Gary Cahill (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Max Meyer with a cross.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kevin Long.

Attempt blocked. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ben Mee.

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Erik Pieters (Burnley).

Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Max Meyer.

Attempt missed. Josh Brownhill (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by James Tarkowski with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Erik Pieters (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Charlie Taylor.

Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by James McArthur.

Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ben Mee.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Max Meyer replaces Andros Townsend.

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matej Vydra (Burnley).

Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt with a cross.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by James Tarkowski.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Kevin Long (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Erik Pieters.

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Kevin Long replaces Jack Cork because of an injury.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Josh Brownhill.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ben Mee.

Goal!

Goal! Crystal Palace 0, Burnley 1. Ben Mee (Burnley) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashley Westwood following a set piece situation.

Booking

James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by James McCarthy (Crystal Palace).

Dwight McNeil (Burnley) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

James Tarkowski (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James Tarkowski (Burnley).

Foul by Scott Dann (Crystal Palace).

Matej Vydra (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

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