Ben Mee

Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley: Eagles continue to soar

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  • Palace have lost just one of their last 12 PL games
  • Burnley without a win in seven in all competitions
  • Sako scores for second-straight game

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday with Bakary Sako grabbing the only goal of the game.

The Eagles impressed throughout and a combination of brave Burnley defending and slack finishing kept Roy Hodgson‘s men from winning by a more comfortable margin.

With the win Palace move up to 12th in the table on 25 points, while Burnley’s alarming run of form under Sean Dyche continues but they remain in seventh place on 34 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Palace should have had a penalty kick early in the game as Sako was scythed down in the box by James Tarkowski but Michael Oliver failed to award a penalty pick.

Sako made sure Palace took the lead soon after as he cut in from the left and drilled a low shot across Nick Pope and in. 1-0 to Palace.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Eagles could have been 2-0 up soon after as Wilfried Zaha nipped in front of Pope, poked the ball towards goal but Ben Mee cleared heroically with James McArthur waiting to tap home.

Before the break Christian Benteke towered above Burnley’s defense but his header was off target from the center of the box.

At the other end Sam Vokes put a header just wide, while Wayne Hennessey was forced into a good save from Ashley Barnes as Burnley tried to get an equalizer but Sako volleyed inches wide for Palace.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Barnes nodded just wide early in the second half as Burnley improved after the break, with Vokes then heading into the side-netting.

Charlie Taylor blocked a Wilfried Zaha shot brilliantly at the other end as the game became a feisty encounter in the latter stages.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace held on for the win in comfortable fashion as their home fans celebrated yet another win at the final whistle. The Eagles are soaring up the PL table.

Burnley extends star defender to thin January market

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Sean Dyche has kept one of his new stars.

Burnley has agreed to a new contract with defender James Tarkowski, who has helped make the sale of Michael Keane no problem at Turf Moor.

The center back, 25, has been very good in a pairing with Ben Mee for Burnley, the club’s top rated field player on advanced stats sites WhoScored and Squawka.

[ MORE: Transfer needs for all 20 PL clubs ]

No nonsense manager Sean Dyche offered a perfectly Sean Dyche description for why Tarkowski signed a new deal despite not being out of contract: He’s played well, and he should have a bit more money in relation to other players on the traditionally low-budget team. From BurnleyFootballClub.com:

“We try to work on a level of fairness and making sure players are on appropriate contracts at the right time. We felt it was appropriate (for Tarkowski) on two levels; one, because he has done well in the Premier League and is proving his worth and will continue to do so and, two, because his contract was out of sync. And when players are out of sync, we think it’s appropriate to have them all in a similar band. We find that’s worked very well for us, for the mentality of the squad, so they all know roughly where they’re at.”

So Dyche. So very Dyche.

Tarkowski was a member of one of our staff’s Premier League XI for the first half of the season. Read more here.

Burnley 1-2 Liverpool: Last-gasp win

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  • Mane scores stunner; Klavan wins it late on
  • Burnley without a win in five
  • Liverpool unbeaten in 16 games

Liverpool extended their long unbeaten run and battled to a 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day.

In testing conditions Jurgen Klopp‘s side — who are now on their longest unbeaten run under the German coach — did most of the pressing and broke through in the second half with a superb goal from Sadio Mane who stepped up in the absence of the injured Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson nodded home late on as he looked to have snatched a point for the Clarets but then Klavan popped up with a diving header of his own to send the traveling Liverpool fans wild.

With the win Liverpool remain in fourth but move on to 44 points alongside Manchester United, while Burnley have failed to win any of their last five games but remain in seventh.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

Liverpool dominated possession early on and looked dangerous on the break with Ashley Barnes having a half chance for Burnley at the other end.

As the first half wore on Liverpool woke up and Nick Pope saved well from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Adam Lallana, making his first start of the season, raced back and made a crucial tackle as last man with Scott Arfield breaking free. A wonderful tackle from the England international to deny Burnley a clear look at goal.

Arfield nodded an effort towards goal which Simon Mignolet saved easily, then Dominic Solanke was tackled by Ben Mee inside the box as a good chance came and went for Liverpool. Half time arrived without a goal in an slow-burner.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The rain continued to pour down in the second half as both teams battled the elements.

Lallana had shots deflected wide and Liverpool finally went ahead just after the hour mark. A cross from the right from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Mane on the edge of the box and the Senegalese forward controlled, turned and thumped home in one action to put Liverpool 1-0 up.

A moment of magic from Mane.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Alexander-Arnold forced Pope into a fine save late on as the youngster drilled a shot from distance towards the top corner, while at the other end Barnes volleyed just wide from the edge of the box.

Late in the game Burnley grabbed the equalizer as a cross was flicked on by Sam Vokes and Gudmundsson arrived unmarked at the back post to nod home. 1-1.

But Liverpool went straight down the other end and Dejan Lovren nodded across goal for Klavan to head home the winner right in front of the delirious traveling fans. What a finish and what a big win for Liverpool.

Bournemouth 1-2 Burnley: Clarets up to sixth

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  • Bournemouth haven’t beaten a side starting that day inside the top seven of the Premier League since they beat Liverpool last December; drawing three and losing eight of these matches since, including losing all four this season
  • Burnley have collected 14 points from away games this season
  • Wood, Brady with the goals for Burnley

Burnley grabbed yet another away win as their record-breaking start to the Premier League season continued.

The Clarets beat Bournemouth 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium with goals from Chris Wood and Robbie Brady in either half doing the damage.

Josh King pulled one back for Bournemouth but the Clarets held on to secure another superb win as they rose above Spurs and into sixth place, with the Cherries slipping to 14th place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley came closest to taking the lead early on with Ben Mee heading a set piece to the back post and Chris Wood nodding onto the crossbar following early Bournemouth pressure.

Wood went close once again in the first half as Phil Bardsley‘s cross to the back post found the big New Zealand striker but Asmir Begovic palmed his header away from the top corner.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Callum Wilson went close with a hooked volley in an open, entertaining first half. Burnley looked like they would take the lead once again as Wood’s mishit shot fell straight to Jeff Hendricks but Steve Cook threw himself in front of Hendricks’ shot with a superb block to keep the score level.

Wood eventually opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season. Robbie Brady’s low cross found Wood who finished to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Burnley kept pouring forward in the second half and Brady made it 2-0 as Johann Berg Gudmundsson played him in and the Republic of Ireland international finished emphatically. Clarets in dreamland.

Bournemouth made things interesting with just over 10 minutes to go as Jermain Defoe‘s shot from a tight angle was cleared and King tapped home to make it 2-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Burnley held on late on despite pressure from Bournemouth with Sean Dyche‘s side continuing their miracle.

Three Premier League teams (and maybe one more) we got wrong

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Two months and five days ago, our six writers went about trying to predict a new Premier League table, conceived in the notion of hearing your opinions.

[ MORE: Koeman in a bad, bad way ]

While there will come a time for mulligans, and perhaps a predictive reboot, I’m here this Sunday to admit my wrongs (and maybe wrongs).

Course correction is to be expected in some manner with at least three of these sides, but not to the extent expected before the PL season.

I was wrong!

— Burnley —
Current position: 7th place; My prediction: 20th; Staff average: 19th

With respect to the Clarets’ fan podcast, they would’ve been right to scream “No Nay Never” at my thought that Sean Dyche‘s men were too challenged in talent to again defy Premier League relegation. Michael Keane was gone to Everton, and Andre Gray was preparing to leave Turf Moor. The Clarets had added Jonathan Walters and Jack Cork, but had yet to sign Chris Wood.

Well, the Kiwi striker has been impressive and Dyche has rallied the troops (especially James Tarkowski in Keane’s stead, as well as Ben Mee and ). In what looks absolutely comical now, I expected the wealth of money spent by almost everyone else to doom Burnley to under 20 (!!!) points. Had you told me Tom Heaton would go down and Nick Pope, who’s been great, would take over, I might’ve bet even lower.

Clearly I underestimated the consistency of Dyche at the helm and the way he explains his system to players. I don’t expect the Clarets to maintain their top half pace, but clearly trusting me is an error when it comes to Burnley. Sean, I’m sorry. I should’ve known better. Call me.

— Everton —
Current position: 16th place; My prediction: 6th; Staff average: 7th

Another disappointing Sunday for Everton is one thing, but the Toffees’ big expenditures have largely failed to move the meter in the Europa League as well.

My expectation that down years for Liverpool and Arsenal would allow Everton join them in the Top Seven was only two-third possible. Ronald Koeman has been indecisive in his use of Wayne Rooney and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and several players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin are not adapting to playing non-starring roles (though surely the Toffees would be fine putting the focus on Sigurdsson were he producing, and he should’ve claimed a penalty on Sunday).

How to fix it? Well, keeping Ashley Williams on the bench is a bit of a bother, so why not a back three with Keane and Phil Jagielka? I don’t know, but Davy Klaassen remains on the bench, too, and I’m not sure Everton’s players know what to expect heading into a weekend.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

— Watford —
Current position: 4th place; My prediction: 17th; Staff average: 16th

Joe Prince-Wright said Watford would finish 12th, which was outlandish considering the rest of us had the Hornets escaping relegation by one or two spaces at best. The highlight reel video of Richarlison almost had me boost the Hornets higher when predicting the table, but that would’ve been offset had I known Nathaniel Chalobah would be hurt.

But betting against Marco Silva has been a mistake so far, and the Hornets boasts a win home to Arsenal and away to Southampton plus a home draw versus Liverpool. The 6-0 home loss to Man City, sadly, is more common than we thought, and JPW’s 12th place feels correct right about now.

I was wrong?

— Crystal Palace —
Current position: 20th place; My prediction: 12th; Staff average: 15th

Roy Hodgson’s men looked a lot like Frank De Boer‘s men until Wilfried Zaha returned from injury, and that probably shouldn’t surprise us. The Eagles just suffered through the worst goalless start in Premier League history, but beat Chelsea with their first extended look of Zaha this season (Andros Townsend also looked great). I had Palace at 48 points, and that feels a bit laughable when they have three through eight matches, but I’m not so sure they won’t rebound over time.