Martin Kelly

Frank de Boer questions “courage” after Crystal Palace defeat

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Frank De Boer has lost all of his first three Premier League games in charge of Crystal Palace and the Eagles have yet to score a goal.

Palace lost 2-0 at home to Swansea City on Saturday in a game which already felt like a relegation six-pointer.

Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew scored either side of half time to suck the life out of de Boer’s team and Palace never fully recovered from a slow start to the game.

Speaking after the game the Dutchman, who saw his side booed off at half time, revealed his thoughts on yet another lackluster display.

“We were uncomfortable with how we played,” de Boer said. “Swansea didn’t play that well the first half but I said before the game because they play the same system as us, we have one spare man left in the back and they had one spare man left in the back, it will become a lot of duels and the team which maybe shows the most courage but also makes the less mistakes will win the game. In the end it was like that.”

De Boer did salute his side for the “spirit” and “guts” they showed in the second half and revealed he is desperate to give Palace’s vocal fans something to cheer.

“I saw a totally different Crystal Palace in the second half and then you are already behind. You want to get in front. The crowd is fantastic and they always stay behind you. You want to give them something back,” de Boer added.

Palace have lost 3-0 at home to Huddersfield, 1-0 at Liverpool and now 2-0 against Swansea City heading into the first international break of the campaign and everything points to the obvious question: can de Boer really turn this group of players into a flowing, possession-based side?

It was a brave hire by Palace to bring in de Boer in the first place.

He wants wants to play an attractive style in a 3-4-3 formation but is trying to do that with a team of players put together by Sam Allardyce and his notorious direct approach. It is like asking Leicester City’s players to possess the ball and not hit teams on the break.

Palace are not playing to their strengths.

Time and time again Palace’s defenders were caught on the ball and they looked uneasy at trying to possess the ball as de Boer wants them to. Substitute Martin Kelly made mistakes for both goals and Palace just couldn’t get any quality service to Christian Benteke up top.

It will be a very long international break for de Boer and Crystal Palace with the bookies already making him the favorite to be the first PL manager to lose his job this season.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea City: Misery continues for Eagles

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  • Swansea’ first win of season
  • Abraham scores first PL goal
  • Palace lose third-straight game
  • Ayew adds second for Swans

Swansea City grabbed their first Premier League win of the season as Paul Clement‘s side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Palace have now lost all three PL games under new manager Frank De Boer this season and Tammy Abraham broke the deadlock right on half time for the Swans.

Jordan Ayew doubled Swansea’s lead and despite pressure from Palace they held on rather comfortably for the win.

Swansea now have four points for the season, while Palace remain on zero.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Early on Ayew had a good chance for Swansea but his diving header went just wide in a tentative start to the game in south London.

Palace woke up and went close with Patrick Van Aanholt fizzing a cross which just missed everyone and then James McArthur drilled an effort just wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Swansea almost went ahead before the break when Timothy Fosu-Mensah hesitated on the ball but Wayne Hennessey saved well from Abraham.

From the resulting corner Alfie Mawson headed wide with the goal gaping but soon Swansea would take the lead.

Scott Dann had to be substituted and his replacement Martin Kelly was soon at fault as Leroy Fer‘s cross caught out the defender and Abraham’s instinctive finish made it 1-0. It was the Chelsea loanees first Premier League goal and Swansea’s first PL goal of the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Palace had a great chance but Kelly’s header was straight at Lukas Fabianski.

Palace, and Kelly, were soon caught out again as Abraham’s lay-off saw Kelly caught in possession with Kyle Naughton playing the ball through to Ayew who rounded Hennessey to make it 2-0.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Palace pushed to get back into the game with Andros Townsend‘s shot saved by Fabianski and then Mawson made a wonderful last-ditch tackle on Yohan Cabaye.

Townsend again went close but curled an effort wide late on as Frank de Boer’s tough start to life in the Premier League continues.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Burnley: Clarets finally claim road win

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  • Barnes scores in 8th minute
  • Gray nabs substitute goal
  • Clarets eight points clear of drop
  • Palace one point behind Burnley

It took 18 tries, but Burnley’s first road win of the season came at a very good time.

Ashley Barnes‘ early goal sent Burnley over Crystal Palace in Saturday’s game at Selhurst Park and on the table with a 2-0 win.

Andre Gray came off the bench to finish the scoring in the 85th minute.

Burnley rises to 14th place with 39 points, one ahead of now 16th place Palace.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace was on the front foot for the first five minutes, but Burnley found the opener when Ashley Barnes couldn’t redirect Stephen Ward‘s with his cross first touch but kept the ball at his feet long enough to score through Wayne Hennessey‘s legs.

The game was delayed when James Tarkowski was hit in the head with a projectile during the celebration, but was able to stay in the game.

Wilfried Zaha was wrongly ruled offside on a break which would’ve given a penalty to Palace had the flag not been raised before Tom Heaton took down Zaha.

Barnes had a second goal taken back for a handball after he settled the ball with his arm before beating Hennessey low.

The Clarets were tricky to break down. On one sequence after the half-hour mark, Burnley smothered space until Patrick Van Aanholt‘s shot from the left was blocked away from danger.

Luka Milivojević fired a prime shot wide of the frame in the 36th minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Clarets were stout after the break, and Palace’s effective wingmen Zaha and Andros Townsend remained lively but grew frustrated by aggressive treatment from Burnley.

Damien Delaney hit a classy side volley on goal in the 65th minute that Heaton palmed out for a corner, which Burnley handled well.

Sam Allardyce swapped Benteke for Loic Remy in the 71st minute, and brought on Fraizer Campbell for James McArthur.

Sam Vokes turned and burned to get a break on Hennessey, but his third touch was a problem and Martin Kelly slid to force a Burnley corner.

Jon Flanagan caused penalty shouts for Palace when he jabbed his leg between Zaha’s and was adjudged to have caught ball.

That’s when Sean Dyche brought Andre Gray into the game for Barnes.

Remy cued up Zaha for a curling rip in the 81st, but Matthew Lowton blocked it over the goal.

Gray raced onto a long ball in the 85th minute, curling his finish around Hennessey to cement the three points.

Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace: Saints score late, often

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  • Goals from Redmond, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse for Saints
  • Benteke gave Palace first half lead
  • Saints up to ninth in table
  • Palace one point above drop

Southampton beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at St Mary’s on Wednesday to push themselves into the top 10.

Palace took the lead through Christian Benteke but Saints equalized right on half time through Nathan Redmond and then two late goals from Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse sealed victory for the home side.

With the win Claude Puel‘s men climb to ninth place and have 37 points, while Palace remain on 31 points and in the relegation scrap.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Saints went close as Shane Long‘s shot was tipped wide by Wayne Hennessey but Palace responded well with Christian Benteke just failing to finish a chance from a corner and then Luka Milivojevic’s free kick was just off target.

Southampton went close to taking the lead as Redmond’s header was pushed just wide by Hennessey.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Palace did take the lead on the half hour mark with Andros Townsend putting in a perfect cross for Benteke to tap home from close range to round off a wonderful move. 1-0 to Palace.

Before the break Saints had two penalty shouts with Dusan Tadic appealing for a handball against Jeffrey Schlupp and then Shane Long was bundled over in the box.

Saints did level right on half time with James Ward-Prowse’s fine cross into the box finished off by Redmond clinically. 1-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Southampton started the second half well and Long went close as he dinked an effort just over the onrushing Hennesey after Tadic’s pass and had another well saved.

Palace went agonizingly close to retaking the lead as Martin Kelly‘s shot hit the post and Wilfred Zaha smashed the rebound wide.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Two pieces of heroic defending on the line then denied Saints from taking the lead as Damien Delaney and Mamadou Sakho cleared superbly.

But late on Saints finally broke through as Yoshida put them 2-1 up in the 84th minute and a minute later Ward-Prowse added another to make it 3-1.

Game. Set. Match.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea: Blues win 11th straight thanks to Costa

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  • Chelsea win 11th straight game
  • Costa scores 13th PL goal of season
  • Blues go nine points clear at top

Chelsea equaled a club record of 11-straight Premier League wins, with Antonio Conte‘s side beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday in the south London fog.

Diego Costa grabbed the only goal of the game in the London derby, with the Spanish international heading home just before half time.

With the win Chelsea extend their lead at the top momentarily to nine points, while Palace remain on 15 points and embroiled in a relegation battle.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace started brightly enough and a ball in from Martin Kelly on the right found Jason Puncheon but he scuffed his effort wide. The first half saw few clear cut chances with Marcos Alonso striding free but Jason Puncheon cut out his through ball to Willian at the key moment.

Costa was then booked for dissent, his fifth yellow card of the season, which means he will miss the Boxing Day game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Puncheon whipped a free kick over the bar as Palace tried to thwart the threat of Chelsea’s counter attacks but right on half time they fell behind. Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross from the right was headed home brilliantly by Costa as he scored his 13th PL goal of the season to put the Blues 1-0 up at the break.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

At the start of the second half a long ball forward caused problems as Wilfried Zaha chased it down and Yohan Cabaye smashed the loose ball on goal but Thibaut Courtois saved. At the other end N'Golo Kante hammered an effort on goal which Wayne Hennessey saved.

Kante was then booked by referee Jon Moss after plenty of fouls which was also his fifth booking of the season and that means he’ll miss the Boxing Day game alongside Costa. After a turn and shot from Moses was blocked, Chelsea then brought on Cesc Fabregas to try and see out the win.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Alonso drilled a volley into the side-netting as the Blues continued to look dangerous on the break with Eden Hazard setting up Fabregas but his weak shot was saved by Hennessey. Chelsea looked the more likely to score late on as a flowing counter attack ended up with Kante drilling in a low shot that Hennessey saved well and Palace’s goalkeeper palmed away Alonso’s drive soon after. The Spanish left back then curled a magnificent free kick against the crossbar which beat Hennesey all ends up.

Palace didn’t come close to grabbing an equalizer as Chelsea kept a ninth clean sheet in their last 11 games to continue their dominance.