The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW32): Crystal Palace 0-1 Burnley
As people with Amazon Prime on our Xbox One's, we were very happy to see Amazon get their first taste of Premier League action during this Project Restart period. The game itself was between two mid-table sides with relatively nothing to play for, other than to squabble over a couple of league positions come the end of the season.
The first real big chance of the game fell in the 20th minute when an Ashley Westwood's corner bounced off Patrick van Aanholt who was on the line. The ball bobbled around the face of the penalty area before finding the feet of Dwight McNeil, though the attacking midfielder was leaning back and his shot blazed over the bar.
Jordan Ayew shot well from range to draw a save from Nick Pope, with McNeil also forcing a comfortable save from Vicente Guaita with a shot from range. Luka Milivojevic's set-pieces were all over-cooked, whilst Wilfried Zaha was being triple-teamed by Burnley's defenders, with the game going in to the break with a predictable 0-0 score-line.
We're hoping that Amazon have some highlights to produce from this game - Palace have been awful and it is Burnley that look the most likely to win, in what was a good half for the talented Dwight McNeil.
The second-half started with an elongated VAR call when Jordan Ayew threw up an elbow when trying to stave off a challenge from Josh Brownhill. Staying on the pitch, and rightfully so, within minutes Ayew is teeing up Gary Cahill for a weak finish before the 60-minute mark.
The game's pattern of play was finally reflected with the score-line in the 62nd minute as Burnley took the lead when Ashley Westwood delivered another fine free-kick into the penalty area, with Ben Mee diving dramatically in the box to meet the cross, with the looping header between Guaita - with the Palace shot-stopper getting a hand on the ball for the effort to deflect in off the post. In all fairness, Guaita should have saved the effort, though you can't can't away the technique of the header from Mee.
The rest of the second-half saw Palace probing the Burnley goal, though Ayew and Cahill with headers, though a combination of Ben Mee and Charlie Taylor defensively expertly to clear absolutely everything from danger.
Palace went close during another goal-mouth scrambled in the first minute of added time when Patrick van Aanholt scuffed his shot, though the seconds and thirds from Milivojevic were parred away from goal by Pope. Burnley saw out the win with an excellent clean sheet, with The Clarets now on the cusp of Europa League qualification yet again.
Man of the Match: Ben Mee (BUR)
If you take away the winning goal for Burnley, Ben Mee is still man of the match. Leading by example, Mee flung himself at everything, led a beautiful defensive line and next to Charlie Taylor, cleared their lines every single time against tricky wingers in Zaha and Townsend. The goal was itself was a fine header and worthy of a brilliant performance.
CRY 0-1 BUR - Insight and Analysis:
by / @HypeTrainRob
Did Crystal Palace deserve anything tonight? No. Could they have played for 100 hours without a single goal? Most likely. Roy Hodgson's side were pretty tepid from first minute to last, with Jordan Ayew isolated for most of the game.
Burnley provided a showcase of how to defend as a unit and how as a back four, to be brave and composed. As a defender myself, I actually purred watching this performance. There is an art to defending and tonight a fine painting was created as Crystal Palace were snubbed out at any real or fruitful chances to put Nick Pope under any real pressure.
Charlie Taylor was fantastic. Ashley Westwood's set-piece delivery was on-point. Ben Mee had one of his finest games in the Premier League. Jack Cork destroyed his body. Vydra held the line well in attack and was more mobile than the likes of Barnes and Wood. Nick Pope never looked like he was going to be beat. It was a professional away win with a lot of positives for the travelling Clarets, who fully deserved a win over a Palace side who have been unglued since the Liverpool defeat in midweek.
Burnley are now above Sheffield United in the table, a Sheffield side that have been heralded this season by pundits across the land, whilst Burnley have been labelled in a less bright light due to the 'White Lives Matter' banner that flew over the Etihad during Gameweek 30. Without much backing in the transfer market, this is proving to be one fine season for Burnley - all of this should lead Sean Dyche towards a top job later down the line.
Venue: Selhurst Park
Manager: Roy Hodgson
GK: V. Guaita
DEF: J. Ward
DEF: S. Dann
DEF: G. Cahill
DEF: P. van Aanholt
MID: A. Townsend (Meyer 77')
MID: C. Kouyaté (McCarthy 45')
MID: L. Milivojevic
MID: J. McArthur
MID: W. Zaha
FOR: J. Ayew
Meyer, Sakho, Hennessey, McCarthy, Woods, Tavares, Mitchell, Pierrick, Riedewald
Manager: Sean Dyche
GK: N. Pope
DEF: P. Bardsley
DEF: J. Tarkowski
DEF: B. Mee
DEF: C. Taylor
MID: J. Brownhill
MID: A. Westwood
MID: J. Cork (Long 70')
MID: E. Pieters
MID: D. McNeil
FOR: M. Vydra
Peacock-Farrell, Long, Thompson, Dunne, Thomas, Jensen, Goodridge
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
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