ANDROS TOWNSEND’S stunner ensured a first home win of the season for Crystal Palace against a woeful Burnley.
James McArthur had given the Eagles the lead but they wasted a host of golden chances to put the game to bed.
Reuters5 Andros Townsend ensured Palace took the three points, but the London side took their time in getting the second goal
Until Andros Townsend came to the party that is – 66 minutes and a combined 20 attempts later- the winger cut in off the right and fired a crackerjack into the top corner after 78 minutes to seal the three points.
Roy Hodgson’s side had been rotten at Selhurst Park so far – but they looked a side full of confidence and should have scored a hatful more against the Clarets.
Watched on by chairman Steve Parish and his new TV presenter girlfriend Susanna Reid, Palace started with a real swagger, with Max Meyer forcing a great save by Joe Hart down to his left.
And they got a deserved opener, their first from open-play at Selhurst Park, after 16 minutes through McArthur.
Reuters5 Townsend's superb strike gave Joe Hart no chance of keeping the scoreline at 1-0
Getty – Contributor5 James McArthur got Palace their early goal, but it took 66 minutes and 20 attempts to get their second
The Scot 32,swung in a cross from the left for Max Meyer but it evaded everyone, wrong-footed Joe Hart and went in off the post for his first of the season.
With no recognised striker, responsibility fell to Wilfried Zaha to ignite Palace, and he didn’t disappoint.
Popping up on the left and right, Zaha ran Burnely’s defence ragged early on, whipping in dangerous crosses, beating his man and threading balls in behind the Clarets.
And Meyer almost made it two after 35 minutes – his curled left-footed effort beat Hart but went millimetres wide of the post.
Reuters5 Watched on by chairman Steve Parish and his new TV presenter girlfriend Susanna Reid, Palace started with a real swagger
Reuters5 Palace played some impressive football, but took their time in getting their second goal
Burnley, without a win since the end of September, lacked any confidence on the ball and made for the perfect opponent for the Eagles to get back on track.
Wayne Hennesey was a bystander throughout as Burnley could not muster a single chance of note.
And things didn’t get better after the break, with Dyche’s side indebted to Hart for keeping out Zaha two minutes into the second-half – and the Ivorian fluffed his lines five minutes later, blazing over after being played in by Andros Townsend.
With Burnley offering nothing it was up to Hodgson’s side to put the game to bed, but Luka Milivojevic dragged his shot wide after finding himself unmarked from 10-yards.
Zaha ran the show throughout and the only thing missing was a goal himself – and he rattled the bar after 65 minutes with a thunderous shot from the top of the box.
But the points were sealed by Andros Townsend’s second goal of the season, leaving Joe Hart with no chance as he fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner.