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The response to the 5-0 home defeat proved to be another defeat yesterday with Crystal Palace beating us 3-0 at Selhurst Park with three goals in eleven minutes just as we went into the final quarter of the game.

It was a game that we had to play with ten men from the 35th minute when Josh Brownhill became the fifth Burnley player to receive a red card this season and just as we were beginning to think that our stoic defending might just win us a point.

Selhurst Park always proves to be on of, if not the most, difficult of grounds to reach by road and again there were late supporters group coaches yesterday. We’ve long given up trying to drive there and yesterday’s journey was via two cars and a train. Car number one picked me up at 7 a.m. for the first part of the journey to Halifax via a pick up in Barrowford. There, a change of car, made the journey, with one more pick up at Worksop, to St Albans from where we took the direct train to Norwood Junction.

We took in a quick visit to the fanzone outside the main stand before making our way round to the Arthur Waite stand and to our standing area for the afternoon. We had by then heard the team news and it was as expected with Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson coming in for the injured Aaron Ramsey and with Charlie Taylor replacing Hannes Delcroix at full back. Delcroix was on the bench that saw Hjalmar Ekdal return to fill the other space left by the two starting players.

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The players were out warming up but there was no sign of Mike Trésor despite Vincent Kompany reporting on Thursday that he was hopeful of him being available. There was a new face down on the pitch and wearing the number 35 kit. It was a surprise to see him. It was Baslio Rieno Socoliche who we had signed from Palace last summer. He’s hardly played for the under-21s this season because of injury.

The game almost got off to the most dramatic of starts when a Taylor volley flew just wide of goal with the goalkeeper frantically trying to get to it. The problem was that it was his own goal and it left a very relieved James Trafford who was at least able to see it go out for a corner, one of several Palace won in the opening exchanges.

For once we defended them well and we looked reasonably comfortable for much of the first half although it has to be said that we offered precious little at the other end of the pitch.

So, to live things up we pressed the self-destruct button. It didn’t cost us a goal but it did cost us a player. Guðmundsson played the ball back to Trafford and he in turn tried to play it out to Josh Brownhill. Jefferson Lerma nipped in front of Brownhill who pulled him back by grabbing his shirt. Referee Lewis Smith had no alternative but to show the Burnley captain a red card. Now, however well or badly you thought Brownhill dealt with the situation, this was without any doubt yet another bad mistake by Trafford.

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This young lad had never played higher than League One previously but he’s been thrust into a Premier League team and by the time this game finished he’s conceded 58 Premier League goal. For the life of me I can’t understand how this has been allowed to continue. At some point you would have thought that common sense and good man management would have taken him out of the firing line.

Palace fired the free kick over the bar as Burnley got Josh Cullen prepared to come on. He replaced Zeki Amdouni who, I have to admit, I hadn’t noticed once until I saw him making his way off.

We got to half time at 0-0 with Palace, at times, hardly looking capable of taking advantage and for some considerable time that continued after the interval. There were even two incidents that the Burnley fans were able to get excited about. The first saw Palace’s latest recruit Adam Wharton receive a fully deserved yellow card, the player who our fans had singled out for special treatment given his previous club.

Then, David Datro Fofana headed a Lorenz Assignon cross wide. It was the first effort at goal from us all afternoon and led to the sound of “We had a shot,” from the Burnley fans who were able to cheer too when the referee appeared to go for his card again only to see it was Wharton. In my view he bottled it. The game should then have been ten v ten. The Palace bench reacted quickly and got him off before he committed another foul.

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As Palace went forward at one point, I looked at my watch and we’d just about reached the half way point in the second half of the game. It was still 0-0 and I thought to myself that we might just get a point out of it. How wrong could I be. Even Palace, as poor as they were, finally got a foothold.

Thet opened the scoring very soon through Chris Richards after that and two minutes later they doubled their advantage. We heard the weirdest of announcements to inform us that VAR was checking the second goal for an offside. I haven’t seen any pictures since that would offer any help but if Jean-Philipe Mateta was in an offside position then surely the goal should have been ruled out given he made every attempt to get to the cross before it went through for Jordan Ayew to score.

Our response was to replace Taylor with Vitinho and with his first piece of action he conceded a penalty. Cue the strange VAR announcement again. This decision looks correct and there is no response from Vitinho to it other than the resigned expression that he knew what he’d done. Mateta scored from the spot and suddenly we were looking at another big defeat.

We should be thankful they didn’t add to our misery and it might have been slightly better when Fofana scored in a move that included some Brazilian brilliance down the left from Vitinho. For the third time we heard the haunting VAR announcement. Apparently Assignon was in an offside position and causing the goalkeeper problems. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander is the expression, but not at Selhurst Park. After Lewis took a look at the monitor, he ruled it out.

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That goal had come in the 87th minute and incredibly, as full time approached, we made a triple substitution with us introducing Manuel Benson, Jack Cork and Jay Rodriguez. When the game restarted, fourth official Darren England signalled there would be twelve minutes of stoppage time.

What on earth were we doing making changes like that so late in the day? It makes no sense to me at all and as for the added minutes, Lewis had been criticised for not playing enough at Fulham last week so I can only guess we’d got theirs. I know we’d have three VAR checks and a few substitutions, but twelve minutes. It ruled out any hope of an early train.

Last week in my Arsenal report, I wrote: “Thankfully, mercifully, the final whistle eventually blew,” so this week I’ll write that thankfully, mercifully, the final whistle eventually blew.” The players and manager came over but I don’t think they were quite prepared for the reception they received. Yes, it was mixed, but there was so much negativity towards them, the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since the visit to the same ground at the end of a 4-3 defeat in October 2012.

The train we’d always planned to get, we did, and we were back in St Albans before 6:30 and off to the pub we’d booked for food and drink. It was another good choice of venue and at least allowed us to get the two hour afternoon interval out of our heads.

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Eventually it was the same journey home and I finally walked back through the front door some eighteen and a quarter hours after setting off. It was a quick brew, our feature on Match of the Day and then some much deserved rest.

Overall, it had been a good day out with friends. Now which one of them said that next time we should give the match a miss? Definitely one of them has now ruled himself out of any more away trips this season although he was picking out which away trips he was looking forward to next season in the Championship. There are still twelve games to go but we know where we are heading.

The teams were;

Crystal Palace: Sam Johnstone, Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen (James Tomkins 90+1), Chris Richards, Daniel Muñoz, Adam Wharton (Naouirou Ahamada 66), Jefferson Lerma, Tyrick Mitchell, Jordan Ayew (David Ozoh 90+9), Odsonne Édouard (Matheus França de Oliveira 66), Jean-Philippe Mateta. Subs not used: Dean Henderson, Nathaniel Clyne, Luke Plange, Kaden Rodney, Franco Umeh-Chibueze.
Yellow Cards: Adam Wharton, Jordan Ayew, Tyrick Mitchell.

Burnley: James Trafford, Lorenz Assignon, Dara O’Shea, Maxime Estève, Charlie Taylor (Vitinho 75), Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (Jack Cork 90+1), Sander Berge, Josh Brownhill, Wilson Odobert (Manuel Benson 90), Zeki Amdouni (Josh Cullen 37), David Datro Fofana (Jay Rodriguez 90+1). Subs not used: Arijanet Muric, Hjalmar Ekdal, Hannes Delcroix, Jacob Bruun Larsen.
Yellow Card: Maxime Estève.
Red Card: Josh Brownhill.

Referee: Lewis Smith (Lancashire).

Attendance: 24,042.

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