BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Wilfried Zaha shone for Crystal Palace as they ended a winless run of five Premier League games with a 2-0 victory at Burnley on Saturday.
Goals from Zaha on the stroke of halftime and a 78th minute strike from substitute Jeffrey Schlupp secured the win for Roy Hodgson’s side on a cold afternoon at Turf Moor but they were helped by Burnley mistakes for both goals.
It was a vital victory for Palace, who had lost their last three games, and manager Roy Hodgson felt it was just reward after a tough run of fixtures.
“It was an impressive and important victory after the run of games we’ve had,” said Hodgson,whose side had lost to all of the league’s top four in their winless streak..
“I don’t think we’ve been in bad form or played poorly in recent games, so it was important for me to keep the players believing that you don’t necessarily equate form with results.”
Burnley were without suspended midfielder Ashley Westwood as Irish winger Robbie Brady was given a rare start.
Brady created an opening for striker Ashley Barnes but he failed to control the ball inside the area and the opportunity was wasted.
Sean Dyche’s side then lost left back Charlie Taylor to a hamstring injury in the 36th minute and the Clarets struggled to deal with Palace’s quick breaks, particularly with Zaha tormenting Phil Bardsley.
Jordan Ayew had an effort disallowed for offside in the 38th minute but Palace grabbed the lead on the stroke of halftime when the tricky Zaha cut in from the left and his low strike beat Nick Pope at the near post.
Burnley should have drawn level in the 58th minute when a poor header from Cheikhou Kouyate fell straight to Chris Wood in the box but the New Zealand striker blasted high and wide.
Palace wrapped up the win in the 78th minute when Burnley defender Ben Mee’s mis-hit clearance fell to Schlupp who fired low past Pope, beaten again at his near post.
“It was more frustrating than disappointing. I am not disappointed because I thought we played well. The frustration comes with not taking our chances,” said Dyche, whose side face champions Manchester City on Tuesday.
“Palace stayed in shape and broke and we did not deal with those breaks today. Sometimes you think it was not your day but you have to take your chances and we did not take them today.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ian Chadband