Mr Consistency – why Chris Wood is so essential to Burnley’s hopes of avoiding the fall

By Adam Lanigan

Burnley and Crystal Palace served up a thriller in the rain of Turf Moor as the two teams shared six goals.

It was an unexpected treat as the teams attacked from first minute to last with plenty of chances on top of goals as they all threw themselves against each other like boxers bumping into each other.

It was Palace, who picked up where he left off before the international break, finding the net in eight minutes, thanks to Christian Benteke.

Belgium’s international scorer, Benteke scored from inside the post with the help of a deflection from James Tarkowski, after Joachim Andersen was fired after Maxwel Cornet’s header failed to eliminate the danger.

It really should have been two minutes later, as Palace collapsed again, but when Benteke placed the ball in the path of Conor Gallagher, England’s newest international, he shot it straight at Nick Pope with everything the goal at its mercy.

He would live to regret the mistake as Burnley didn’t take long to equalize as Ben Mee got a free kick in the corner from Ashley Westwood and planted a firm header at the far post.

On the contrary, the excitement escalated when Johann Berg Gudmundsson was pushed back by Vicente Guaita on one end while Benteke slid one into the net on the other as Palace counterattacked.

Spirits then frayed as Wilfried Zaha and Tarkowski both saw yellow after clashing.

But it was Burnley who scored the next goal with another free kick. This time, Dwight McNeil’s floating free kick was directed by Tarkowksi to get Chris Wood to perfectly guide his six-yard header into the bottom corner.

Benteke had already passed up a great opportunity to equalize on a free header, but he was right the second time around, shooting at home after Gallagher’s great work to set him up.

And the fun of the first half was still not over as Palace continued for the second time. Andersen’s initial header was saved, but his center partner Marc Guehi smashed the rebound for his debut Premier League goal.

But four minutes into the second half, the hosts were once again tied with the best goal of the afternoon.

Gudmundsson’s cross was led by Tarkowski and he fell to the far post for Cornet, who produced superb technique to hit a plunging volley past Guaita for his fifth goal in just seven Premier League appearances since arriving from Lyon at 13 million of pounds sterling.

There was then time for controversy as the home side were convinced Andersen knocked Wood outside the box on the last man after misjudging a long ball, but referee Simon Hooper didn’t has not even committed a fault.

Zaha rocked the crossbar with a brilliant volley from him as Palace set off in search of a winner while Burnley’s substitute Matej Vydra had the chance to secure all three points in the final minute of added time , only for Guaita to make an amazing stop.

That would have made them come out of the bottom three, but it’s still only one loss in six. However, for Palace it’s now been seven games unbeaten in Vieira’s entertaining new look squad.

About Jerry Richter

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