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Wood winner for Burnley piles more pressure on De Boer

Wood winner for Burnley piles more pressure on De Boer

LONDON: Burnley’s Chris Wood scored on his home debut on Sunday in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, whose Dutch manager Frank De Boer will be under increased pressure after a fourth straight defeat.

An awful back pass from South Korean midfielder Lee Chung-yong gifted the third-minute opener to Wood, with Burnley’s recent club-record signing from Leeds United confidently firing first-time from 35 metres past Wayne Hennessey.

Burnley’s England international goalkeeper Tom Heaton had to be substituted in the 36th minute after suffering a shoulder injury, handing reserve Nick Pope a Premier League debut.

Palace dominated the second half but Pope produced a superb save with his feet to foil Christian Benteke in the 80th minute and in the final stages Scott Dann missed a golden chance, heading wide from three metres.

There has been widespread speculation about the future of former Ajax Amsterdam coach De Boer, who arrived at the London club amid talk of transforming the team’s style but who has yet to gather a point.

“I am just focusing on what I can control and so are my staff and my players,” De Boer said.

“The future is for other people to decide but while I’m the manager of Crystal Palace I will give 100 per cent.

“We have to look in the mirror and be responsible that you have to take the chances, and you get punished when you don’t.

“But if you look all over at how we showed spirit, I think we were quite dynamic. What we showed today gives us a lot of hope for the future.”

In Sunday’s other game, Newcastle United won 1-0 at Swansea City thanks to a 76th-minute goal by Jamaal Lascelles.

The Newcastle captain Lascelles saved a certain goal at one end before scoring his side’s winner, powering home a close-range header from Matt Ritchie’s corner to give his side their second successive victory after losing their first two games.

Just past the hour mark defender Lascelles made a last-ditch intervention as Swansea’s Tammy Abraham rounded Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot and shot goalwards only to see Lascelles move in and prevent a certain goal.

In Saturday’s late match, Manchester United surrendered their 100 percent record after a lively 2-2 draw at Stoke City.

But despite dropping points for the first time in four matches, Jose Mourinho’s side remain top of the table with 10 points, above neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.

“It was a difficult match. My players, after the international break, are not the same,” Mourinho said, referencing the World Cup qualifiers over the last two weeks.

United had scored 10 goals without reply in opening the title challenge with three wins. A reality check came with a trip to Stoke where Arsenal has already lost this season.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting became the first player to score against United this season. The Cameroon forward swept home from Mame Biram Diouf’s 43rd minute cross to notch his first Stoke goal.

United drew level at the bet365 Stadium as Nemanja Matic flicked on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s corner and Paul Pogba’s header hit Marcus Rashford and went in.

The visitors moved ahead in the 57th minute when Mkhitaryan’s defence-splitting pass was converted by Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian forward’s initial effort was saved by Jack Butland.

But when United defender Phil Jones stumbled at a Stoke corner, Cameroon forward Choupo-Moting was unmarked to head the equaliser in the 63rd minute.

“Stoke are big, strong and powerful in the air,” Mourinho said. “They fought hard and probably deserved a point.”

And yet there wasn’t a post-match handshake with Stoke counterpart Mark Hughes.

“I offered my hand but Jose didn’t want to take it,” Hughes said. “Maybe he was upset about the result. The top managers don’t like it when they get the bad results. I have to get used to it sometimes.”

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2017

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