Crystal Palace could not end either their barren run of goals or defeats as they lost 2-0 to Swansea City at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Manager Frank de Boer was forced into an early change when James Tomkins became the team's seventh injury casualty, but substitute Martin Kelly struggled to contain Swansea's Tammy Abraham as he scored on 44 minutes.

Palace started the second half brightly, but faced an uphill battle when Kelly was tackled by Kyle Naughton, whose through ball into Jordan Ayew was enough to nick it past an onrushing Wayne Hennessey for a second.

Here are five things we learned...

Palace's approach often negated their ability to penetrate the box

It would be easy for De Boer to abandon his preferred system and revert to what previous manager Sam Allardyce found successful during his five-month tenure.

That would also signal his approach was the issue and his team was not suited to playing it.

However, it's hard not to observe the last two or so games and believe it is his approach. On both occasions, against Ipswich Town in midweek and Swansea yesterday, the opposition looked better than Palace at times.

What was most striking about the Swansea performance was the inability to consistently get into the box, and the times Palace did they genuinely looked like scoring.

Although both penalty calls were, rightly, dismissed by referee Andre Marriner, had it not been for one or two mistimed touches then Palace would have drawn level and maybe even taken the lead. On some occasions, they were as far as the six-yard box.

However, the time it took for them to reach that was far too long. By the time they had, Swansea had already settled and were ready to swarm the ball-carrier whenever they came within certain distances of the 18-yard box.

Palace’s problems were complicated by players being out of position

Andros Townsend has said he not used to playing alongside Christian Benteke as a forward. It would take time for him to become familiarised with the role, however he is not a striker.

Townsend is at his best when running at players with speed, often skipping past one or two, before delivering a cross for someone else. Alternatively, when he makes attacking runs from the far side into the box.

He was not the only player out of position. Jason Puncheon was a deeper-lying playmaker desperate to burst into the box at times, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah became a wing-back late into the second half.

De Boer does have a balancing act on his hands with who he places in midfield with his formation. Luka Milivojevic, Yohan Cabaye, James McArthur, Puncheon and now Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all options, most worthy of a regular first-team berth.

However, with that much competition comes someone being forced out. In theory, McArthur or Loftus-Cheek could occupy more advanced positions but it comes at the risk of losing either Townsend or Zaha, which becomes preposterous.

Against Swansea, Palace looked uncomfortable with some players strongly desiring a more natural role to them. But in fairness they performed it admirably.

McArthur is looking more difficult to keep out

After Patrick van Aanholt looked to have almost been punished for not keeping track of Kyle Naughton's runs from deep, McArthur switched sides with Puncheon to protect the space between Van Aanholt and Tomkins.

For a while, it worked. His awareness to track the runs behind him and instruct Tomkins on who to focus on ensured Swansea would not capitalise on a potential defensive error.

At times he was the deepest midfielder, both stopping Swansea's attacks and trying to get on the end of Palace's, and he looked similarly instrumental on Saturday as he did against Ipswich Town.

Loftus-Cheek's injury is a blow to Palace, particularly given that Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako are still out as well. But it's hard not to think it doesn't come as a blessing for McArthur as he puts a curtailed pre-season behind him.

If and when De Boer's men start firing and claiming all three points, then taking the Scotland midfielder out the team would be a tough ask. The trouble is, do you keep him with Milivojevic even after Cabaye fully recovers?

If the system is going to work efficiently, then Townsend cannot be isolated like he was

Time and again when Townsend was in the final third, he was met with several Swansea defenders who made it impossible for him to generate anything remotely productive.

It forced him to cut inside from wide, hope one or two defenders would bite, and then take a shot on goal. Most times, the ball sailed narrowly wide of the goal.

In order to avoid this, Palace’s wing-backs need to be more involved. Joel Ward was more engaged and did unbalance Swansea late on, but it needs to be a consistent effort otherwise passes into the wider forwards are a waste of time.

This is not news to De Boer, or anyone in the squad. But it looked to be a factor in why they were rather ineffective on the wings.

Chances were created, but they were not very clear-cut

Palace did get into the box at times and were unfortunate not to at least force a save out of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

However, those chances were not always the best they could manage. Granted, Swansea defended admirably but Palace didn't make them sweat too much.

They were happy to watch the ball sail over the bar or just wide when the shots were outside the box, and were perhaps tested the most when a header from a corner was held well by Fabianski.