Palace stretch unbeaten run as Zaha sees red
Crystal Palace stretched their unbeaten run to eight games after a hard earned 1-1 draw against Burnley.
It was a tale of two penalties, with Burnley scoring first after a minute and Darren Ambrose levelling from the spot in the second half.
The Eagles played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Wilfried Zaha was sent off after an off the ball incident with David Edgar.
It came after the Palace youngster won the penalty which gave the Eagles another away point.
Manager Dougie Freedman made three changes to the side that had drawn against Coventry, with Nathaniel Clyne, Stuart O’Keefe and Glenn Murray all brought into the team.
Palace got off to a nightmare start however. Only 45 seconds had gone when Martin Paterson pounced on a loose back pass from Paddy McCarthy and ran towards goal.
The striker was in the penalty area only for Jonathan Parr to trip him and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty.
Jay Rodriguez smashed the ball past Julian Speroni to give the home side an early advantage.
Burnley looked fired up and almost doubled their lead through Danny Ings.
The ex-Bournemouth striker went on a mazy run down the left, skipped past Clyne’s challenge in the area, but his shot was well saved by Speroni.
Palace’s first chance didn’t come until the 37th minute. Ambrose curled a deep cross in from the right and Murray headed the ball towards goal only to be denied by a wonderful save from Lee Grant.
The visitors were starting to find their rhythm. Chris Martin tested Grant again with a low drive from outside the area, the Burnley keeper tipping the ball around the post.
McCarthy rose to head the ball from the resulting corner only for Grant to deny the Palace again.
Palace started the second half brightly with Murray and Ambrose testing Grant whilst Zaha was starting to show the pace and trickiness that has seen him receive plenty of plaudits this year.
It was the young Eagle though who was at the centre of the game’s most controversial moments.
With 60 minutes gone, Zaha dribbled into the penalty area skipping past two challenges before an outstretched leg from Kieran Trippier tripped him up.
Despite the home fans’ anger, the referee awarded a penalty which Ambrose clinically dispatched, his second penalty in two games.
Barely 10 minutes later, Zaha was in the thick of it again.
The linesman judged that the youngster had kicked out at Burnley’s Edgar and referee Dean Whitestone had little choice but to show a straight red card.
Palace had to dig in for the last 20 minutes but showed the character which has seen Freedman’s side become one of the best defensive units in the Championship.
The Eagle’s now have a week off before facing Hull City at Selhurst Park next Saturday.
Palace line up: Speroni, Clyne, Parr, McCarthy, Gardner, Ambrose, Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, O’Keefe, Martin. Subs: Garvan, Easter, Moxey, McShane, Price