Burnley push for Europe after beating Eagles

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Ben Mee's goal was only his seventh for Burnley since 2011.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche said he remains committed to the club after they boosted their hopes of qualifying for Europe with victory at Crystal Palace.

The Clarets have had a challenging time since lockdown, with the failure to extend a number of first-team players’ contracts meaning Dyche has only been able to name a seven-strong substitutes’ bench, comprised mainly of individuals from the club’s academy.

However, after suffering a 5-0 loss at Manchester City in their first game back after the Premier League’s 100-day suspension because of coronavirus, they have now won successive games 1-0 to take them up to eighth in the table.

“In the 100 days from the start of lockdown to the end, the dynamic of the club has changed somewhat, so that has been interesting to compute and to make sense of. But [today] you saw a group fully motivated, as am I,” Dyche told Amazon Prime.

“We’ve got a group here who never go under. I’ll be working hard. You saw me committed in the last game and this game and you saw a team full of commitment to playing for Burnley.”

When asked directly about his future by BBC Radio 5 Live, Dyche replied: “Everyone keeps talking about my future apart from me. I’m getting on with my job as I always do – I’m still here.”

Burnley’s victory came courtesy of a second-half header from captain Ben Mee, who threw himself in to meet an Ashley Westwood free-kick and steer an effort past Vicente Guaita, although the home keeper should really have saved it.

It was reward for a side hampered by the contract situation and who were also without three injured forwards.

However, they were marginally the more positive of the two, with Dwight McNeil showing flashes of inspiration in the final third.

Palace had Wilfried Zaha fit after he limped out of their previous game, at Liverpool five days ago, but his was a subdued display, like the rest of his fellow home forwards.

Their best chance fell to defender Gary Cahill, who fired straight at Nick Pope from inside the box.

Burnley’s win takes them to 45 points and eighth – a league position that could well result in a Europa League place if Manchester City’s European ban is upheld.

Palace, who also hold out hope of a late surge for a European place, are now 11th in the table, three points worse off than Monday’s opponents.