“I’m afraid the bottom line is we lost to a better team” said Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson after his side suffered their latest crushing defeat at home to Burnley.
Palace were battered 3-0 in their own back yard by Burnley just five days after a two-goal defeat at Leeds United.
Without Wilfried Zaha against Burnley and Leeds, the Eagles lacked any finishing instinct in the final third as they looked lost for ideas without the Ivory Coast international.
However, it’s lazy to pin the blame solely on the absence of their star man, as they only had themselves to blame for their collapse in south London, with veteran full-back Patrick van Aanholt one of the chief culprits – together with his partner-in-crime Nathaniel Clyne – who was at fault for the dreadful defensive performance from the hosts.
Was Van Aanholt poor vs Burnley?
Upon further inspection, it’s easy to understand why, as SofaScore graded him with a low statistical score of 5.5 to echo his words. No other player received a lower rating than Van Aanholt, including Vicente Guaita, despite the fact the Spaniard failed to keep a clean sheet for the second consecutive game in a row.
When you consider the fact that the seasoned veteran – who earns £55,000-per-week at Selhurst Park, is one of the most experienced members of Hodgson’s squad, he really should be doing a lot better than that, especially considering Tyrick Mitchell is patiently waiting in the wings.
A mix-up with Scott Dann created the opener and he couldn’t keep up with Matt Lowton before the right-back let loose with a rocket past the helpless Guaita.
Indeed, Lowton had his number right from the start as he caught him napping on several occasions, earning himself the highest SofaScore rating in the process, as he completed three successful dribbles from four attempts, which suggests that, more often than not, he managed to get the better of Van Aanholt.
If that weren’t bad enough, he lost possession 27 times – the most out of any player from either side, as per SofaScore, and far higher than his season’s average of 13.9, which suggests that he was performing far below his capabilities.
Evidently, he was Palace’s biggest liability on the day, and badly let Hodgson down as the Eagles conceded three goals against a side who had only scored 14 goals prior to the game.