An early goal by Chris Wood condemned Crystal Palace to a fourth successive Premier League defeat and piled even greater pressure on manager Frank de Boer.
De Boer may feel aggrieved if he is to be sacked, as despite his side making history by becoming the first team to lose their opening four Premier League matches without scoring, the Eagles should have come away from Turf Moor with at least a point.
Scott Dann somehow contrived to head wide from close range in time added on at the end of the game, and shortly before Christian Benteke missed a golden opportunity to draw Palace level as he poked a shot at substitute goalkeeper Nick Pope.
A catastrophic error from Chung-yong Lee, making his first start of the season and 100th Premier League appearance, saw Wood latch on to a terrible back-pass and place the ball past Wayne Hennessey, who stood little chance, and into the net after just three minutes.
This was a better performance from the Eagles as they looked far stronger going forward in a 4-3-3 formation, De Boer having scrapped the 3-4-3 which had failed to glean a single goal and left gaping holes at the back.
Nonetheless there were still clear holes, particularly down Palace’s troublesome left flank. That was partly due to Jeffrey Schlupp – who started in place of the out-of-favour Patrick van Aanholt – getting forward at every opportunity and providing much greater width.
There was some neat interplay between Schlupp, Cabaye and Benteke throughout, but it so often came to nothing.
Palace were not without chances as Dann – who was up for every corner – had an effort cleared off the line in the first half.
Benteke, Puncheon and Cabaye resorted to taking aim from distance and testing the stand-in goalkeeper Pope, who came on for the injured Tom Heaton, but several opportunities went begging. Andros Townsend looked lively in spurts but failed to make a meaningful contribution.
The 18-year-old Levi Lumeka came on for his Premier League and Palace first-team debut, and despite apparent nerves looked to get involved on occasions.
The Clarets rarely threatened in a second half in which the Eagles dominated possession but were too cumbersome in their build-up play to make anything of it often enough.
When they did, they either found Pope in form, or wasted the opportunity. This was a better performance, and Steve Parish may decide he saw enough potential for change to give the club’s foreign manager a little more time to turn it around.
Nonetheless, four games in and yet to register a goal or a point, Palace could face a real danger of relegation, a season potentially summed up by a failure to strengthen key areas, most obviously up front.