Crystal Palace goalscorer McArthur on vital role played by Meyer, praise for another key unit against Burnley and the challenge of facing Brighton

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur reckons Max Meyer played a crucial part in his first goal of the season.

The Scot’s cross crept in to give the Eagles a first-half lead over Burnley. 

But Meyer’s presence in the box helped wrong-foot Joe Hart, whose saves gave the visitors hope until Andros Townsend produced a spectacular strike to seal a 2-0 win.

McArthur said: “The performance of the team was outstanding. From the first whistle we were on it and very unfortunate not to score a couple more.

“It was a cross, definitely. You never shoot from there but it’s probably one of the ones I needed because I hadn’t scored this season. Hopefully they will start going in.

“One thing I was pleased about was getting a lot of chances today [Saturday]. But Max needs to take a lot of credit for the goal. If he doesn’t make the run then I think Joe Hart puts his foot on it. He’s made an amazing run and made it very hard for the goalkeeper.

“As soon as it went in he’s pointed over to me that he hasn’t touched it, he’s a very honest boy. He was terrific today [Saturday].”

It was Palace’s first victory at home. They last time they had won in the Premier League was at Huddersfield on September 15.

“Getting a result at Manchester United [0-0] gives you a lot of confidence,” said McArthur. “We have played well against all the big teams and that needs to give you confidence. 

“We’ve created a lot but the defenders and goalkeeper need to take a lot of credit, limiting them to maybe one or two chances. Burnley are a team that can cause you a lot of problems with long balls and our defenders coped very, very well with it.

“That [the space Palace had on the ball] was probably to do with the way our strikers ran in behind – you’re obviously going to drop and by doing that there is gaps. 

“If we were a team that the manager just set us up to play between the lines they would have found it a lot easier. But by playing those early balls in behind, they need to drop.

“When you’ve got two boys like Wilf and Andros they can cause any team problems. I’m glad for Andros that he’s got his goal because he gives so much for the team and sometimes he doesn’t get that little bit of luck – today [Saturday] was an outrageous finish.”

Next up for Palace is tonight’s derby at Brighton. 

The Eagles are six points behind their arch-rivals. 

“They are a good side, doing well,” said McArthur. “It’s another tough test and we’re going to have to be on it if we want to win this match.

“The league is what it is, it doesn’t lie. Performance levels we have been better than being down at the bottom but it is about winning football matches. If you play well every game and go down it’s not good.”

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