BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Roy Hodgson admitted he was getting concerned at Crystal Palace’s inability to kill off Burnley in today’s 2-0 win at Selhurst Park.
James McArthur’s first-half goal was only added to late on by a stunning hit from Andros Townsend. It was a first home league victory for the Eagles.
Palace dominated from start to finish but Burnley keeper Joe Hart pulled off a string of saves while Wilfried Zaha hit the crossbar.
Hodgson said: “Yes [getting concerned hadn’t scored a second] – only because we are where we are in the league. I don’t think the team’s performances have got the points total they merited. Had we had more points then I wouldn’t have been quite so concerned. This was a game where we needed all three, by hook or by crook. In the end we got them because we were the better side from start to finish.
“It [a first home win of the season] has been a long time coming. There have been other home games where I’ve been equally pleased with the performance. We haven’t been lucky in our home games.
“When we didn’t beat Arsenal we were certainly en-route to doing so, we were en-route to getting a good result against Tottenham Hotspur. Results have been there in the shadows but just eluded us – today they didn’t.
“Certainly it will be a very curmudgeonly person who denied Crystal Palace the right to win this game here today. It’s not often you get almost 30 attempts on goal and nine on target. A good nine of those off target were every bit as dangerous, if not more dangerous.”
Hodgson did not believe McArthur’s goal was fortunate. His cross evaded Max Meyer but still beat Hart, who was distracted by the German.
The Eagles chief said: “Well, that’s not strictly true because it is the same with a wide free-kick. If you can hit those wide free-kicks in you can aim between the goalkeeper and the far post – you get people flying across the goalkeeper and it makes it almost impossible for him to save it. Because he can’t move until the ball has gone past him.”