BURNLEY, England — Frank de Boer’s position as Crystal Palace manager looked in more jeopardy on Sunday after his team lost 1-0 at Burnley for a fourth straight defeat to open the Premier League season.
The goal that could hasten the departure of De Boer was shambolic from Palace’s point of view, with Lee Chung-yong’s back-pass from the halfway line pounced on by Chris Wood in the third minute.
The New Zealand striker shot first-time from 35 meters past Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who was stranded outside his area, for his second goal in as many games since joining from second-tier Leeds. Wood was making his home debut for Burnley.
Palace is the first English top-flight team since Preston in 1924 to lose its opening four matches of a season without scoring. The side is struggling to adapt to a new and more expansive style of play under De Boer, the former Netherlands defender who took charge in the offseason after Sam Allardyce stepped down.
Palace dominated the second half at a rainy Turf Moor but had no width or end product, with star winger Wilfried Zaha again out injured. Its best chance fell in the 89th minute to Scott Dann, who glanced a header wide from inside the six-yard box. De Boer turned away in disgust and slumped into his seat in the dugout with his hands in his pockets.
“There was only one team deserving to win today and it was us. But that’s football,” De Boer said.
“We don’t have any points, which is unbelievable when you see this game. The most important thing, I always think, is if you are going to play like this every week, you get what you deserve. But football is about making goals and we have to do that much better.”
If De Boer’s tenure at Palace is cut short in the coming weeks, it will be his second successive failure after lasting just 84 days at Inter Milan last season. He was previously at Ajax, where he won the Eredivisie four straight years.
Burnley played for nearly an hour with substitute goalkeeper Nick Pope after Tom Heaton was helped off with a left shoulder injury.
Burnley has started the season well, having previously picked up four points in away games against Chelsea and Tottenham.