Burnley secured their first win in the Premier League this season as victory over Crystal Palace at Turf Moor moved them out of the relegation zone.
The Clarets had lost five and drawn two of their first seven games to leave them second from bottom in the table.
However, Chris Wood’s early strike – Burnley’s first goal at home this season – proved the difference, the forward driving home from Jay Rodriguez’s pass after a mistake in the Palace defence.
Palace were without influential forward Wilfried Zaha after he tested positive for coronavirus, and they missed his contribution in attack.
However, they did have the chance to equalise in the first half with on-loan Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi just failing to reach an excellent ball by James McArthur before Nick Pope tipped over Andros Townsend’s powerful effort.
Burnley should have put the game out of Crystal Palace’s reach soon after the restart but Johann Gudmundsson crashed his shot against the crossbar, a miss that almost proved costly soon after when a Dwight McNeil mistake put Batshuayi in on goal but he could not beat Pope.
There was one final chance for Palace to snatch an equaliser but Pope produced a superb save from close range to deny substitute Christian Benteke.
The win moves Burnley up to 17th on five points, one point clear of the relegation zone, while Crystal Palace remain on 13 points in 10th place.
After losing five of their six opening games in the league this season it had looked increasingly likely that Burnley’s five-year stay in the top flight was going to come to an end.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has steadfastly maintained that his side have looked more like their old selves in recent games even if results suggested otherwise, but this was a performance reminiscent of those seasons when they have surpassed expectations.
They took the very first chance that presented itself to them with Rodriguez pouncing after Cheikhou Kouyate fluffed a clearing header and the forward, restored to the side in place of Ashley Barnes, set up Wood to score his second goal of the season.
Burnley showed good resilience to hold on to their slender lead and secure three important points, particularly before a tough-looking run of fixtures with games against Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal up next.
Dyche said: “It’s a starting point, it’s nice to get that story to calm down a bit when you get that win, it takes your points tally up and you get out of the bottom three for this period but we know there’s lots of work to be done.
“We are getting players fit again, we do look a more rounded squad at the moment, provided everyone stays fit, so that gives you a better platform to build from.”