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February 25 2021 10.24am

Palace win opening day thriller

August 9 2003

Hattrick Hero

Hattrick Hero

Nine-man Palace win their first game of the season against Burnley, 3-2, with Dougie Freedman getting a hat-trick.

Palace got off to a great start after just six minutes when Freedman was brought down by Lee Roche in the penalty area and the number 9 cooly slotted home the resulting penalty.

However five minutes later, Wayne Routledge clipped the heels of Burnley's on-loan midfielder Luke Chadwick when he was clean through on goal.

The referee decided to send Routledge off, and awarded Burnley a free kick just outside the penalty area. Robbie Blake scored Burnley's equaliser from the resulting free kick with a low, hard strike past Matt Clarke.

Roche then made ammends for his earlier mistake, making it 2-1 to Burnley with a great strike.

However on 32 minutes Ben Watson sent Freedman through with an incisive through ball and Freedman slotted home from a tight angle to make it 2-2.

In the second half, Palace continued with a 4-3-2 formation with Watson helping Borrowdale on the left side.

Only four minutes into the second half Clarke was called into action, saving brilliantly from Alan Moore's 25 yard strike tipping the ball wide of the post.

On 63 minutes, Steve Kember made his second substitution of the day bringing on Aki Riihilahti for Watson.

Riihilahti immediately got stuck in, and on 67 minutes Palace were 3-2 up. Riihilahti fed Andy Johnson on the right, and Johnson's shot-cum-cross was only parried by Burnley's keeper Brian Jensen and the ball fell into the path of Freedman who nodded home for his hattrick.

Straight after the restart though, Palace were down to nine men after Shaun Derry received a second yellow for a bad challenge on Alan Moore. Palace battled brilliantly for the rest of the game and held out for a great win.

Team Lineups

Burnley: Jensen, Roche, Camara, Weller (Grant, 77), Branch, Little, Blake, Gnohere, Chadwick, Moore A (O'Neill, 84), Chaplow (West, 80)

Subs not used: Scott.

Bookings: Weller 6, Gnohere 79

Goals: Blake 11, Roche 19

Palace: Clarke, Butterfield, Symons (Borrowdale, 22 (Smith, 77)), Routledge, Powell, Popovic, Derry, Watson (Riihilahti, 63), Johnson, Freedman, Shipperley.

Subs not used: Berthelin, Black.

Bookings: Popovic 46, Derry 55, Smith 86

Sent off: Routledge 10, Derry 68

Goals: Freedman 6 (pen), 32, 67

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