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Monday, September 11, 2017, 10:43
De Boer's position fragile after another loss for Palace
By Associated Press
Monday, September 11, 2017, 10:43 By Associated Press

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League soccer match against Burnley at Turf Moor, Burnley, England, Sept 10, 2017. (MARTIN RICKETT / PA VIA AP)

Frank de Boer spoke of his "hope for the future" at Crystal Palace despite the team's record-setting fourth straight loss to open the English Premier League season.

Whether he'll be part of that future remains to be seen.

Palace lost 1-0 at Burnley on Sunday to leave De Boer's position even more fragile at the London club.

"I am just focusing on what I can control and so are my staff and my players," De Boer said. "(The future) is for other people to decide but while I'm the manager of Crystal Palace, I will give 100 percent."

The statistics do not make good reading for the former Netherlands defender, who lasted only 84 days in his previous job at Inter Milan: No points, no goals and the first team since 1924 to lose its first four English top-flight games without scoring.

He already was the bookmakers' favorite to be the first Premier League manager to lose his job, with Palace struggling to adapt to a more expansive style of play demanded by De Boer after he came in as a replacement for the more pragmatic Sam Allardyce.

For this game at Turf Moor, he changed formations — ditching the three-man defense he favored in losses to Huddersfield, Liverpool and Swansea — and Palace dominated large parts of the game. However, De Boer was let down by bad errors from his players at both ends of the game.

Inside three minutes, Lee Chung-yong's back-pass from the halfway line was pounced on by Chris Wood, who curled in a first-time shot from 35 meters past stranded goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. It was Wood's second goal in as many games since he joined from second-tier Leeds.

Then, in the 89th minute, Palace defender Scott Dann was presented with a virtual open goal but he headed wide. De Boer threw his hands into the air in disgust and slumped back into his seat in the dugout.

"I thought they were the better side," Burnley manager Sean Dyche said of Palace. "I told (De Boer) so. I don't feel sorry for anyone in the position — we all know the pitfalls."

Bournemouth and West Ham are the other teams with no points so far. West Ham hosts Huddersfield on Monday to conclude the fourth round of games.

Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles, center right, celebrates scoring against Swansea City during the English Premier League soccer match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales, Sept 10, 2017. (NICK POTTS / PA VIA AP)

SWANSEA 0, NEWCASTLE 1

Renato Sanches made his debut for Swansea following his surprise loan move from Bayern Munich and the Portugal midfielder looked off the pace in a tough start to life in English soccer.

The 20-year-old Sanches battled hard but was sloppy in possession, and had already been substituted by the time Jamaal Lascelles headed home Newcastle's winning goal from a corner in the 76th minute.

"He has come to a new club and has new teammates, a new language, new culture," Swansea manager Paul Clement said of Sanches, who was being talked up as one of Europe's brightest talents last year. "He did things today that were good and some that weren't good. He is a quality player."

The win gives something to cheer for ailing Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who wasn't at Liberty Stadium after having a procedure on Monday to address an infection resulting from an earlier hernia operation.

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