Wilfried Zaha had appeared in each of Crystal Palace’s past 59 games in the Premier League stretching back to February last year.
Conor Coady had not missed a minute of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 84 league games since their promotion back to the top division in 2018.
However, on Monday, the two mainstays were unavailable, while they isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and that took its toll on their teams.
Palace were toothless in attack without Zaha — who had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the match — and slumped to a 1-0 loss to a Burnley side that had not previously won in the league. Chris Wood scored in the eighth minute.
Coady had to train in isolation after it was discovered that he inadvertently came into contact with somebody who had tested positive for the virus.
With fellow center back Romain Saiss also out after contracting the virus, Wolves switched to a four-player defense for the first time since May 2017 — before the arrival of current coach Nuno Espirito Santo — and was uncomfortable until a late rally earned a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton.
Southampton led through a tap-in from Theo Walcott, who scored his first goal since returning for a second spell at the south-coast club, where he started his professional career.
Pedro Neto came off the bench to rescue a point for Wolves in the 75th minute.
That equalizer stopped Southampton from climbing to third place after nine games. Wolves and Palace are in the middle of the table, while Burnley’s first win of the season lifted Sean Dyche’s team out of the bottom three.
Walcott’s goal means that he has scored at least once in 14 consecutive league matches.
“I’m only 31, but I feel like a kid again,” said the forward, whose career has been rejuvenated since he moved back to Southampton in a loan switch from Everton, where he was out of the picture. “I’m fit. I love the Premier League.”
The former England winger missed a one-on-one chance at 1-0, shooting wide of the post when clean through, and that cost Southampton when Raul Jimenez’s effort came back off the post to allow Neto to sweep home the rebound.
“For everyone, it was a tough game — tactically so demanding,” Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said. “It was like chess. They played 4-3-3. We didn’t expect that, but we found the answers.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said that he felt nervous in the final minutes, as his team saw out the win against Palace to finally launch their season.
“It gets a bit nervy because we hadn’t found that first win, so to get that one done will do us a world of good,” Dyche said.
Preserving the lead and keeping the door open to victory required a superb spread-eagle flying save from Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope off substitute Christian Benteke in stoppage-time.
Wood’s goal came when he latched onto a neat flick by fellow striker Jay Rodriguez and side-footed powerfully past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita from a central position.
Crystal Palace have lost 20 of their 28 Premier League matches without Zaha, since he returned to the club in the 2014-2015 season.
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