By 90Min
September 22, 2018

Crystal Palace were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle in a game Roy Hodgson's side will be disappointed not to have won.

The first big chance came around ten minutes in, as James Tomkins failed to properly control a bouncing ball. Ayoze Perez was sharp enough to steal a march on the defender, but his tame shot went straight at Wayne Hennessy. 

Few chances came for Newcastle in the first half, as Crystal Palace started to assert their dominance soon after. Martin Dubravka pulled off multiple stops, with his terrific save from Luka Milivojevic's free kick a particular highlight. 

It was another Milivojevic set piece that almost opened the score before half-time, with his fizzing ball flashing through a cluster of bodies. Newcastle were lucky to see the cross ping away to safety after striking the far post, as Dubravka was beaten.

Sitting even deeper in the second 45, the Magpies doubled down on their tactical approach. As much as they huffed and puffed, Palace found it increasingly difficult to create a clear cut opportunity.

The big chance came ten minutes from time. Winning the ball in the corner, Andros Townsend showed his only bit of skill all day and found a delicious cross. Mistiming his jump to claim, Dubravka left Mamadou Sakho with a tap in.

However, it all went appallingly wrong. Whether he saw the ball late or just horribly executed his header, the Frenchman nodded wide from five yards.


CRYSTAL PALACE


Key Talking Point


Palace have been branded a one-man team in recent weeks, due to the sensational form of winger Wilfried Zaha, and Saturday's performance will not have done anything to ease that particular talking point.

Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Palace needed a spark of magic to beat Rafa Benitez's resolute Magpies but with Zaha ultimately failing to conjure up the decisive moment, the Eagles fell short and had to settle for a point.


Player Ratings


Starting XI (4-3-3): Hennessey (7); Wan-Bissaka (7), Tomkins (6), Sakho (5), van Aanholt (6); McCarthy (6), Kouyate (6) Milivojevic (7*); Townsend (5), Ayew (4), Zaha (6).


Substitutes: Meyer (5), Sorloth (5).


Star Man - Luka Milivojevic 


Not exactly a shining performance from Crystal Palace's captain, but when they did look like scoring, he was involved. Free kicks aplenty, he was denied on a few occasions by top quality goalkeeping.

Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

His best shot was actually a cross, as his post thumping effort was all but inches away from giving the Eagles a much needed lead. Didn't have a monumental amount to do defensively, but when faced by an opponent he won the ball back with distinction. 


Worst Player - Jordan Ayew


Did nothing, got substituted early on in the second half. 

Nothing else to say really.


NEWCASTLE


Key Talking Point


Newcastle seem to love defending deep and on Saturday it worked a treat as they secured a much needed point.

They've endured a nightmarish start to the season, playing a number of the Premier League's top sides, but escaped from Selhurst Park with a point thanks to their clean sheet.

Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Player Ratings


Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Dubravka (8*); Yedlin (6), Lascelles (8), Fernandez (7), Dummett (7); Shelvey (6), Diame (6); Kenedy (4), Perez (4), Ritchie (6); Rondon (4)

Substitutes: Joselu (6), Atsu (5), Muto (5)


STAR MAN - Martin Dubravka


Even though he could've been the villain late on, Newcastle's goalkeeper pulled off some impressive saves in the first half. Staying composed while facing a flurry of set pieces, the Slovakian did well.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

With Benitez's style, it's likely that the shot stopper will be an important figure for the Magpies all season. Performances like these should give the north east faithful confidence.


Worst Player - Ayoze Perez


Doing absolutely nothing but diving about, many could suggest the Spaniard did well to run down the clock. Whether you view gamesmanship as a talent or not, Newcastle's number.17 was at it all day.


With his side sitting back and happy to play for the point, any influence was negated. Shackled throughout the 90 minutes, the Magpies were given no freedom to play by their manager. 


Looking Ahead

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Up against one of Roy Hodgson's former clubs, Palace travel to the Hawthorns for Tuesday's third round tie in the Carabao Cup. The Eagles will hope to show a sharper cutting edge against West Brom, as they continue to struggle in finding a different dynamic since Christian Benteke's injury. 

Newcastle will no doubt be pleased with the solidity of their performance. Even though there were a few hairy moments, the away side did will to weather Palace's storm. Back at St James' Park to face Leicester on Saturday, their support will hope to see a more entertaining display.

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