Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle United (27/11/20): match report and analysis

A late, late effort from Newcastle United saw them snatch all 3 points at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, with Joelinton grabbing his 3rd ever Premier League goal in a 0-2 win.

Newcastle found itself in a state of turmoil heading into Friday night’s mid table clash against Crystal Palace. Amidst rumours of player dissatisfaction, a poor run of form, and some positive COVID cases in the squad, a win was necessary for Steve Bruce to try and steady this storm-struck ship.

But the win would be difficult to come by. Usual starters like Isaac Hayden, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Jamaal Lascelles had all been ruled out for various reasons, though Palace were without marquee man Wilfried Zaha due to a positive COVID diagnosis.

The away side dominated much of the first half, but couldn’t capitalise with a goal. The best chance came when Callum Wilson, on his return from injury, teed up Joelinton brilliantly. But the Brazilian couldn’t connect from the low cross. Jamal Lewis’ subsequent cross then went too high for Joelinton to head it on target.

The home side had their fair share of chances too, and should have taken the lead if not for some brilliant saves from Karl Darlow. Arguably the Magpies’ player of the season so far, Darlow produced two fine saves to deny Eze in the 25th minute, and Schlupp at the half hour mark.

But once the second half began, Palace began to slowly build momentum and looked to be the more threatening side. Jordan Ayew and substitute Christian Benteke kept Darlow on his toes for much of the last 45 minutes.

Sean Longstaff, forever showing glimpses of being Newcastle’s answer to Johan Cruyff (Geordie Cruyff maybe?), had a majestic run at goal; weaving his way through the Palace XI, he was fouled on the edge of the box and Newcastle were presented with a dangerous free kick. Alas, Jonjo Shelvey’s strike failed to get past the wall…

It took a brilliant block from Federico Fernandez to keep the game at 0-0, throwing his entire body in the way of the Senegalese player’s close-range shot, much to Darlow’s delight. Mere seconds later and Palace once again should have made it 1-0, with Michy Batshuayi failing to tap in Van Aanholt’s sweeping cross: almost a carbon copy of Joelinton’s miss in the first half.

With the game looking destined to end in a 0-0 draw, Wilson suddenly broke through on goal and slotted it underneath Guaita for his seventh goal of the season. Mere moments later, he and Joelinton combined once again for the Brazilian to then find the back of the net after a (lucky) deflection to seal all three points.

Arguably Joelinton’s best performance in a Newcastle shirt since signing from Hoffenheim last Summer, Newcastle now enjoy a favourable run of games heading into Christmas. Although they have seemingly easier games ahead against the likes of West Brom and Aston Villa, Newcastle will certainly have one eye on their next trip down to London for the Carabao Cup clash against Brentford.

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