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Crystal Palace 2-0 Newcastle United: Magpies serve up worst performance of 2024 to dent Euro hopes

This goes down as Newcastle United’s worst performance of 2024 after bottom half Crystal Palace created chances for fun and swept Eddie Howe’s team aside in the capital.

It wasn’t just the way they allowed Oliver Glasner’s game to dictate the match, it was their lack of goal threat that made this game so easy for the Eagles. The defeat saw Newcastle slip from sixth to seventh as Manchester United beat Sheffield United at Old Trafford and leaves the Magpies with plenty of work to do in their last five matches.

Just two shots on target on the night told its own sorry tale against a Palace side that booked their place in the Premier League next season. But it must have been a long walk towards the 2,700 Toon fans who’d made the midweek journey to Croydon for a poor display.

After 10 days rest and enjoying the plaudits after beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 this looked all set up for a big night but Newcastle completely failed to rise to the occasion.

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With five minutes played Palace threatened as Joachim Andersen attempted a shot at the back post but Fabian Schar made a fine block and the home side completely wasted the corner. United started with the same 3-5-2 formation they’d used against Tottenham Hotspur with Elliot Anderson and Jacob Murphy dropping back as wing-backs when required and they nearly got in with eight minutes played as Sean Longstaff’s sweeping pass found Harvey Barnes but Palace were back in numbers to snuff out the chance.

However, a host of chances in the first 45 minutes for the Magpies then failed to follow and they found the going tough in front of a boisterous Selhurst Park crowd.

Palace’s big threat of Eberechi Eze drifted to the edge of the box on 12 minutes, first swaying one way and then the other, before unleashing a powerful shot that went wide and Newcastle may have been in trouble had the ex-QPR forward struck it earlier. Two minutes later, Eze curled in for Jean-Philppe Mateta but his header spun over the bar.

The Eagles edged possession by 56%-44% in the opening 15 minutes and a fizzing shot by January signing Adam Wharton drifted past Martin Dubravka’s goal for another early warning shot but Newcastle were level as the game moved towards the mid-way stage of the first half. Jordan Ayew was next to try his luck from distance but Dubrvaka wasn’t seriously troubled by his ambitious effort.

With 28 minutes on the clock, Ayew turned on the edge of the final third and fired one at Dubravka but he gathered comfortably enough. A huge moment came the way of Alexander Isak on 29 minutes after Bruno Guimaraes hooked a ball over the top, the Sweden strike nodded it down but never looked in full control and Dean Henderson came out to make a routine save.

Mateta raced through three minutes later and clipped the woodwork but the flag went up and it wouldn’t have counted. Newcastle left the field at half-time having failed to register a serious shot at goal – let alone an effort on target.

The second half could only get better from a Newcastle point of view and Barnes forced their first corner of the night just three minutes after the break. But Palace went in front after some sloppy play from Emil Krafth as the Sweden international’s ball down the right was intercepted far too easily by Joachim Andersen.

Andersen then rolled it to Eze who found himself in acres of room before Ayew and Mateta worked a one-two which undone the United defensive rearguard. The Palace pair were able to work the ball around Schar and Dan Burn before the former Lyon man tucked it past a furious Dubravka on 55 minutes.

Howe instantly turned to his bench and looked for a Plan B with Lewis Hall and Callum Wilson summoned forward. Newcastle escaped another scare on the hour as Anthony Gordon pulled back on Eze near the edge of the area and was booked for his trouble.

Eze stepped up but the ball struck the black and white wall and Palace cleared the danger. And that was the cue for Howe to hand Callum Wilson 25 minutes and make his first appearance since February when a chest injury struck him down.

Wilson came on with Hall and replaced the ineffective Barnes and Murphy who sprinted off as Newcastle looked to try something different. And in truth, they needed to after reaching the 69th minute of the game without managing a solitary shot on target.

Palace’s attacking impetus was freshened up with 18 minutes left as Ayew went off to a standing ovation and was replaced by Michael Olise. With 14 minutes left, Isak played in Longstaff who went down after contact from Will Hughes and Newcastle looking for a penalty.

After a quick VAR check referee Tom Bramall waved play on with Longstaff booked for his furious protests over the matter. Anderson would join him in the book after hauling back Olise by the shoulder as the game edged towards a conclusion.

Palace boss Oliver Glasner made two changes in the final nine minutes as Olise and Wharton went off for Jeffery Schlupp and Jairo Riedewald. Newcastle finally forced a shot on target with four minutes remaining as a left-flank cross fell for Anderson but his downward header went straight into Henderson’s arms.

And that was that as Palace doubled their lead moments later as Newcastle switched off. Hughes’ driving run saw him exchange passes with Schlupp before Mateta swept home his second with the United defence on their knees.

Palace defender Andersen clashed angrily with Schar ahead of the restart as Newcastle allowed the game to slip away. Howe threw on Joe White and Matt RItchie for Longstaff and Anderson for the dying stages.

In the dying stages Isak slipped in Gordon who twisted and turned before forcing a save from Henderson who made his first real save of the night. If only Newcastle had started the night with a similar type of intent.

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/crystal-palace-2-0-newcastle-29051903

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