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      Report: Booming Palace blast past Newcastle for third win in a row

      Crystal Palace
      Mateta 55' 88'
      Newcastle United

      Jean-Philippe Mateta’s second brace in the space of four days saw Crystal Palace roar past Newcastle United for a third Premier League win in a row.


      • One change for Palace as Ayew replaces rested Olise
      • Dipping Eze effort sails narrowly wide after 10 minutes
      • Flicked Mateta header not far from finding the top corner
      • Clyne makes important recovery tackle on Gordon
      • Eze and Ayew test Dubravka’s handling from distance
      • Henderson denies Isak with brave save with his legs
      • HT: Palace 0-0 Newcastle
      • Ayew slips in Mateta to strike Palace ahead early in the second-half
      • Forward then first to Eze’s corner, heading at Dubravka
      • Hughes curls narrowly over from inventive corner kick routine
      • Outstanding Palace defending restricts Newcastle’s chances
      • Palace survive late VAR review for a Newcastle penalty
      • Mateta finishes off quick counter-attack to seal the match on 88 minutes
      • Henderson preserves clean sheet with fine stop from Gordon
      • FT: Palace 2-0 Newcastle

      If there were any suspicion that the two teams’ respective fixture schedules might favour the Magpies – Palace had defeated West Ham just three days earlier, whilst Newcastle had enjoyed an 11-day break in games – the two teams’ starts dispelled that possibility.

      Making only one change to the starting XI – Jordan Ayew replacing Michael Olise, who come off the back of his first back-to-back Premier League starts since December – they remained as hungry, as bright and as inventive, in the space afforded to them, as in Sunday’s impressive victory.

      Nevertheless, Newcastle’s defence have proven a more compact proposition than the Hammers’ this season, and so the case proved as Palace swarmed their opponents high up the pitch, but failed to create too many meaningful opportunities in the first-half.

      They did still create some, however, and Ebere Eze – so impressive at the weekend – was first to go close after 10 minutes, collecting a lay-off from Jean-Philippe Mateta and dancing inside a defender, before blasting a low shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

      Moments later, Eze was involved again. Palace were proving quickest to every second ball in the opening stages, and when the playmaker’s corner was initially cleared, Joachim Andersen teed him up for a flat left-footed cross. Met at the near post by Mateta, the in-form forward flicked a header towards the far post – and it wasn’t too far away from dropping beneath the crossbar.

      Struggling to gain a foothold in midfield – with Adam Wharton seemingly ubiquitous in his defending – Newcastle’s chances were limited, but one swift ball forwards did require a timely intervention from Nathaniel Clyne to deny Harvey Barnes a run at goal.

      Palace were seemingly happy to shoot on sight, a marker of their confidence, and Wharton, Eze and Ayew all tested Martin Dúbravka’s handling with low strikes from distance.

      Half-an-hour in, the first clear chance – and it went to the Magpies. Bruno Guimaraes’ lofted pass saw Alexander Isak and Andersen engage in a footrace. The Swede nodded it past the Dane and ran onto the ball, only for Dean Henderson to brave plunge at his feet and block the ball’s path, kicking away the danger.

      Mateta would get Selhurst Park on its feet in the closing stages of a hard-fought first-half, striking the crossbar after being played through by Wharton, but the forward was – upon review – clearly offside.

      No matter – it was merely a sign of things to come. Palace picked up the tempo following the interval and reapplied their constant pressure on the ball – and it was that which forced the opening goal after 55 minutes.

      A clearance out from the back from the Magpies was picked off by Eze, who played the ball to Mateta’s feet. The forward thought quickly, playing a wonderful one-two off Ayew and racing onto the return – before placing a composed finish past Dubravka for his seventh goal in nine matches.

      Palace’s tails were up and Selhurst Park was roaring once more; the Eagles were dominant in the early stages of the second-half and maybe ought to have gone two goals ahead when Eze’s more orthodox corner kick found Mateta leaping highest, but the forward’s powerful header was plucked out the sky by the Newcastle ‘keeper.

      The attacks kept on coming, and with them the threatening set-pieces – a clever routine involving Eze and Wharton teed up Hughes for a curling effort inside the box, one which only just cleared the top corner.

      Heading into the final quarter-of-an-hour, Michael Olise entered the fray for Palace, as the Eagles looked to make the most of the space opening up from Newcastle finally committing men forwards.

      In truth, the Magpies did have the better of the game in its final knockings, but more outstanding defending from Palace’s back-line – Muñoz, Nathaniel Clyne, Joachim Andersen, Chris Richards and Tyrick Mitchell once again made crucial interventions at key moments – limited the Magpies’ opportunities.

      There was one scare – a VAR review for a Hughes challenge on Sean Longstaff – but contact was minimal and the review ruled so.

      With two minutes left to play, all nerves were settled by that man again – Jean-Philippe Mateta in the form of his life.

      It stemmed from fine work from late substitute Jeffrey Schlupp and Hughes, who linked up down the left flank with some clever reverse passes. The latter shaped to shoot before cutting the ball back for Mateta, who gleefully swept home from six yards.

      And deep into injury time, Henderson earned a deserved clean sheet with an excellent sprawling save to deny Gordon a close-range goal.

      Back-to-back braces for Mateta in the space of six days and Selhurst Park roaring ‘boom’ to a man – with three wins over European contenders in the space of just 10 days, Crystal Palace’s season has certainly exploded into life.

      Palace: Henderson (GK), Muñoz (Ward, 90+4), Clyne, Andersen, Richards, Mitchell, Hughes, Wharton (Riedewald, 82), Eze (Schlupp, 82), Ayew (Olise, 73), Mateta.

      Subs: Matthews (GK), Tomkins, Ozoh, Ahamada, Edouard.

      Newcastle: Dubravka (GK), Murphy (Hall, 65), Krath, Schar, Burn, Longstaff (White, 90), Guimaraes, Anderson, Gordon, Isak, Barnes (Wilson, 65).

      Subs: Karius (GK), Dummet, Ritchie, Livramento, Murphy, Parkinson.

      As It Happened