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Report: Newcastle frustrate Eagles at St. James' Park

Newcastle United
1
Almirón 32'
0
Crystal Palace

Miguel Almiron’s first-half strike was enough as Newcastle United withstood a late Palace barrage to take all three points at St James’ Park.

Summary:

  • Vieira makes five changes to his lineup, including starts for Gallagher, Edouard and Olise.
  • Kouyaté makes a crucial intervention early on to prevent Almirón opening the scoring.
  • Almirón opens the scoring with a finely taken finish on the break.
  • Edouard tests Dubravka, but can’t generate enough power to beat the Newcastle ‘keeper.
  • HT: Newcastle 1-0 Palace
  • Zaha pulls his shot narrowly wide after good Palace pressure to win possession.
  • Mateta heads over the crossbar from McArthur's floated cross.
  • Edouard heads into Dubravka's gloves as Palace pile on the pressure.
  • FT: Newcastle 1-0 Palace

Still basking in the honeymoon period of their recent takeover, Newcastle are not an easy side to face and never more so than at St James’ Park, where the black and white flags twirled confidently as the players emerged before kick-off.

Nestled in the upper tier were the travelling faithful from south London, who refused to be condemned to being ‘out of sight, out of mind’; their support for the Eagles could be heard pitchside as the game got underway.

The visitors started confidently, Marc Guéhi and Joachim Andersen caressing the ball around the back in a manner Palace fans have come to expect this season. Their pressing was once again causing problems, and Wilfried Zaha cut out an Allan Saint-Maximin pass early on that very nearly allowed him in on goal

But with the roar of the Gallowgate behind them, Newcastle soon grew into the match. They created the first real chance, too – and would have been ahead were it not for a vital defensive intervention from Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Joelinton found Miguel Almirón on the edge of the area and his first touch saw him through on goal, but in came Kouyaté to bundle the ball behind.

The pressure was growing however, and despite Palace’s obvious threat on the counter it was Newcastle who looked the more threatening in the early exchanges.

It paid off shortly after the half-hour mark. It was a fine goal on the break, as Almirón latched onto an audacious volleyed pass and brought the ball under control; he raced into the area and steered it into the top corner.

Palace had opportunities to draw level before half-time, most notably when Odsonne Edouard latched onto a loose pass by Joelinton on the edge of the Newcastle area, but couldn’t get the requisite power on the shot to trouble Martin Dúbravka in goal.

The hosts came out after the restart with similar energy, but Patrick Vieira’s team talk had obviously had some effect and his side were attacking with renewed vigour.

Zaha made some headway on the left-hand side, but Newcastle were proving a tough defensive unit to break down.

After introducing Jordan Ayew towards the end of the first-half, Vieira made his second and third changes before the hour mark, with Jean-Philippe Mateta and James McArthur replacing Conor Gallagher and Kouyaté.

But it was two starters who very nearly combined to bring Palace level, as Edouard and Zaha pressed to win the ball back on the edge of the area; the former slipped in the latter, but he dragged his effort narrowly wide.

The pressure on the hosts was building and there was some unease in the stands as McArthur was the next to go close, nodding over the top from McArthur’s floated cross. Moments later it was Andersen’s turn to be the provider, teeing up Edouard to head into Dúbravka gloves.

It was a sign of Palace’s dominance on the ball that Eddie Howe felt the need to make a double-change 15 minutes from time, withdrawing Almirón and Saint-Maximin to stem the flow of balls into the Newcastle final third.

The substitutions did change the game somewhat, and there was certainly more composure about the hosts as the clock ticked towards stoppage time.

Three additional minutes came and went without Palace breaking down a stubborn Newcastle resistance, and the final whistle put an end to a frustrating evening in the north-east for the Eagles.

Newcastle: Dúbravka (GK), Schär, Joelinton, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Murphy, 76), Targett, Krafth, Wood, Almirón (Willock, 76), Burn, Bruno Guimarães (Longstaff, 90+3).

Subs not used: Darlow (GK), Lascelles, Ritchie, Fernández, Manquillo, Gayle.

Palace: Guaita (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Kouyaté (McArthur, 60)), Schlupp, Gallagher (Mateta, 60), Olise (Ayew, 40), Edouard, Zaha.

Subs not used: Butland (GK), Ward, Tomkins, Eze, Hughes, Benteke.