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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0

10 months ago
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Saturday afternoon ended Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0.

The game quite even early on with Newcastle maybe shading it and having a couple of half chances, only for the visitors to then take control and dominate the second half but failing to put away a number of chances, Martin Dubravka in excellent form.

Palace were then made to pay with seven minutes to go, Manquillo’s cross headed down by Andy Carroll and a sweet volley from Miguel Almiron won the three points.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Jamie Smith:

POSITIVES

Getting Miggy with it

Almiron scores!

Last week’s sorry show at Burnley might have had some impact on the basic b..tards judging the lad’s game on goals alone, as our lack of pace left us woefully exposed.

I expected his first goal to be on the end of a lightning break/mazy run but this belter from a straightforward Carroll knock down was beautiful in a different kind of way.

It might be frowned upon from some stiffs…but I can’t help but chuckle at the thought of Miggy’s online followers from both North and South America, being a bit baffled by the vitriol spilled towards him from fans of a club seven spots off relegation to the bottom division voyeuristically eyeing the top half of the Premier League.

Hopefully the monkey off the back will see the lad kick on from here. Best of luck to him.

New Highs

Ninth in the table at close of play, which is undisputedly decent despite the game today being a struggle.

Perhaps more relevant is the widening gap to the bottom three and the attainable status of the 40 point mark.

Despite the shortcomings obvious from, well any match you look at, this season could well end up comfortable in terms of league position. Merry Christmas!

Up for the Cup?

In two weeks time we start a cup campaign that will likely end quickly and miserably. At least this time we’ve had a reasonable 3rd round draw that can maybe give hollow hope for progression past the first hurdle.

I think defeat today, coupled with the unpleasant looking fixtures across the remainder of the Christmas period, might have enabled the usual excuse of the league position being too precarious for frivolities like the FA Cup. Today may at least invalidate that bo..ocks.

NEGATIVES

Not exactly Keegan

I can’t think of any win we’ve recorded this year that wasn’t won by the skin of the teeth, with various key moments going our way or being influenced by individual brilliance.

This was no different as a turgid game returned three points thanks to a late standout moment.

I hope people going every week can enjoy it on some level but it’s been easier watching in the past…

Key Man

I have had a thought recently:

If Match of the Day or something pulled together a highlight reel of a goalkeeper’s notable contributions (key saves, big claims of high balls) across all games, would Martin Dubravka be the standout every week, or just most?

It’s great having such a top goalie, but if he was taken out of the equation by injury, suspension or a serious January offer, how drastically would our form plummet without his contribution?

Held together with sellotape

It’s a bit of a squeeze in to get an extra positive but it was fabulous to see Lejeune today, completing his recuperation from a second horrendous knee injury.

This brings with it a sense of concern though. Our team has an embarrassment of riches at centre half, as Fernandez, Clark, Schar and Lascelles just sub in and out for each other at every suggestion of injury.

With Fernandez out of contract at the end of the season (as well as today’s man of the match contender Manquillo) would it be likely that Ashley will allow someone to leave soon, potentially leaving too much on Lejeune’s weakened knees? Shocked we would not be.

I would double down on this given the increasing contribution of the similarly fragile Andy Carroll up front.

It’s like when you break a favourite toy as a kid and your dad fixes it with modelling cement, but it’s always in the back of your mind that it’s leg might fall off.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Saturday 21 December 3pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Almiron 83

Possession was Palace 58%, Newcastle 42%

Total shots were Palace 16 , Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Palace 4, Newcastle 3

Corners were Palace 5, Newcastle 4

Crowd: 45,453

Referee: Simon Hooper

Newcastle team v Crystal Palace:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez, Dummett (Yedlin 90+2), Hayden (Sean Longstaff 64), Shelvey, Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 77), Carroll

Unused Subs

Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Atsu

(Roy Hodgson says he can’t believe Crystal Palace didn’t win, never mind lose to Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(After first goal in 405 days Miguel Almiron says he is on the Coke tonight to celebrate! – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s win – Read HERE)

(A message from Miguel Almiron as Steve Bruce raves about him and two other Newcastle stars – Read HERE)

(Watch THAT Miguel Almiron goal here and the official Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 match highlights – Watch HERE)

(Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 and Pat Nevin calls it right on Miguel Almiron! – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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