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Opinion

Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players

10 months ago
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We asked Jamie Swan to give us his match ratings after Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0…

Before a ball was kicked this game totally screamed nil-nil or nil-one either way.

It was never going to be an epic with both teams so impotent.

NUFC certainly cannot claim to be entertainers of any kind by any stretch but somehow Steve Bruce keeps pulling wins and plundering points out of this team’s scratchy performances.

Lucky? Determined? You make your own luck and the lads just keep hanging in there.

You could say a few scruffy looking rabbits are being howked out of a few tatty looking hats.

Fair play to him and the squad. To have 25 points in the bag is a great foundation for the second half of the season.

Mind you, this one was a proper stinker if being truthful.

Definitely not one that is getting a release on DVD for your Christmas stocking!

However, it was completely lit up by Miggy and his grin by netting his first goal for the club.

After a career 47 shots on target since joining (allegedly), a belter it was too, smashing a left foot volley in after a big AC knock down, a shot that nearly snapped the keeper’s hand off as he flapped to stop it flying in. Had a half decent attempt in the first 45 with his right boot but typically undercooked. Not so the winner.

Everyone everywhere of a black and white or Paraguayan persuasion cannot help but be delighted for the kid. Sincerely hope it’s the first of many.

Prior to this we did ok first half but nowt really to write home about. Hayden fell on his backside when put in, Miggy’s effort, Shelvey tried to score from halfway line that dropped just over.

Even having changed to 3-5-2 with Joelinton and Carroll up front it just didn’t click in any way shape or form going forward. However, it was still better than the turgid affair down at Turf Moor.

The back line were rock solid, Dubravka made a few good but expected saves, credit to the Terminator Lejeune who just cannot be stopped! He was excellent too, coming back after another six months out and his distribution is a real bonus, plus he fizzed a shot in too.

Palace had a few chances and second half were probably the better team and it seemed to be creeping towards a similar outcome to last season, when we ended up getting bumped late on. But this time we were going to do the bumping.

Patrick Van Aanholt played well for us on loan many moons ago in the Championship and I’ve always liked and kept an eye on him, even though he ended up at the unwashed. To be honest I’d have him back as a left wing-back no problem.

Zaha was a pain the backside again but not exactly blistering. There was a lot of work for Manquillo to put in and he was up to it. Got his backside into gear in both directions and was one of our better players.

We think we have problems with Joelinton having the yips but Palace have Benteke who could fall off a boat and miss the river. We will probably sign him up, he’d fit right in!

Three points takes us to ninth, four points off Chelsea in fourth, but more importantly ten points off Villa in the bottom three.

Ashley will no doubt be frothing at the mouth like a knackered washing machine at this precise moment. The position is more to do with how tight (and poor) the league is, a normal owner and club would strengthen now. Yep, I said normal.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Ratings:

Dubravka – 8.5

Solid, commanded his area and made the saves that he needed to do.

Manquillo – 8

Kept Zaha relatively quiet and looking a better player by the week.

Lejeune – 8

Absolute quality player. Cruised through.

Schar – 7.5

Tried maybe too many long balls, defended well.

Fernandez – 7.5

No fuss. Cleared everything he needed to.

Dummett – 7

Loves to defend but playing as a wing-back isn’t best position as distribution and crossing not up to scratch.

Shelvey – 7

Not at his best, but kept probing, even though probably lying too deep at times.

Hayden – 7

Battled hard, covered a lot of ground as Jonjo’s legs. Fell on his backside when in on goal – subbed.

Almiron – 8.5

Ran his backside off, got a great goal.

Joelinton – 5

Slightly better than his usual. Still having a mare. Subbed.

Carroll – 7

Ran around and challenged. Thought first touch was well off but set up Miggy.

We are a much better side with him fit and another 90 mins on the pitch.

Subs:

Longstaff – 6

Like for like.

Gayle – 6

No chance to make impact.

Yedlin – N/A

Only came on in final seconds of the match.

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 92), 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)

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSwan1

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