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Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 – Incredible Steve Bruce luck as Newcastle United escape a real hiding

3 months ago
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Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 22 February 2020 3pm

Only one win in nine Premier League games, only seven goals in the last eleven.

Newcastle United are looking desperate and Steve Bruce clueless.

Despite a lot of talk about potentially making a number of changes…Steve Bruce changed nothing, apart from the enforced Schar for Clark.

Steve Bruce sticking to his plan: If it’s not working, why fix it?

A scrappy opening to the game was brought to an end when with seven minutes gone, Martin Dubravka makes an incredible save, even by his standards. The keeper somehow stopping Gary Cahill’s goalbound header from crossing the line.

From there Palace increasingly getting on top.

On 14 minutes shocking play from Bentleb, caught in possession in midfield and Benteke allowed a free run at the heart of Newcastle’s defence, his shot on the edge of the box deflected over the bar as the defenders save Bentaleb’s blushes.

Another excellent save sees Dubravka tip a header over from the resultant corner.

Straight up the other end and Joelinton fires one in from 25 yards, straight at Guaita but he tips it over to be on the safe side.

On 21 minutes Bentaleb booked for a foul on Newcastle’s left, the free-kick whipped in and Benteke somehow heads wide from five yards out!

Newcastle United making a really poor Palace (1 win in 11 PL games) look decent, apart from the finishing…

The only Steve Bruce attacking tactic, as usual, give the ball to Saint-Maximin and hope he does something.

Newcastle United grateful that Ayew and Benteke are about as good as our strikers are at finishing.

A quick break on 40 minutes saw Joelinton five yards outside the left side of the box but no confidence, instead of committing the defender he tried a half-hearted cross that hit the Palace defender.

From the corner Palace went straight up the other end and Ayew sent a curling effort from outside the box a yard or so wide.

Bentaleb, Almiron and Lascelles all booked as Newcastle came under pressure.

Just when it looked like Steve Bruce was going to get away with it yet again in this first 45, Fernandez gave away a free-kick a few yards outside the box with a minute to go before the break, former NUFC defender Patrick van Aanholt giving Dubravka no chance with a superb left footed free-kick into the top corner.

At half-time it is Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 and now we wait to see what Steve Bruce will do now…

No changes from the NUFC Head Coach!

Only two minutes into the second half and Zaha puts van Aanholt in on the left, Ayew can only hit the post from six yards with Dubravka beaten .

A minute later and a free-kick from the right is met by Cahill, his towering header just wide.

Newcastle United clinging on.

Another minute on and Ayew fed the ball on the edge of the box, Newcastle saved by the striker attempting a daft elaborate turn when he could have just taken a touch and had a shot.

Instead of having his midfield step up and press, instead Steve Bruce has them sitting deep. Bizarre.

A rare attack on 56 minutes saw Saint-Maximin beat his man and running through the middle with minimal support, tried an audacious chip from 30 yards that cleared the bar.

Palace continuing to look dangerous but it was almost once again NUFC defenders to the rescue.

A Schar 30 yarder deflected and the Palace keeper doing well to touch it over.

It took 70 minutes for any Bruce changes, Gayle for Almiron and Ritchie replacing Rose.

However, it was yet again Newcastle grateful to Ayew. A superb run from Zaha and a cut back to Ayew unmarked 12 yards out, another cracking save from Dubravka but he should have been given no chance.

Yet again today, when Newcastle did occasionally get in good positions, the crossing was usually woeful. You wonder what happens in training…

Clueless tactics throughout the game from Steve Bruce, as far too often Newcastle hit it long and high, the likes of Gary Cahill loving it.

Apart from Martin Dubravka, the only positive today was that Bruce’s luck carried with results elsewhere.

Have to say the three January loan players didn’t add any noticeable quality today.

The final seconds seeing Lazaro (he keeps saying he is a winger…) ridiculously hauling down Zaha when last man and red carded.

I shudder to think what Brucey’s excuses will be after this one, Rafa’s fault again., having to play with 10 men, Joelinton not a natural goalscorer…?

Just to repeat, this was a Palace side playing with no confidence who had won one of their last eleven PL matches and they could and should have won this by four or five.

Stats from BBC Sport (Half-time stats in brackets):

Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 22 February 2020 3pm

Goals:

Crystal Palace:

Van Aanholt 44

Newcastle United:

Lazaro red card 90+5

Possession was  Palace 44% (44%), Newcastle 56% (56%)

Total shots were Palace 18 (11) Newcastle 8 (5)

Shots on target were Palace 9 (6), Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Palace 7 (3), Newcastle 5 (3)

Crowd: (2,800 Newcastle)

Referee: Peter Bankes

Newcastle team v Crystal Palace:

Dubravka, Lazaro, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Rose (Ritchie 70), Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb, Almiron (Gayle 70), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton

Subs

Darlow, Matty Longstaff, Lejeune,  Yedlin, Hayden

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