Steve Bruce sticking to his plan: If it’s not working, why fix it? Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 at half-time
Steve Bruce, despite a lot of talking about potentially making a number of changes…
Only made one, the injured Ciaran Clark replaced by Schar.
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…
Half-time Stats from BBC Sport:
Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 22 February 2020 3pm
Van Aanholt 44
Possession was Palace 44%, Newcastle 56%
Total shots were Palace 11 Newcastle 5
Shots on target were Palace 6, Newcastle 1
Corners were Palace 3, Newcastle 3
Crowd: (2,800 Newcastle)
Referee: Peter Bankes
Newcastle team v Crystal Palace:
Dubravka, Lazaro, Fernandez, Lascelles, Schar, Rose, Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton
Darlow, Matty Longstaff, Lejeune, Gayle, Ritchie, Yedlin, Hayden
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