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Season 2018-19
Crystal Palace (h) Premier League


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Date:
Saturday 6th April 2019, 3.00pm

Venue:
 St. James' Park

Conditions: Regretful

 



Newcastle United

Crystal Palace

0 - 1

 

Teams

Goals

Half time: Magpies 0 Eagles 0

81 mins The Eagles broke down their left flank and Zaha skipped over Fabian Schar's attempted trip on the edge of the box only to be clattered by DeAndre Yedlin in the area after pulling the ball back. 

Precisely what Yedlin had been doing while the rest of the team were shown clips of what Zaha does in the area is anyone's guess, but the USA international was just about the only person in the whole ground who hadn't telegraphed the move.

The league's most successful penalty taker this season (taken 11, scored 10) sent Martin Dubravka the wrong way, although had he guessed correctly, it's doubtful if he would have got a hand near the Serbian's powerfully-struck kick into the left corner of the Leazes net.  0-1

Full time: Magpies 0 Eagles 1

We Said

Rafa:

"These are the kind of games that leave you very disappointed. Every game is a final and every game we will try to get three points.

"It's a game we can't believe we lost. Yes, we know they are dangerous on the counter, but with the chances we had and the control we had, we made too many mistakes in the last minutes. 

"We had enough chances to win the game, but for sure not to lose the game.

"I think we were attacking, creating chances, controlling the game. Then, we made a mistake, and after that, made two or three more mistakes because we were playing in a rush, without staying calm."

On the penalty:

"We had four players there. We were talking about Zaha, we were watching clips, and we made a big mistake. And after that, still we were making mistakes instead of staying calm and trying to manage the situation.”

On Lejeune:

"It seems serious. It’s the other knee - he had a cruciate ligament problem in the right one, this is the left one. It seems bad, but we have to wait. (48 hours later, United confirmed that their defender sustained a significant knee injury and will miss the rest of the season).

On his own future:

"I said
(in Friday's press conference) there were conversations, that's it. Normally when you have negotiate you have to talk, and then have to see whether we are close or not. At the moment we are not too close."

They Said

Woy Hodgson said:
 
"It was a very important game; hard fought. I thought that I can be very, very proud of the team's performance. I thought that we dealt with the attacking threat that Newcastle most certainly have.

"They’re very good at crossing the ball and getting bodies in the box and competing for those crosses. I thought it was a sterling effort from our back four and our goalkeeper and the midfield players helping us out as well to make certain we kept a clean sheet today.

"On the counter-attack or even at the start of the game, not on the counter-attack, we looked quite dangerous. We were constantly threatening and looking like we might score the goal.

"Luckily for us once again Wilf Zaha came to the fore and did what he does so well: dribbling past people in the penalty area and provoking the foul which gives Milivojevic - who’s been quite exceptional at taking penalties and scoring them to give us the goal and the victory.

"I'm never confident to be honest! I've been so lucky with penalty takers: Dan Murphy at Fulham and now with Luka. So really and truly I should just be sitting back quite comfortably saying: ‘well, we’re 1-0 up’ but unfortunately because the goals are often match winning goals, 

"I think the only time
(I will relax is) if ever we're winning by a three goal margin and we get a penalty and Luka's going to take it. Then I would definitely sit back and say: ‘right, that’s all over, we’re four-up’. Ask him his secret, he might not tell you..."

"My fence has been taken away from me - I've got nothing to sit on any more! Yes I think 39 points (will be enough) with our goal difference, I'd like to think that will see us over the line. It was hard-fought game and I'm pleased with the way we've handled it."

Stats

 
Following five successive home victories, United missed out on the chance of making it six in a row in the PL at SJP for the first time since 2004 (which was also the last time they racked up five). 

With two games left, Newcastle have lost nine times at home in the PL this season, which matches their worst-ever return in 2012/13. It also remains to be seen whether the Magpies can match or beat heir lowest home goalscoring tally in the PL of 21 strikes. They currently have 19.

However the class of 2019 cannot break the unwanted record number of home league defeats in a season. Losses to Southampton and Liverpool would match
the eleven losses that we recorded in both 1957/58 and 1977/78.

Eagles @ Magpies - all time:

2018/19 Lost 0-1
2017/18
Won 1-0 Merino
2015/16 Won 1-0 Townsend
2014/15 Drew 3-3 Janmaat, Aarons, Williamson
2013/14 Won 1-0 Cisse
2009/10 Won 2-0 OG(Derry), Ranger
2004/05 Drew 0-0
2001/02 Won 2-0 Shearer, Acuna (FAC)
1998/99 Won 2-1 Speed, Shearer (FAC)
1997/98 Lost 1-2 Shearer
1994/95 Won 3-2 Fox, Lee, Gillespie
1987/88 Won 1-0 Gascoigne (FAC)
1983/84 Won 3-1 Waddle, Keegan, Ryan
1982/83 Won 1-0 Waddle
1981/82 Drew 0-0
1978/79 Won 1-0 Shoulder
1972/73 Won 2-0 Hibbitt, Nattrass
1971/72 Lost 1-2 Dyson
1970/71 Won 2-0 Robson 2
1969/70 Drew 0-0
1964/65 Won 2-0 Suddick, McGarry
1946/47 Won 6-2 Bentley, Pearson, Shackleton 2, Stobbart, Wayman (FAC)
1919/20 Won 2-0 Dixon, Hall (FAC)
1906/07 Lost 0-1 (FAC)


NUFC after 33 games - selected PL seasons:

2008/09: 30 points, 19th (scored 37, conceded 53) (finished 18th)
2012/13: 36 points, 13th (scored 33, conceded 50) (finished 16th)
2014/15: 35 points, 14th (scored 34, conceded 54) (finished 15th)
2015/16: 28 points, 19th (scored 35, conceded 61) (finished 18th)
2017/18: 41 points, 10th (scored 35, conceded 42) (finished 10th)
2018/19: 35 points, 15th (scored 31, conceded 43) (finished ??)


  

Waffle

Newcastle's run of home victories came to an end at a chilly Gallowgate on Saturday, as a late Palace penalty proved decisive and left the hosts still looking for the victory that would ease lingering fears of relegation.

DeAndre Yedlin's needless foul on Wilfried Zaha gave Luka Milivojevic the chance to beat Martin Dubravka from the spot in the 81st minute in a game that United really should never have lost.

The result however was overshadowed by a serious injury to Florian Lejeune midway through the second half. The Frenchman returned to action in January following a pre-season injury to his right knee, but was stretchered off here with a problem on his other knee. 

He later exited from the ground on crutches with that knee in a brace, confirming later that his season was at an end with a similar injury to that previously sustained.

Although the incident itself looked relatively innocuous, Lejeune knew it was serious and signalled almost immediately after going down while colleagues waved for urgent medical assistance.

Meanwhile, the visitors disgracefully tried to gain an advantage with a quick throw-in right by the stricken player - an action made even more galling given their bellyaching earlier in the match at home players to kick the ball out when a Palace player was down, despite having neglected to do precisely that when in possession. 

The Lejeune incident came just as Newcastle were looking to increase the pressure and break the deadlock - something that never looked likely afterwards, as momentum was badly lost.

There were numerous chances for United to go in front in both halves but the bulk of those had come during the opening 45 minutes; Salomon Rondon's hesitation twice seeing shooting chances wasted and a great opportunity headed over. The Venezuelan had earlier shot home from close range when following in Matt Ritchie's effort, but was rightly ruled offside.

Ayoze Perez also had efforts saved and Yedlin hit a pile-driver narrowly over the top during the second period but too far many free-kicks, corners and crosses were tossed off, giving a nervous-looking Vicente Guaita in the Eagles' goal a comparatively untroubled afternoon.

A belated outing from the bench for Jonjo Shelvey did nothing to suggest that he should have started the game and following his non-appearance at Arsenal on Monday, his future now looks increasingly as if it will be away from Tyneside next season.  

And despite a lively display, Miguel Almiron failed to make any pivotal contribution to proceedings - although conspiracy theorists will have doubtless noted an exchange of passes with Ritchie.

Following Lejeune's departure, proceedings looked destined to emulate the scoreless stalemate at Selhurst last September until the brainless intervention of Yedlin. And despite the addition of seven minutes injury time, both the home team and crowd seemed to have written the game off.

With former Magpies Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt in their side, Palace celebrated a first victory on Tyneside since 1998, but felt they should already have been ahead after James Tomkins swept home a low shot after a corner in the 42nd minute.

However the joy of the away team and fans (one of whom had detonated a smoke bomb) was cut short when referee Stuart Attwell and his linesman ruled that Martin Dubravka had been unsighted by James McArthur - in an offside position as the shot was made - and disallowed it.

Five games to play then and having failed to gain the victory that would surely have confirmed our top-flight status for another season, we remain in limboland: with a significant question mark over the manager's future and a lengthening list of players whose futures are anything but certain.

Given the form of Cardiff City and their forthcoming fixtures, they remain favourites to join Fulham and Huddersfield Town in the Championship next season. Doubts persist however among cynical souls like us, who saw our apparent safety melt away in 45 minutes at Villa Park a decade ago

Close isn't close enough and in addition to 2009, minds start wandering back to both 2013 and 2015 when it took until the penultimate game to ensure our safety (although we didn't know about the latter until after the Jonas Gutierrez heroics that beat West Ham on the final day).

Our survival simply needs to be confirmed as soon as possible, and then we can start worrying about everything else....and there's plenty to be concerned about.

PS: Away from Premier League this weekend, the FA Cup served up one instantly forgettable Semi-Final (Manchester City 1 Brighton 0) and one absolute classic (Watford 3 Wolves 2).

Putting aside the wry smile that Wolves conceding a 94th minute equaliser prompted from us, one can only feel envious of those Hornets fans whose progress to the final included victory at SJP. 

We live in hope that one day it'll be our turn again, but this club's failure to advance beyond the fourth round since 2006 remains an utter disgrace, with blame not wholly at the owner's door. 

Niall/Biffa


Page last updated 15 April, 2019