Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 0
Jermaine Jenas picked up a clearance and played in Bellamy down the United right. He made
for the penalty area and beat a defender before pulling the ball back to Patrick
Kluivert, who was making a run to the near post.
The Dutchman got ahead of the ball but was
able to steer a sublime backheel into the far corner. 1-0
launched a clearance to his compatriot Laurent Robert from the left-hand side of his own
area. The winger surged forward from his own half, urged on by the travelling
fans and as he neared the Palace box he looked poised to shoot, but instead
threaded a finely-weighted ball through for Craig Bellamy to pick up and
bear down on goal.
Evading one challenge the Welsh striker beat Kiraly to smash his shot
past the 'keeper into the roof of the net. 2-0
Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2
Graeme Souness said:
"We played well today. We have come
into the game on the back of two defeats against Manchester United and Chelsea -
games we could have won.
"We have come here with some maybe
feeling sorry for themselves but from the first minute we have taken charge and
I think we bossed it throughout and it was a deserved victory.
"As a manager you are thinking the
worst all the time but a bit of magic from Patrick and Craig Bellamy has won the
"You do think that when you don't take
the chances that come your way, that just maybe they are going to get something
on the break. But we defended well today and played
some excellent football.
"It is pleasing that we got three
points. You have to give Palace credit for sticking at it, but it was a deserved
"I hate it when you talk about
wingers. Can anyone show me a team which has got wingers that wins things?
"There's no such
thing as a winger anymore. There are hard-working wide players. You can't say
Ryan Giggs is a winger. In football now you don't have wingers."
"Laurent Robert's a
super talent and I've no beef with him, but I've wanted him to do more. He's
such a fabulous talent when he has the ball in the last third of the pitch. He's
almost 30 now and can still learn.
"He did well in the
second half, but we couldn't give the ball to him in the first half. The Laurent
Robert we saw create the second goal is the Laurent Robert we want to see."
"We played some
exciting football on a slippy pitch against a team whose No 1 priority was to
stop us playing.
"In the second half
we stepped it up and started to get through them. It seemed only a matter of
time before we got a goal, but on the other side of the coin while we had all
those chances they could have hit us on the break.
"We were on the front
foot for the majority of the game but as long as it was 0-0 you were nervous
about the situation."
Iain Dowie commented:
"I thought it was an even game until the first goal and we defended well because we didn't give them a lot of chances. I was a bit disappointed with the manner of our performance and we just didn't play.
"We didn't pass or move very well and there was no slickness. Apart from a good move in the first half we didn't really create any chances from good passing moves. We needed to be braver and bolder today and we weren't.
"We've lost three times after international week and maybe we need to look at the way we do things because that's been three lacklustre performances now.
"It's tightened up the bottom again and we go to Southampton next week where it will be a key game. There's no question that we have to go and beat the teams around us but we would have gone down there in a more comfortable position had we performed today."
"We didn't show enough ambition to win the game. We didn't move the ball enough and if you give the ball away cheaply you'll be punished in this division. Our performance in the second-half was too much like how we played at the beginning of the season.
Selhurst Park record:
2004/05 Palace - won 2-0
1999/00 Wimbledon - lost 0-2
1998/99 Wimbledon - drew 1-1 Shearer
1997/98 Wimbledon - drew 0-0
1997/98 Palace - won 2-1 Tomasson, Ketsbaia
1996/97 Wimbledon - drew 1-1 Asprilla
1995/96 Wimbledon - drew 3-3 Ferdinand 2, Gillespie
1994/95 Wimbledon - lost 2-3 Kitson, Beardsley
1994/95 Palace - won 1-0 Beardsley
1993/94 Wimbledon - lost 2-4 Beardsley 2
1993/94 Wimbledon - lost 1-2 Sellars (LC)
We last lost to Palace at Selhurst in season 1983/84 when we were beaten
3-1, our goal coming from Peter Beardsley.
Patrick Kluivert's goal was his first in 5 league games and 3rd
in his 10 Premiership appearances.
We maintained our record of scoring in every away game this
season - the only team in the Premiership to still have accomplished
this feat. Whether we can still say that after our next away game is
open to debate.....
Only Shay Given's 2nd clean sheet in the Premiership this season
in 13 games, Blackburn at home being the other one. His last clean sheet
away from home in the league was at Villa in April last season.
A second away win of the season - and both have come south of the
That’s the word that best summed up reactions of both United players and
supporters at Selhurst Park to the sound of Mark Halsey’s whistle, just before
5pm on Saturday.
But while many of those in the away section obeyed the instruction to pogo if
they loved the toon while Laurent Robert indulged in a spot of Gallic
hokey-cokeying, for curmudgeons such as us the joy was distinctly limited.
Of course any away win for our side is welcome, especially in the league, this
being only our second in the whole of 2004. And a capital success provides a
special satisfaction and feeling that natural justice has prevailed.
Add to that
a decent and vocal travelling support who had two classy goals to cheer and in
many ways, this was a day and a result to savour.... and drink to.
But after having watch ninety minutes of Palace proving that they were even
worse than Blackburn had been this season in becoming our most limited
Premiership opposition to date, the lack of imagination, application and craft
that saw us struggle to break down Dowie’s men does cause some concern
While in some quarters the
display of Dyer was being hailed as a return to form for the under-pressure
midfielder, from our £35 obstructed view he looked simply unremarkable. And
while Robert had come close to scoring with a second-half effort that hit the
crossbar and had done well to lay on Bellamy’s goal, the rest of his afternoon
was rather less than wonderful.
And had referee Halsey
applied the laws correctly, the Frenchman would have collected a yellow card for
his utterly unconvincing attempt at winning a penalty. Add to that some more
wasted crosses and set-pieces and the question begged by his late burst of
effort is why it took him so long to start getting at, to and past nondescript
Both of them at least
contributed in some measure to our success overall, although when we were
looking for inspiration to break down the opposition, none was forthcoming and
our creativity was little better than Palace’s for 79 minutes.
The least said about the inept Lee Bowyer the better, although his ineffectual
display on this ground may have brought back memories for some of Geoff Thomas
– another midfielder who ended up being capped for England for no apparent
Plus points included the
relative comfort of our defence in the face of a less-than-convincing attack
from the Eagles that consisted mainly of one man (Johnson) – Arsenal must be
stuttering if they were held to a 1-1 in Palace’s last home game.
Another good performance from Jenas was heartening though and the award of the
captaincy looks a positive move. However the clear and ever-present danger of
waxing lyrical about him remains, with some Souness quotes seeming to egg on
certain media sources into more fulsome praise of him.
JJ spoke maturely after the Madrid incident in midweek, but he’s still only 21
and developing – lapsing from hyper-criticism one week to over-hyping his
importance shortly after is a modern, counter-productive trait. Hopefully he can
retain his focus and not be taken in by all the chin-stroking articles currently
being penned in the "serious" press.
A man of the match performance came from Bellamy, looking far happier than of
later after being restored to his preferred central striking
role (although in view of the circumspect display of Kluivert for much of this
game it was tempting to write sole striking role.)
His goal was the reward for an industrious and even-tempered performance,
although expert lip readers may well have been offended by what he was saying as
he ran away in celebration.
Of his strike partner, a goal of rare quality saved him from being rubbished by
the rank and file, but doubts remain over his application – for a big man, the
expression “put himself about” doesn’t seem to have an adequate Dutch
equivalent. It does have other connotations of course, but we wouldn’t know
about them, not drinking in Jesmond....
In many ways this game was
a mirror of the contest on the same ground against Palace almost exactly seven
years ago – your correspondent even being allocated almost the same dusty
seat, at just double the 1997 price.
On that occasion, we moved two places up the table from ninth to seventh after
winning 2-1 against a Palace side who were unsuccessfully fighting against
That season though proved to be a lost one in many ways, as we struggled to
score goals and our defence continued to slip up on a semi-regular basis, two
things that ultimately cost former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish his job early
the following season.
We reserved some of our
best form for the FA Cup, unfortunately coming up against an on-form Arsenal in
the final, but still managed to get into Europe by the back door - many among us
(including the number 9) would settle for a slight variation of that, but with
the addition of something with ribbons and handles on....
Thankfully we can avoid the
consequences of not winning this game, but with a tricky trip to France followed
closely by the visit of a born-again Everton side and then the daunting task at
Stamford Bridge, the respite may only be temporary.
Palace fans seemed reasonably pleased with their side's performance - maybe
that's why they are probably going to be making their debut in the Championship next
season. At these prices they shouldn't settle for a sub-standard product...and
neither should we. Vital victory, nowt else.