Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020, 3.00pm
Venue: Selhurst Park
1 - 0
Fabian Schar fouled Jordan
Ayew to give away a free-kick
25-yards out on the right side of the pitch and Patrick van Aanholt simply thumped it
over the wall and into the far corner of the Holmesdale Road End goal.
Although replays prompted some suggestions that Martin Dubravka wasn't
positioned properly, the power and accuracy of the dead ball strike beat his
despairing dive fair and square.
Half time: Eagles 1 Magpies 0
Full time: Eagles 1 Magpies 0
Steve Bruce (whose post-match words were a re-run of those after
better team won.
"We have had decent possession, but we gave the ball away too
cheaply especially when in good areas.
"We didn't ask questions, maybe
it is a time to change - we have to score to win a game.
"It was difficult with the conditions, but we have no complaints
saying the better team won.
"I couldnít fault their effort and their attitude for it. Weíve had
enough possession but, in the final third again, the final ball -
weíve found it a big struggle again.
"Thatís the third game now where we havenít scored a goal. We have
to be better in the final third. Thatís been our Achilles heel all
"We played Joelinton wide for a bit of the game today and itís
something we can look at - whether itís a change in shape or
personnel... Iíll make a decision over the next few days.
"They are a big, physical team and we struggled with that. Their
main threat in the first half was from corners and the goalkeeperís
made two great saves.
"We canít take their support - which is quite unique - for
granted. We havenít given them enough to shout about. Yes, we were
willing and worked hard but we didnít do enough in forward areas.
"Whatís said in changing rooms should stay in there. I wasnít happy
with us at all, I can say that.
"Dwight Gayle has trained for eight or nine days after being out
with a hamstring injury for six weeks, so I thought it was right he
"At the top end of the pitch where it matters, the decision making
has not been good enough."
On the red card:
"With 10 seconds to go, does the referee really have to send him
off? Is a yellow not sufficient? But rules are rules, and we will
abide by it.
"He played very well today, we
didn't find him enough - in wide areas, we ignored the lad. We
needed to get it out to him, but he played very well.
"Our biggest problem all season
has been evident - we have to create more of a threat in the
"We have to look at it and analyse it. Maybe change is sometimes for
Roy Hodgson said:
"I wouldn't have minded a few more goals - we would have deserved
that. It would have solved some of the anxiety going into the last ten
minutes when the opponent throws caution to the wind and you worry
something might go against you.
"The winter break helped. We used it for what it was
intended for, to forget about football. There was a bounce in everyone's
steps and I thought it showed.
"We go into the next game with the knife a little bit
further from the throat, but we have to keep going.
"It was hard to lose three in a row especially when in the last two we
were hard done by. We dominated the game but I am disappointed we had to
suffer towards the end. When it's 1-0 they are never out of the picture.
"It's our first win in 2020. It was vitally important, and had we
conceded in the last few minutes it would have been disastrous. That
would have knocked us for six.
"But it's a win that moves us up the table and away from the relegation
zone. We never lost sight that this would be a dogfight and we wanted to
stay ahead of the curve on that.
"Three straight defeats is always a possibility in this league. Maybe
not for Liverpool or Manchester City or even maybe Chelsea and
"For the rest of us, I'm afraid, three defeats is always on the cards if
you're unlucky or things don't go your way so today to get a victory
against a close rival and get it as well in a fairly
dominant way - because I think even the most ardent Newcastle fan would
be hard pushed to say Crystal Palace were lucky today.
"We were desperately unlucky at Newcastle - we lost 1-0
- and if favour had been kinder, we would have had six points."
Since scoring twice in
second half added time at Everton, Newcastle have drawn a blank at home to
Norwich City (0-0), at Arsenal (0-4) and at Crystal Palace (0-1), a total of
270 minutes without a goal.
That's their first three game scoreless league run since Steve McClaren's
drew a trio of blanks during December 2015 and January 2016; Everton at home
(0-1), at West Bromwich Albion (0-1) and at Arsenal (0-1).
Patrick van Aanholt followed in the boot steps of Ayoze Perez and became
the second former Magpie to score against us in the Premier League this
season. The Dutchman is no stranger to this sort of thing, netting his first
career goal against us for Chelsea during a League Cup tie in 2010.
Magpies v Eagles @ Selhurst - all time:
2018/19 drew 0-0
2017/18 drew 1-1 Diame
2015/16 lost 1-5 Cisse
2014/15 drew 1-1 Cisse
2014/15 won 3-2 (aet) Riviere 2, Dummett (LC)
2013/14 won 3-0 Cabaye, og(Gabbidon), Ben Arfa
2009/10 won 2-0 Nolan, Ryan Taylor
2004/05 won 2-0 Kluivert, Bellamy
1997/98 won 2-1 Tomasson, Ketsbaia
1994/95 won 1-0 Beardsley
1983/84 lost 1-3 Beardsley
1982/83 won 2-0 Waddle, Varadi
1981/82 won 2-1 Waddle, Mills
1978/79 lost 0-1
1972/73 lost 1-2 Tudor
1971/72 lost 0-2
1970/71 lost 0-1
1969/70 won 3-0 Davies, Dyson, Robson
1964/65 drew 1-1 Cummings
Beat him - and you beat us
Paul Simon may
have devised "50 ways to leave your lover", but the task
of finding 38 different methods to describe Newcastle United's
ongoing demise as a football team this season is an unenviable task.
In tribute to the passing of computer pioneer Larry Tesler, we make
no secret of the fact that this report is compiled using his
greatest invention: the cut and paste command on a keyboard. Nothing
written here is new, sadly - like the disorganised dross endured
once here today.
The Magpies left London
for a second successive weekend with no points and no goals
following a lamentable performance that brought a deserved defeat at
a windswept Selhurst Park.
Inviting pressure by playing sideways balls across the back, United
again looked uncomfortable in possession and unsure what their
tactics were. We may have taken three points off Palace three months
ago, but they were the better side that day. That doesn't take much
Patrick van Aanholt's previous wearside stint drew abuse from
visiting fans here today, but the full back who spent time on loan
at Newcastle a decade ago had the last laugh a minute before half
His unstoppable free-kick proved to be the difference
between the two sides, but had Palace been
better at finishing, they could have exceeded Arsenal's scoreline
against us - Roy Hodgson's side having 18 shots compared to the 15
that Mikel Arteta's Gunners managed last Sunday.
And there was a red card to add to our woes, Sean Longstaff's slip on halfway setting Wilfried Zaha off en route to
goal deep into added time, only to be hauled down by last man back, Valentino Lazaro.
The performance will concern Steve Bruce as much as the outcome with
just two long range efforts to show from another afternoon of
uninspired toil; Joelinton on the quarter hour and Fabian Schar in
the 65th minute.
Another display of striking impotence means that it's now 270 minutes
since we scored a goal; Newcastle perfect guests for a Palace side without a
clean sheet in ten league games and with just one victory in 11
Martin Dubravka twice came to United's rescue in the opening 15
minutes, producing wonder stops to block headers from Gary Cahill
and Scott Dann.
But once he was beaten by Van Aanholt's fine effort, there was no way back for a
Magpies side who lined up as they had at the Emirates, save for
the enforced replacement of Ciaran Clark by Fabian Schar.
Bruce's side struggled to match even their low first half standards
after the break; the return of Dwight Gayle from the bench against
his old club entirely
futile, given the lack of support play from those around him.
With no idea how to bring him into the game, Newcastle were left reliant on set pieces
to pose an attacking threat - and on this occasion conjured up
absolutely nothing from free kicks or corners.
Having not scored since the two late Florian Lejeune efforts at
Goodison Park in January, even our frantic efforts to steal a point
in the closing stages here were
torpedoed by an inability to deliver the ball into the opposition
Aside from the goalkeeper though, none of those selected were more
than adequate: the three January loan arrivals no improvement on
what we already had.
Nabil Bentaleb did little to justify his starting place ahead of Isaac Hayden or Matty Longstaff, the midfielder found out
time and again and seemingly struggling to pick out team mates clad in United's dark green change
A pedestrian display from Danny Rose at left back meanwhile drew
comparisons with Celestine Babayaro and Kenny Sansom from seasoned
malcontents, while on the other flank, Lazaro demonstrated for the
second game running that he's anything but a defender
It's up front though where our greatest problems lie: a
collective mess that offers absolutely zero scoring threat. Our
number 9 played the full game but touched the ball just
twice in the opposition box. Come back Xisco.
Statistics do not lie - one win in nine attempts - and the trend
firmly downward - but we didn't need to bolster our attack in
January, apparently. Muddled thinking from the club saw injuries
elsewhere in the squad prompt reinforcements, but the yawning gap up front was wilfully
Appearing on both wings and through the middle at various points,
Allan Saint-Maximin was unproductive save for one ambitious chip
that just cleared the bar. Miguel Almiron meanwhile would be out
of the side at any normal football club, such is his lack of impact
despite obvious effort.
Defeat left Newcastle in fourteenth, although a seven point gap to West Ham in eighteenth
remained intact with the Hammers not playing at Liverpool until Monday.
Three goal defeats for Norwich and Watford on Sunday brought
marginal relief that there are still three inferior sides, somehow.
At the moment we are sitting ducks and the good fortune we enjoyed
earlier in the season has inevitably evaporated - or maybe memories
of the drills and discipline instilled by the previous manager
away after six months.
have enough to stay up, but that has changed from will have
The shortcomings of other teams may well save us this season, but
"playing" like this it's surely a matter of when we stop defying
gravity and drop, rather than if.
Oh, and it's utterly unwatchable.
As we feared last July, we'll come to rue the day when Steve Bruce was homeward bound.