C Palace 0 – 0 Newcastle

Nick Pope produced one of the saves of the season so far but Newcastle failed to match their goalkeeper’s heroics by working to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace and missing the chance to solidify a top-four spot.

Despite Eddie Howe’s side dominating the game, England goalkeeper Pope denied substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta’s fierce high drive with a superb reflex stop to tip the ball over the bar – with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate watching on.

Newcastle had plenty of chances to break the deadlock themselves but the likes of Joelinton, Dan Burn, Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak put most of their chances straight at a grateful Vicente Guaita in the Palace goal.

Missing the chance to move eight points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, the sharing of the points is enough to take the Magpies back into third spot ahead of Manchester United, who could take back that place by avoiding defeat at Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 4.30pm).

Player ratings

Crystal Palace: Guaita (8); Ward (6), Richards (6), Guehi (7), Mitchell (6); Doucoure (7), Schlupp (6), Eze (7); Ayew (5), Edouard (6), Zaha (7)

Subs: Olise (6), Mateta (7), Hughes (7), Clyne (6), Ozoh (n/a)

xxx: Newcastle: Pope (8); Trippier (8), Schar (8), Botman (7), Burn (6); Guimaraes (7), Longstaff (7), Willock (6); Almiron (6), Wilson (5), Joelinton (5)

Subs: Isak (5), Saint-Maximin (6), Murphy (n/a)

Player of the match: Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)

Asked about that wonder save from Pope, Magpies boss Howe said: “I’ve got to say, his levels of performance right through this season have been of the highest quality.

“Today’s save was one of the best I’ve seen him make. Top, top save. He had nothing to do apart from that one moment. I that’s the sign of a very good goalkeeper.”

How the Magpies fired a blank – again

The first half saw Newcastle dominate the game in terms of chances, but the visitors came up against a stubborn Palace backline – with goalkeeper Guiata frustrating them in particular.

Some good work from Joe Willock down the left led to Miguel Almiron being presented the best chance of the game, but the winger hit the side netting from a tight angle at the back post.

News team

  • Crystal Palace made four changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester United. Michael Olise was dropped to the bench for Jordan Ayew, while Ebere Eze replaced Jean-Phillipe Mateta. Jeffrey Schlupp started in place of Will Hughes and Joel Ward came in for Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.
  • Newcastle were unchanged from the side that beat Fulham 1-0 last week. That meant Bruno Guimaraes recovered in time from his injury that saw him leave the St James’ Park game last week in tears.

The Magpies, one of the most prolific sides from set pieces in the division, used dead ball scenarios to their advantage as Kieran Trippier’s corner eventually found its way to Dan Burn – who lashed a volley straight at Guaita.

The Spanish shot stopper then denied Joelinton twice in quick succession as he put out a strong hand to deny the Newcastle No 7 after he cut inside the box, before swatting away a deflected close-range strike from a corner moments later.

In a half that saw Palace frustrated for seeing Marc Guehi booked after four minutes while Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes escaped cautions for similar challenges, the home side had two big chances late in the half to take the lead.

First, Wilfried Zaha got the wrong side of Trippier but couldn’t get his feet in order as a penalty appeal fell on deaf ears. From the resulting corner, centre-back Chris Richards headed over with seconds left in the half after being found unmarked at a corner.

Jordan Ayew and Kieran Trippier chase a loose ball
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Kieran Trippier led the defense to keep another clean sheet for the Magpies

Newcastle continued their pressing on the Palace goal after half-time, with Wilson’s close-range free header from Trippier’s short corner falling straight into Guaita’s gloves. Joelinton was the next to comfortably find Guaita’s palms with a curling shot from 20 yards out while on the break.

Palace’s creativity was dented by Zaha’s withdrawal due to injury but the hosts actually created one of the best chances of the final few minutes.

A high ball in the air towards Odsonne Edouard caused havoc amongst the Newcastle defenders, with a loose ball finding Mateta who sent a rasping drive towards the top corner.

Only Pope’s outstretched right arm denied the Eagles substitute in more frustration for Patrick Vieira’s goal-shy side this season.

Newcastle pushed for a winner in the final ten minutes but Isak and Fabian Schar could only fire close-range headers once again straight to Guaita.

Miguel Almiron (and Odsonne Edouard fight for possession
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Miguel Almiron (left) was one of a host of Newcastle players to miss gilt-edged chances

As the clock ticked into 90, substitute Allan Saint-Maximin failed to capitalize on a Palace mistake at the back post as his close-ranger thumping strike was deflected wide.

It was one of a host of chances that went begging for Newcastle – their third goalless draw in four Premier League games.

Howe: I’m concerned by our lack of goals

Howe admitted that he is concerned about his team’s inability to score goals of late but insisted a lack of sharpness is also down to teams giving them “more respect” by defending deeper.

“We did most things right today, I thought we played very well,” said Howe. “We controlled the game, had chances. Maybe not absolutely must-score moments but a lot of chances that you’d like to think we’d do better with if we’d have them again.

“We had a lot of the ball around their box, a lot of good build-up play. We just couldn’t score the goal.

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Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe says the changing room is disappointed they couldn’t win the match against Crystal Palace.

“Whenever you’re not scoring, it’s a concern. We’re not scoring the numbers that I’d want to. But I don’t think there’s any concern about our style of play in terms of how we’re approaching the game .

“Teams are giving us a lot of respect, they’re putting a lot of men behind the ball. For an away team coming here, to have the amount of possession and control that we did is unusual. Credit to them with how they defended and it was a tight game, but teams will do that to us with the more respect we get.”

Newcastle No 9 Wilson has now gone six games without a Premier League goal, dating back to before the World Cup, but Howe attributes that to a lack of training time and believes his return to form is on the way.

Asked if Wilson is concerned about his recent drought, Howe said: “Knowing Callum, no. I think he’s had very limited training time. If I think back to him coming back the World Cup, he had an illness.

Callum Wilson's goal drought has extended to six games
Image:
Callum Wilson’s goal drought has extended to six games

“He’s missed a big chunk of training and that always affects your sharpness as a player, regardless of your position.

“Callum has worked hard for the team. Knowing him, the goals are just around the corner.”

And could there be a new striker on the way in the final days of the January transfer window. “You always want more options. But I’ve got no issue with the squad – strength or size,” the Newcastle boss added.

“The point I was making yesterday [in his press conference] was that if we got injuries we would be very, very light.

“We’re keen to do business and bring to player in that can hopefully help out but there’s no guarantee that will happen.”

Analysis: Newcastle need more than just goals

Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz at Selhurst Park:

“Newcastle are learning the harsh realities of being in a battle at the top.

“Just like against Leeds, just like against Fulham, teams like Crystal Palace will look at their players and their league position and look to frustrate Newcastle with nothing.

“They got away with it against Fulham last week but were it not for that Alexander Isak winner last week, they would have mustered goalless draws in their last four games.

Newcastle were frustrated to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace
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Almiron looks on as Newcastle put in another lacking display in attack

“Normally the solution, particularly in January, is a lack of potency up front. After all, Eddie Howe previewed this game by saying the Magpies are on the lookout for a new striker to replace Chris Wood, who is now at Nottingham Forest.

“But Newcastle have the player they are looking for, in several forms. Strikers Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak put good headers straight at Vicente Guaita as they took turns in the center forward role. Joelinton and Miguel Almiron have been reborn this season but didn’t don’t do much better against this Palace defence.

“What Eddie Howe’s side are lacking is enough people with experience of breaking teams down. How many of their players on Saturday have played for a ‘Big Six’ club before – or the European equivalent? Kieran Trippier is one, Joe Willock is two and Bruno Guimaraes at a push.

“There is also the need of a good start, which can help calm the nerves in a difficult environment like Selhurst Park. Newcastle have failed to score in the first-half in their last six games, the only time they have managed to net in the opening period since the World Cup break was in their first game against Leicester.

“Howe will be hoping that the Newcastle side which dazzled Premier League audiences before the World Cup can find their shooting boots again. But back to the harsh reality, every moment they don’t is a boost for those behind them.”

Vieira: Palace had to roll their sleeves up

Meanwhile, Palace manager Vieira was pleased with the heart his side showed – not just against Newcastle but in their previous two games against Chelsea and Manchester United.

This run of three games in six days has seen Vieira’s side come out with two points, with the Eagles manager content with how his side competed.

“You always want more but at the same time you have to realize the teams we played – Chelsea, United and Newcastle – three teams are at a different level.

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Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says he is pleased with the point against Newcastle. Also the injury to Wilfried Zaha is too soon to call.

“It was important for us to try to compete as best as you can against those teams. And we did well against those teams. Today again, it wasn’t easy at all. We competed well and we got the point we deserved.

“The game today showed us the other side of the game is really important for us. It’s not just about playing, having the ball and nice football. Today it was all about defending well, working well on the set pieces and the second ball and making it difficult for them.

“That side of the game we did really well. The other side is when we did have the ball, we didn’t use it well enough cause them problems or create chances.

“That’s why I’m proud of the team. We wanted, of course, to play and have more possession, but we needed to put our sleeves up and show the other side of the game. And we did it well.”

What’s next?

Tuesday 24th January 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm


Crystal Palace‘s exit from the FA Cup means they have next weekend off. The Eagles return to Premier League action with a trip to Manchester United on February 4.

Palace then have a derby clash at home to Brighton the following weekend, before an away game at Brentford and a home clash with Liverpool to complete their February fixtures.

Newcastle take part in their first semi-final in 18 years in midweek as they play the first-leg of their Carabao Cup last-four clash at Southampton on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports.

There is no weekend fixture in between the return leg at St James’ Park on January 31, before they return to league action at home to West Hamlive on Sky Sports on February 4, kick-off 5.30pm.

The Magpies are on Sky Sports Saturday Night Football duty for their next two league outings, traveling to Bournemouth and hosting Liverpool on the next two Saturdays. They end February with a home clash against Brighton on February 25.

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