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Crystal Palace vs Newcastle 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

5 days on from our late heartbreak at the Emirates we are back at Selhurst Park. On Saturday 23rd of October we hosted Newcastle United, the magpies were struggling at the start of the season finding themselves in the relegation zone. It’s been a few weeks since the club was bought by the Saudi Arabia owners but no immediate change to the results was sparked, as their last result was a 3-2 loss against Tottenham. Their manager was sacked after the previous game, so they had a club staff member in charge for this game. Palace’s last game was against Arsenal, we came away with a single point after making a 2-1 comeback in the second half, with goals from Benteke and Edouard, but once again was let down in the late stages and conceded in the 90+5th minute, if we want to start climbing the table, we need to start winning the games we are dominating!

Patrick Viera changed the line-up slightly for this game, bringing in Michael Olise for his first start for the club, in replace of Ayew. Wilfried Zaha also was named on the bench after being left out of the Arsenal game completely due to illness.

The game was a 3pm kick off and it was a sell out so was extra loud! For the past 2 home games the captains had decided to switch ends before the game, so we had them shooting our end the second half. We had a really early chance as Edouard and Benteke could link up nicely playing around the defenders in the box, before Edouard got the ball back and charged towards the goal line, his cross was deflected behind by Benteke awarding Newcastle a goal kick. There was another good phase of play from the boys in red and blue as they tried to get the opening goal, but I do think they need to be encouraged to shoot more cause they were playing too many passes and ended up losing the ball. I do feel like Newcastle were playing for a draw from the first minute, they were time wasting so much but the ref was so awful throughout the match they went unpunished for it. Once again, some beautiful football on display from Palace, Olise was able to whip the ball inch perfectly into Benteke, but his header attempt was kept out by the post, Mitchell was able to win us a corner on the follow up but nothing significant came from it. Olise had spurts of brilliance throughout once he grew into the game showing off his talent and skills, it’s scary how he’s only 19 years old and seems to have no fear on the ball. Benteke got 1/2 goals on Monday night, and he seemed to have started the game with lots of confidence, which was great to see! The opposition got a free kick which was whipped into the box finding a Newcastle player, the ball was headed back into the box where another player could have a shot, his attempt was cleared off the line by Guehi and the follow up shot was thankfully into the side netting. Since Viera has taking over I’ve really enjoyed watching how involved the defenders are in the attacking phases of play, particularly Mitchell and Ward linking up with the wingers and having the confidence to overlap them, it is definitely stronger with Zaha but in this game he was decent playing with Edouard.

Palace completely dominated the first half, when Newcastle had possession, we did really well to win the ball back as soon as possible, there just wasn’t a goal to separate the teams. To be fair to Newcastle they did do well to keep the attack at bay with the only real attempt coming from Benteke when he hit the post.

The second half began, and Palace won an early free kick, Olise was on set piece duties whilst on the pitch so I’m assuming the responsibility will be shared between him, Gallagher and Milivojevic. Gallagher found himself in space down the wing so was able to cross the ball into the box where Benteke was waiting, his acrobatic effort had the whole stadium on the edge of their seats but went just over the bar! It looked so close from our angle and would’ve been a brilliant goal if it went in. Immediately after there was a pause in play after the goalkeeper who was coming out for the ball completely wiped out his own player; if Edouard was able to play the ball slightly more ahead of himself, he would’ve had an open goal to put the ball into, but his touch was cleared by the Newcastle defender. In the build-up to that pause we should have arguably had a free kick as Benteke was tripped, but the ref was having none of it. The referee was even worse in the second half just making really poor decisions against us, but the fans made sure he knew they were unhappy through the chants 😬. After winning the ball back from a Newcastle free kick, we made our way up into our attacking third, a loose ball from Edouard was picked up by Gallagher just outside the box, he did really well to hold off his defender and keep hold of the ball, before finally playing it out to Mitchell; Mitchell had time and space to cross a beautifully weighted ball into the box and onto the head of Benteke, when you see him in those kind of positions you know the ball will find its way into the net, and that it did! Back-to-back goals for Benteke and he was putting in a great performance in the game, hopefully it’s the start of a good season for him! So it was 1-0 and definitely the result we deserved. After this we dominated the ball once again for the next section of the game, playing some wonderful link up football but just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net again. As I mentioned before set pieces were also taken by Milivojevic, his deliveries were poor and have been for the past few games so I’m not entirely sure how much longer he will be assigned to them. Benteke was in the action again just after the hour mark, Olise was able to cross the ball into the box and onto the head of Benteke, but he was having no luck and his attempt went over off of the crossbar! A clumsy foul was given away by Milivojevic, this forced a corner from Ward and corners have not been our strongest point this season... the ball was whipped into the box before being headed back across the goal, the ball found its way onto Wilson’s over-the-head acrobatic effort and went flying into the top corner. I can’t take anything away from the goal because it was a quality finish and near impossible for Guaita to save with the pace behind it, but we really need to work on our defending when the opponent has a corner. 1-1, was it going to be yet another draw? Viera responded with an instant substitution bring on Zaha in replace of Olise, if we hadn’t of conceded I think he would’ve lasted the whole game because he was playing really well. The goal seemed to give Newcastle some more energy as they started to grow into the game, definitely not what Palace needed. Just after the half way stage of the second half Benteke had a huge chance to put us ahead again, a through ball from McArthur found Christian who was running in behind the defender as they thought Edouard was going to collect the ball, he was through on goal, but he blazed his shot wide! He really should be scoring there, and it was similar to Ayew’s a few weeks ago. At this point he could’ve been on at least a hat trick :’(. Another substitution came from the Palace manager replacing Milivojevic with Schlupp, I assume Viera is as sick of draws as we fans are and wants to push on for the 3 points (which once again we deserve!). In the closing stages we had the majority of the ball once again, but we just couldn’t find the last crucial ball for the goal. Zaha’s introduction was pretty disappointing as he sent the ball wide with his first touch, but he did slowly grow into the game; in the 85th minute he sent a lovely ball across the face of goal but there was no one there to poke it in! McArthur’s follow up shot was sent wide giving us a corner, before this was taken our final sub was made as Gallagher went off for the replacement of Mateta, again highlighting how much we wanted this win! The corner was whipped in perfectly finding the head of a towering Benteke who was unmarked his header was too powerful for the keeper to keep out and found its way into the back of the net! 2-1 ... or so we thought. During the celebrations the referee was surrounded by the Newcastle players complaining about a foul and after some consideration went over to the VAR screen, we were super confused to what had happened because it looked fine at first and it took a while to be shown on the screen. Of course the ref gave the decision against us, it was a foul on the Newcastle defender from Guehi as the ball was coming in, we really are having no luck recently and the goal was disallowed. I have seen the play back and it was a foul, but it’s super frustrating because we deserved this win and even if he wasn’t fouled, I don’t think he would’ve stopped Benteke’s header! So we’re back level with 2 minutes to go. “How much are the paying you” sang around the stands, as the referee was repeatedly awful for the whole game, absolutely nothing was going our way! It took till the 90+3rd minute for the ref to book a single player for time wasting even though I’d had been happening the whole game. Newcastle looked dangerous in the final minutes but thankfully there was no more heartbreak and the game ended 1-1.

After the final whistle Viera voiced his opinion to the referee alongside them being loudly booed by the fans, but it doesn’t change the fact we come away having to share the points, it’s so frustrating how we can dominate the game so much but we’re still not able to finish our chances! If we want to start climbing the table, we need to start getting the 3 points in these kind of games, hopefully the reintroduction of Eze in the next few weeks can help this. A positive is we are still unbeaten at home so should help the confidence remain high, but we did annoyingly drop down to 15th in the table with 9 points.

After the game we was finally allowed to go back to meeting the players post COVID, we initially went to the away end as I am a Joe Willock fan, but thankfully he came out relatively quickly so still had time to see some Palace players after getting a picture with him. The Palace player exit was much busier than it used to be but the security guards were super helpful so we managed to see Conor Gallagher, Jeffery Schlupp, Will Hughes, Marc Guehi, Jack Butland; and obviously Joe Willock from the Newcastle team along with Callum Wilson.

Our next home game is in 2 weeks against Wolverhampton, so look out for my post on that!

Thank you for reading

Ellie Xx

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