Crystal Palace (mis)fired at will against sloppy Newcastle United as a Callum Wilson overhead kick and VAR-overruled Christian Benteke winner left the Eagles and Magpies level 1-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Benteke had put the Eagles up 1-0 before Wilson delivered a stunning equalizer on one of Newcastle’s very few chances, but the Belgian saw his would-be winner taken off the board by VAR for a foul.
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Ironically, the foul was on Marc Guehi who, with apologies to Benteke, was perhaps the best player on the pitch.
Newcastle did not look any more organized without Steve Bruce, and remains winless with four draws on the season. That leaves them three points back of 17th-place Leeds and four behind Southampton.
Patrick Vieira’s Palace have nine points and sit 15th, and he’ll wonder how in the world his men failed to score three, four, or even five goals. The Eagles were without Eberechi Eze and could only bring Wilfried Zaha off the bench, but still dominated the game.
Crystal Palace vs Newcastle final score, stats
Final score: Crystal Palace 1, Newcastle United 1
Scorers: Benteke (56′), Wilson (65′)
Shots: Crystal Palace, 14-6
Shots on goal: Crystal Palace, 3-2
Possession: Crystal Palace, 75%
Three things we learned from Crystal Palace vs Newcastle
1. Benteke breaks through: Palace found opening after opening in the Newcastle defense, and it was Benteke who fittingly put the Eagles ahead when he powered over the top of Ciaran Clark to thump a header home. It was appropriate not just because Benteke had been very good, but because he had been denied more fanciful goals earlier in the match. That his winner was taken off the board was a shame but the right judgment.
2. Callum Wilson gets low: Newcastle’s first half-chance in close to an hour saw it go ahead when Wilson’s looped a loose ball inside the near post with an overhead kick to make it 1-1. What a goal, as the only way the Magpies appeared ready to get on the scoreboard would be through a feat of improbability.
3. Jones does not impress: Graeme Jones was discussed as the man behind Newcastle’s second-half stabilization last season, but the first match for the Magpies without Steve Bruce looked an awful lot like the Magpies with Steve Bruce. It was something of a 5-3-2 for Jones with Ryan Fraser starting, and Newcastle hardly looked better when he put in Joe Willock and Miguel Almiron, the two glaring omissions. It’s a difficult spot for Jones, alas.
Man of the Match: Marc Guehi
The ex-Chelsea back never saw a Premier League appearance for his former club but he’s been quite good through nine matches for Palace. The 21-year-old does a little bit of everything and looked a composed and daring passer of the ball on Saturday, and it’s a shame that he was the shirt-puller whose dark arts were spotted by VAR before Benteke smashed his header home. That said, Benteke likely doesn’t get as strong purchase on the offer without Guehi’s foul.
Crystal Palace vs Newcastle recap
Newcastle dealt with an early warning shot courtesy of Odsonne Eduoard. The ex-Celtic man bursting into the left side of the box to find Christian Benteke with a too-hard cross that popped off the Belgian and over the goal.
But it was Newcastle living in the Palace final third for most of the first quarter-hour, Sean Longstaff seeing a well-hit side volley blocked on the line and Callum Wilson unable to squeeze the rebound in from an extremely-acute angle.
There was a bit of a scrap between Wilson, Joel Ward, and Luka Milivojevic midway through the first half that was, perhaps, the highlight of the frame.
Palace had the next chance when Benteke’s point-blank header clanked off the bottom of the post. The Eagles did little with the ensuing corner kick.
Newcastle kept itself open at the back and Benteke came close with a slashed side volley in the 50th. It was foreshadowing, because Tyrick Mitchell spotted three Eagles queueing up at the back post and Benteke headed the invitation past Darlow.