Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Magpies swipe point

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  • Newcastle leads through Diame
  • Palace levels, then dominates
  • Palace with points in 13 of 15
  • Magpies host Man Utd next

Luka Milivojevic‘s second half penalty was all Crystal Palace could manage despite a dominant second half which saw them draw Newcastle United 1-1 on Sunday at Selhurst Park.

Mohamed Diame scored for Newcastle in the draw which has the Magpies in 16th, a point above the drop zone.

Palace is 14th, three points above 18th place Stoke City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wilfried Zaha had an early chance provided by Luka Milivojevic, but Jamaal Lascelles and Newcastle backstop Karlo Darlow stopped the 2nd minute opportunity.

Jonjo Shelvey presided over a fifth minute free kick, dead center from 35 yards out, and a decent ball led to Wayne Hennessey collecting a Dwight Gayle shot.

Kenedy found Matt Ritchie in the 13th minute, but the Scot popped a tepid shot into Hennessey’s arms. The goalkeeper had to make a better save when DeAndre Yedlin‘s cross was sliced on goal by Ayoze Perez.

The Magpies went ahead through Diame after the 20 minute mark, and Palace will not enjoy the replays of Kenedy’s corner kick sailing through the 18 for the Senegalese midfielder to slot home.

Palace bungled a chance to level through Zaha, as he punched his shot off a player and out of play. It wasn’t quite Raheem Sterling’s Saturday miss at Burnley, but it was not good.

Hennessey then stopped Kenedy before making a quality flying stop on Perez.

Christian Benteke then couldn’t adapt when Darlow’s slapped save appeared near his lap in the goal mouth. It looked an awful sitter.

Cabaye cut a low shot to Darlow moments before the break.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace had a great start to the second half, though a Newcastle counter attack, 2v1 with Kenedy and Perez, was frittered away by the hesitant Brazilian.

Ciaran Clark had a hold of Benteke’s shirt, and the linesman awarded a penalty to Palace in the 54th minute. Milivojevic’s attempt was mostly blocked by Darlow, but the ball hit the bar and bounded across the line.

The momentum was fully in Palace’s favor from that point forward, Benteke a constant threat.

Christian Atsu set Isaac Hayden up for a rare Newcastle second half attempt, but Hennessey stopped to collect the low drive.

Palace looked to have won it, but Newcastle’s defenders made consecutive goal mouth clearances from Clark to bail out Darlow.

Atsu curled a shot wide against the run of play near the end of stoppage time.

Man City 3-1 Newcastle: Aguero with perfect hat trick

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  • Aguero nets thrice
  • Bags second half PK
  • City table lead at 12 points
  • Newcastle two points clear of 18th

Sergio Aguero scored three times to continue his mastery of Newcastle United as Manchester City bounced back to post a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Jacob Murphy scored a second half goal to pull Newcastle to within one before Aguero finished his second hat trick of the season. The Argentine scored three and posted an assist against Watford on Sept. 16.

The win gives Man City 65 points, 12 more than second place Manchester United, and improves their goal differential to 51.

Newcastle sits 15th with 23 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle high-pressed to start, and troubled Ederson was happy to see Oleksandar Zinchenko defy a Christian Atsu cross in the first 90 seconds.

The Magpies had a 3-5-2 which was five at the back when City had the ball (which was often). Leroy Sane seemed most poised to trigger a City goal, but it remained scoreless after a quarter hour.

Raheem Sterling scored an offside goal to complete a lightning counter attack, with David Silva‘s splendid pass denied an assist by the linesman’s rightly raised flag.

Silva was fouled on the edge of the 18, and Kevin De Bruyne presided over a dangerous free kick from the right only to rifled the ball over the goal.

Newcastle backstop Karl Darlow made a save a moment before City went ahead, as Aguero just deflected — we’re talking hair not head — a De Bruyne cross home.

Darlow made a fine save on De Bruyne in the 40th minute, and another just before the break as Newcastle limited the damage to 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

City again had trouble coming through Newcastle’s tight defense, and Isaac Hayden stopped a promising pass from Sane in the 61st minute.

Paul Tierney awarded a penalty to City in the 62nd minute when Raheem Sterling dove under a Javier Manquillo challenge, and Aguero placed a perfect penalty past a correctly guessing Darlow.

Murphy then got his first goal for his club on the counter, chipping Ederson after a seeing-eye pass from Ciaran Clark put the ex-Norwich man 1v1 with the goalkeeper.

Darlow denied Sterling with an outstanding diving save after Sane’s terrific cross was turned toward the Magpies’ goal.

Newcastle could’ve had it at 2-2 when Ederson stopped Mo Diame’s hard shot but spilled the ball back to the Magpies, only to save Ayoze Perez’s rebound work.

De Bruyne and Aguero both missed curling far post efforts in bids to restore the two-goal cushion. Aguero completed his hat trick thanks to a terrific Sane assist in the 83rd minute.

Newcastle United 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Nothing up North

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  • Ten shots each in dull encounter
  • Brighton takes four of six from NUFC

There wasn’t a lot to like from Brighton and Hove Albion’s visit to Newcastle United, embedded in a 0-0 Saturday score line at St. James’ Park that only needs the numbers to tell the story.

Newcastle sits a point above the drop zone, while Brighton sits four points clear of 18th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle United had most of the ball but struggled to connect with crosses or scoop up loose chances in the 18.

At the other end, Shane Duffy nodded a cross wide of the goal.

Mikel Merino‘s long through ball to Dwight Gayle yielded a chance, but Mat Ryan collected his rebound before Joselu could nab the loose ball.

Glenn Murray was offside when he missed a back post sitter in the 27th minute.

Joselu had a 40th minute low rip off more Merino playmaking but it dragged wide and Ryan probably had the angle covered.

Duffy headed over goal for a second time in the match off a 42nd minute corner.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ryan made an outstanding reaction save on a deflected Isaac Hayden effort, and Jamaal Lascelles headed the ensuing corner wide of the near post.

Karl Darlow got low to collect a Pascal Gross free kick in the 54th.

Gayle forced a fantastic save out of Ryan off a Christian Atsu cross five minutes later, and Darlow nearly matched that stop with his save on a Lewis Dunk header.

PL preview: Newcastle United vs. Man City

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  • Man City chasing 18th straight win
  • Newcastle seek 2nd straight win, relegation breathing room
  • City lead PL by 12 points; Newcastle up to 15th

Manchester City ticked one gigantic box of history in the last two weeks, but now Pep Guardiola‘s side must continue its dominance and survive another 19 games if they are to achieve the unthinkable — finish a Premier League season unbeaten.

Up next is a trip to St. James’ Park to take on Rafa Benitez‘s relegation-battling, up-for-sale Newcastle United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

With the PL title all but sewn up with half the season still to play — an unthinkable phrase when considering last season’s first-year struggles under Guardiola — the substance to this City side is clear for all to see, but it’s the style with which they’ve thrashed any and all comers this season which is more impressive: 60 goals scored, to just 12 conceded. Thursday will mark the two-month anniversary since City last conceded multiple goals in a game (to woeful West Bromwich Albion, a side without a win in 18 games), just as Saturday will mark three months to the day since Guardiola’s men last failed to score multiple goals in a game.

Of the PL’s top 10 goal scorers (may of which have now played one more game ahead of Wednesday), three don the Sky Blue of City — Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero (both with 12) and Gabriel Jesus (8). Of the PL’s top 10 assist maker thus far, again, three are City players — Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Leroy Sane (all with 8) are tied atop the chart, each with two more than anyone else.

[ MORE: Boxing Day blues for Man Utd; joy for Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs ]

The task facing Newcastle is a tough one, to put it tightly. It’s not much, but it’s somewhere to begin: the Magpies were improved and borderline prolific on their last outing, picking up a surprising 3-2 win away to West Ham United. The result snapped a nine-game winless skid (eight loss) in PL play, and vaulted Newcastle out of the relegation zone. Even after Tuesday’s Boxing Day fixtures, Benitez’s men have three places and one point of cushion between themselves an 18th place.

INJURIES: Newcastle — OUT: Alexsandar Mitrovic (back); QUESTIONABLE: Mikel Merino (leg), Isaac Hayden (knock) | Man City — OUT: John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (knee)

What they’re saying

Benitez, on ending the skid: “It’s difficult when you have a bad run but we analyzed the games and deserved more from four or five of them. But we lost confidence and it was very important for us to win. It was important for us to have a good performance against a good team, and they started well with pace, then later the long balls and second balls, but we dealt with things well.”

Guardiola, on managing a squad like City’s: “I was a football player. I understand the players in that when they are substituted and don’t play, they are sad and upset. I understand our job is to try and search to find a weakness but I try to have the best relationship with my players as possible. Sometimes, I think Gabriel Jesus deserves to play – and Bernardo Silva and Eliaquim Mangala. The important thing is that they have respect between each other. … I have a lot of respect for Sergio Aguero and all he has done, what he does and what he will do in the future. He will decide everything about his future and his life.”

Prediction

At this point of their record-breaking run, it’s not a matter of if Man City will win, but a matter of by how many will they do so? The answer, on Wednesday, should be, “by at least two or three.”

Benitez: Newcastle “needed a victory like this”

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Newcastle United’s nine-match winless run is over, and Rafa Benitez is relieved to see his charges get what he believes is a deserved trip back out of the drop zone.

[ RECAP: West Ham 2-3 Newcastle ]

Benitez has lamented his team’s lack of depth since the end of the August window but rarely proffered negatives about his players or their effort.

So when the Magpies responded from a rough start to get goals from two unexpected sources and a third from Christian Atsu, Benitez was essentially glowing from the visitors’ side at the London Stadium as Newcastle beat West Ham 3-2.

From the BBC:

“We needed a performance and a victory like this. We were pushing really hard against Everton and hit the post twice. I am really pleased for the lads and the fans. it is fantastic.

“It was important to win to show that we could doing the things we are doing. We know it will be difficult to the end but we know that we can win and achieve things doing things as we are.”

Mikel Merino, Jonjo Shelvey, and Isaac Hayden were all unavailable to Benitez through injury or suspension, necessitating a partnership between Mo Diame and Henri Saivet. The latter hadn’t started for Benitez in the Premier League, and scored a free kick after giving away a goal to Marko Arnautovic early in the match.

It doesn’t get easy for the Magpies over the festive season, with a visit from behemoth Manchester City next. But the Magpies will defend to the death and hope for good things from a visit from old pal Chris Hughton and Brighton and then a trip to Stoke City.