- DATE – 6th April 2019
- VENUE – St James’ Park
- CROWD – 51,926
- OFFICIAL – Stuart Attwell
- CARDS – Kelly, Benteke, Hayden
- GOALS – Milivojevic (81)
- STAR EAGLE – Vicente Guaita (7.9)
This was Palace doing just what has been done by visiting teams to Selhurst several times this season. Statistics mean nothing other than goals scored and while we rode our luck at times, a lot of credit should go to the team and management for applying just the right tactic. While it may have looked like a real smash and grab, you have to keep yourselves in a game and be right there to take the opportinity when it arrives.
A lot has been said about the penalties awarded to Palace this season, but just look at the pace in the side. Not one of them have been a dive, there have been a couple of soft ones but even then it is a case of some may be being given, while others not. No-one is bleating about Bournemouth who have been given just two less, but they play with quick attacking players too.
This performance was not great but it was enough to secure another away win. Again, how teams play at this stage of the season does not matter but even after the win, many have been critical. Being effectively safe with five games to play is a novelty we should not take lightly. Two tough games up next but we have the points in the bag not to have to worry. Football is a game and we have no entitlement to remain in the top division. You have to earn it and while a lot has been said about peformances, management, board and the like, we’re heading towards a 7th successive season in the top flight. That’s pretty special.
PLAYER RATINGS (courtesy of Who Scored)
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7.9) – The Spaniard has become an integral part of the Palace side and made a number of important saves in this one to keep the Eagles in with a chance.
29 AARON WAN-BISSAKA (7.8) – Superb showing as ever, has this kid had a poor game since making his first team debut? Statistics show he won every single tackle he made which continues to astound.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (6.6) – Had the ball in the net but was disallowed due to offside. If only we were Liverpool… Disappointing to see him leave the pitch again due to injury as he was continuing his recent good form. Replaced by 6 SCOTT DANN (6.5) on 73 minutes who slotted in and saw out the game without too much drama.
34 MARTIN KELLY (7.4 – BOOKED!) – After a couple of difficult games lately that he has struggled in, the defender was back to it in this one and he needed to be.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6.7) – A really odd season for the full back who has found it difficult to retain any kind of consistency but the former Sunderland man was a crucial part of a back line that secured a clean sheet.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7.0) – One of Hodgson’s ‘go to’ players and more often than not repays him having found that having a good run in the side has given him plenty of confidence.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7.5 – GOAL!) – All too often looks to be the midfielder trying to hold it all together which has effected his game but his calm head from the spot once again sealed the all inmportant points.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6.6) – Retaining a position in the side that two other players are currently vying for but the hard working Scot just edges it with his no nonsense approach.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6.7) – You know what you are going to get with Andros, he worked well with AWB as he always does and created a few opportunities for the visitors going forward. Replaced by 8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6.1) on 85 minutes who provided some much needed grit in the midfield to stop the hosts getting back into the game.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7.4 – ASSIST!) – Great to see him playing with more freedom and doing what he does best, he looked like he was enjoying it too. Bamboozled the home defence on a number of occassions.
23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6.0) – Similar to midweek, nothing stuck during his time on the pitch and perhaps needs a spell on the bench. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6.6 – BOOKED!) on 65 minutes who was lively and gave Palace a different dimension. Should really have had the ball in the net with a great chance that he met with a sliding tackle more than a shot on goal.
Unused substitutes – 13 Wayne Hennessey, 2 Joel Ward, 7 Max Meyer, 14 Jordan Ayew
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAID
ROY HODGSON – “We dealt with Newcastle’s attacking threat and it was a sterling effort by the back four and goalkeeper to deal with the balls they whipped into the area. And on the counter-attack or even at the start of the game, not on the counter-attack, we looked dangerous. We were constantly threatening and looking like we might score. There’s no-one better from the spot. It’s great that Luka is doing that and it’s the real skill but we have to pay tribute to Wilfried Zaha, who keeps winning these penalties.”
RAFA BENITEZ – “It’s a big disappointment because we had a lot of chances and lots of shots on goal but this is sometimes the kind of game you cannot win but it is important not to lose. The most difficult one is the final third. We pushed and we attacked but we didn’t control the counter-attack the way we should have done.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Vicente Guaita (7.9) while the most shots were made by Salomon Rondon (5). The most tackles were made by Fabian Schar and Isaac Hayden (5) while the most dribbles were from Ayoze Perez (5).
- Team rating: 6.51 – 6.92
- Total shots: 18 – 3
- Shots on target: 5 – 1
- Possession: 54% – 46%
- Pass success: 83% – 76%
- Dribbles: 6 – 4
- Aerials won: 19 – 30
- Tackles: 19 – 16
- Corners: 9 – 4
- Dispossessed: 11 – 13
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 12th in the Premier Leagues with 39 points from 33 games, three behind West Ham United in 11th and a point ahead of Bournemouth in 13th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
- 14/04/2019 Manchester City (h)
- 21/04/2019 Arsenal (a)
- 27/04/2019 Everton (h)