Plenty Of Chances But Palace Pay For Not Being Clinical

The Eagles made the long trip back from the North East giving them penty of time to wonder how they return to South London with no points to show from it.


21st December 2019


Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace


St James’ Park, Barrack Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST




REFEREE – Simon Hooper

ASSISTANTS – Richard West, Derek Eaton, Ross Joyce (fourth official)

VAR – Chris Kavanagh, Sian Massey-Ellis (assistant)


Miguel Almiron (82), Fabian Schar (86)


Miguel Almiron (82)


Christian Benteke


A first defeat to a team outside the top six has sent the knee jerk reations of fans towards the sacking of Roy Hodgson despite this being one of the best starts to a season since our return to the Premier League. Despite controlling the second half, the Eagles were hit by a sucker punch from the hosts who were poor all afternoon. Fact is, if you don’t put away the chances you create then you are likely to pay for not being clinical. Roy Hodgson takes part of the criticsm but the attacking players take the brunt for not putting away any of the chances that came their way. It was a decent performance on the whole in view of the growing injury list but a game where being toothless up front has come back to haunt us.


Nothing that we were made aware of but hard to see when the pitch looks similar to that used for Subbuteo.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“There is no doubt that Roy has won us valuable points since becoming our manager but today feels like a missed opportunity to take all three points. Stick or twist is a decision every manager has to make frequently during a season. At 0-0 in the second half with us on top, one wonders what the outcome would have been with a proactive Max Meyer substitution in midfield? Overall, we were the better team today creating more chances and with a clinical striker would have been out of sight by the time Newcastle scored in the 83rd minute.

A growing injury list is not helping the cause but at any level that is part and parcel of the game. Despite our underwhelming transfer business in the summer, as we enter the Christmas period we are eight points better off than this stage last year. Our transfer dealings in January will be critical to a potential top half finish in May. We can but hope for quality additions in key areas.”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – Safe hands once again and dealt with everything that came his way.

34 MARTIN KELLY (6) – Beaten to the ball which led to the winning goal for the hosts but was solid out on the right until that point.

5 JAMES TOMKINS (7) – Continuing his recent great form with another commanding performance in what was another different centre back pairing this season.

8 CHIEKHOU KOUYATE (7) – Reverted to centre back for this game due to a growing injury list, a role that he played a number of times for West Ham, and did a decent job alongside Tomkins.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (7) – Makes a difference when you have a natural full back fit to play and it was good to see the Dutchman back in the side. Still showed players inside which he really must learn to stop doing.

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (7) – His passing of late has been pretty poor and it was a few times in this match but this was one of his better performances this season.

22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) – Turns out he is one of those players that the opposition do not like playing against as he gets in their faces which is something we have needed for a while. Not a telling game for the Irishman but contributed to the midfield battle.

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Guilty of missing a couple of great chances that fell to him but a strong midfield performance regrdless. Replaced by 7 MAX MEYER (6) on 86 minutes which was too late for him to make any telling contribution.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – On the receiving end of some tough treatment which mostly went unpunished. Had the best chance of the first half which he failed to convert but always looked to be the player that would do something.

9 JORDAN AYEW (7) – Still working hard even though he is no longer the lone striker, his ball retention is always key but could not find a breakthrough.

17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (8) – Best game for the Belgian in a Palace shirt for a while which is not saying much but really should have converted one of the chances that came his way.


13 Wayne Hennessey, 21 Connor Wickham, 35 Sam Woods, 40 Brandon Pierrick, 41 James Daly, 44 Jairo Riedewald


1 Dubravka, 19 Manquillo, 5 Schär, 18 Fernández, 20 Lejeune, 3 Dummett, 24 Almirón, 14 Hayden, 8 Shelvey, 9 Joelinton, 7 Carroll

Substitutes – 12 Gayle (replaced Joelinton on 77 minutes), 17 Krafth, 22 Yedlin (replaced Dummett on 90 minutes), 26 Darlow, 30 Atsu, 36 S Longstaff (replaced Isaac on 64 minutes), 43 M Longstaff


ROY HODGSON – “We had a lot of chances and were in pole position to win the game. We had done very well to stop the crosses but didn’t do well with that one at the end. We had chances but didn’t take them and you now that at the end, if one team scores it’s going to be very difficult to come back into it. Andy Carroll beat Martin Kelly in the air, that’s what he does, and maybe we could have done better with the knock-down. But the back four was good today. I’m sad we couldn’t get more from the game, a point was the minimum we deserved. I’m not disappointed with the performance, I’m just sad they didn’t get the result it deserved.”

STEVE BRUCE – “I always thought maybe one goal would decide it because Palace don’t give much away. We try to prime ourselves the same way. My goalkeeper made a few good saves but I don’t think anybody would deny that Almiron deserved the winner. We’ll accept where we are because the lads and the staff have worked so hard. There’s a good spirit amongst them, that can go a long way, and they showed that again today.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Miguel Almeron (8.3) while James McArthur (4) had the most shots. The most tackles were made by Javier Manquillo (6) and the most dribbles were from Wilfried Zaha (4).

  • Team rating: 6.97 – 6.70
  • Total shots: 6 – 16
  • Shots on target: 3 – 4
  • Possession: 42.4% – 57.6%
  • Pass success: 77% – 84%
  • Dribbles: 8 – 16
  • Aerials won: 19 – 23
  • Tackles: 25 – 17
  • Corners: 4 – 5
  • Dispossessed: 7 – 9


Palace are 12th in the Premier League with 23 points from 18 games, level on points with Arsenal in 11th and three points ahead of Brighton in 13th.


26/12/2019 West Ham United (h)

28/12/2019 Southampton (a)

01/01/2020 Norwich City (a)


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