Crystal Palace flummoxes Newcastle, again, in frustrating 0-0
Crystal Palace again took a point off a top-four candidate as Patrick Vieira’s men flummoxed Newcastle in a scoreless draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The visiting Magpies held 61 percent of the ball and out-attempted Palace 16-6 but the real danger was even despite Newcastle’s arguable control of the match.
Newcastle’s Premier League unbeaten run hits 15 matches and the Magpies move back into third for at least a day, its 39 points better than Manchester United on goal differential.
Palace moves 12th with 24 points, seven points off the bottom three and seventh place alike.
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Newcastle fails to produce final ball
Credit Palace -- and we will below -- but what happened here was pretty simple: The Magpies couldn’t get on the end of countless solid crosses, and entries through the middle were all diverted to crosses.
Kieran Trippier had 101 touches and eight chances created at right back but Newcastle was absent receivers. Part of that service total comes off the 12 corners that Newcastle manufactured by couldn’t finish, but the Magpies got to the final ball quite a bit. They just did very little with it.
Newcastle’s on a 541-minute clean sheet streak. Today that was massively aided by Nick Pope’s late wonder save of JP Mateta, but 11 goals conceded over 20 league matches is a significant moment.
The Magpies sent Chris Wood away to Nottingham Forest this week and will bring in another forward. Alexander Isak came on for Callum Wilson, who was poor today, but perhaps we need to see the duo together more as we did last week in producing the winner versus Fulham.
Baby steps for Palace, Richards as Eagles stack points; Zaha injury scare
Patrick Vieira’s men gave up the ball and tried to hit Newcastle on the counter attack.
You know what? It worked.
Newcastle barely registered real danger and Chris Richards, Jean-Philippe Mateta, and others all could’ve been the winning goal scorer in smash-and-grab fashion on another day.
The Eagles are missing either a plan or a person to link their backs to their all-forward front-four of sorts, but they’re making it work and it’s safe to say they should find enough goals to spare them the drop
USMNT back Chris Richards had moments where he looked 22, but the Alabama native improved as the game went on and made sure the Eagles didn’t suffer much from the continued absence of Joachim Andersen.
Wilfried Zaha, unfortunately, had to come off after the hour mark due to an apparent leg injury. As many attacking components as Palace has, the one man who is very difficult to replace -- especially in how he looms large over opponents’ planning -- is the Ivorian.
Stars of the Show
Palace is off to Manchester United -- yes, another meeting with the Red Devils -- on Feb. 4.
Newcastle will find out if it’s a League Cup finalist before it next plays a Premier League match. The semifinals begin with a first leg at St. James’ Park on Tuesday, with the second leg on Saturday. The Magpies then have a tasty PL return vs West Ham on Feb. 4.
How to watch Crystal Palace vs Newcastle live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 12:30pm ET, SaturdayTV Channel: NBCOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Palace can score on anyone with Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze, Odsonne Edouard, and Olise amongst others, but can it stop the opposition? Joachim Andersen being absent at center back is a huge ask for the EagIes. Will someone respond next to Marc Guehi? So far, USMNT back Chris Richards has done alright and is in the thick of a big opportunity.
The Magpies are playing without Bruno Guimaraes, a huge loss that could last a week or several -- we don’t know yet -- but will feel they still have enough to overwork Palace’s midfield. Newcastle’s defenders, led by Sven Botman, have only allowed 11 goals this year. That’s nine better than their 20 expected goals against, which is either a warning or the latest sign that having an elite shot-stopped like Nick Pope is a cheat code.
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Joachim Andersen (calf), James McArthur (groin), Nathan Ferguson (other)
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (calf), Matt Targett (ankle), Emil Krafth (ACL)