Newcastle United 1-2 Crystal Palace: Two quick goals earns Palace a first-half comeback
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Gary Cahill of Crystal Palace celebrates with team mates Scott Dann and Eberechi Eze after scoring their sides second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St. James Park on February 02, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images)

Two first-half goals from Jaïro Riedewald and Gary Cahill earned Crystal Palace a come from behind victory against Newcastle United. 

The home side took the lead after seventy seconds with Jonjo Shelvey firing a low shot past Vicente Guaita. Newcastle despite being on top found themselves level thanks to a Jaïro Riedewald thunder shot from 20 yards out.  Less than four minutes later after a sloppy free-kick was given deep in Newcastle territory, Gary Cahill headed Palace in front. 

Newcastle had plenty of chances to level things before half time. Despite being on top in the second half, the Magpies could not break down Palaces' well organised defensive shape and give Palace back to back Premier League wins.

Story of the match 

In a wet and rainy night under the floodlights, Newcastle started rapidly with Jonjo Shelvey scoring his first goal of the season inside seventy seconds. After Callum Wilson knocked the ball down on the edge of the area for the midfielder to fire the Magpies ahead. 

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It was not long before Newcastle were back amongst the chances with Jeff Hendrick searching for the far post. After a loose ball in the penalty area was stabbed goalwards lucky got Crystal Palace it was wide. 

Newcastle looked like the better side before Jaïro Riedewald thunder blasted Crystal Palace back onto level terms twenty minutes into the game. Palace found a resurgence into the game with a wide free-kick following Jamal Lewis giving away a sloppy free-kick. Gary Cahill ran onto the fizzed ball and sank it into the net to confirm Palaces turn around in four minutes. 

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Palace was quickly denied a third with Wilfred Zaha arriving at the back post to slot the ball home. The offside flag was raised, and Newcastle reprieved. 

Newcastle did not give up as on a pair of quick breakaways  Ryan Fraser had shots saved by Vicente Guaita. Miguel Almiron had a free-kick deflect inches over the bar, and on the following corner, it was Fabian Schärs turn to miss his half-chance narrowly. The Magpies ended the first half as strongly as they began the first despite the scoreline. 

When the second half begins Newcastle again began the better team by crossing the balls into the box and creating half chances that needed a better last ball or a lucky drop to be anything serious. 

A blow to Crystal Palace early in the second half as the Eagles top goalscorer Wilfred Zaha walked off with a hamstring injury, former Newcastle man Andros Townsend came on replacing the Ivorian. Newcastle waited until the sixtieth minute to bring on the talented Allan Saint-Maximan. 

Newcastle pushed for an equaliser during the later stages, but Palaces' shape was well executed and defended well. 

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As expected Newcastle pushed for an equaliser by bringing on Dwight Gayle for Javier Manquillio. The change allowed Saint-Maximin freedom. This freedom created some half chances as the Frenchman's pace and power provided a problem down Palaces right-hand side. In Steve Bruce's final change the head coach threw on Andy Carroll which allowed ball lumped into the Palace box. Palace had a chance to make it three in the ninth minute, but Andros Townsend lifted it wide from seven yards out. 

Crystal Palace defended brilliantly, and Newcastle lacked intensity in the final ten minutes to find an equaliser. Earning Crystal Palace the first comeback win of the Eagles season and the back to back Premier League wins since the first two weeks of the season. 

Key Takeaways 

Miguel Almiron in the form we expect. 

'Miggy' is a fan favourite and you can expect hard work from the Paragyuian every time he puts on a black and white shirt. For the second time in a week, Almiron ran the most out of any player on the pitch. It was 10.8km against Everton on Saturday and 9.6km here tonight against Cyrstal Palace. It has not just been Almrions work rate, it the demand for the ball the positive drives forward as well as tricky, intricate balls in between defenders and a free-kick that brushes the crossbar. Almiron was the man of the match in a Newcastle shirt today. 

Stick with the style of play

Despite the loss tonight it was another encouraging performance from Newcastle United the positive and attacking play showed the Magpies ability to create chances and net a positive XG for the second week in a row. Something Newcastle has not done all season. The statics say Newcastle should have won the football game, and the forward-thinking football was not the problem nor the reason Newcastle faced defeat again tonight. Fans will want to see it stick out as Newcastle face a tricky patch of fixtures. With Southampton the visiting team on Saturday and trips to Manchester United and Chelsea to follow. It is certainly a test and a missed opportunity for the Magpies.

Starting XI 

Newcastle United: Darlow; Manquillio, Schär, Clark, Lewis; Hayden, Shelvey (C), Hendrick, Almiron, Fraser; Wilson

Crystal Palace: Guaita; Clyne, Cahill, Dann, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic (C), Riedewald; Ayew, Eze, Zaha; Batshuayi.