Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Milivojevic earns point for wasteful Eagles

Serbian Luka Milivojevic's 54th-minute penalty saved a point for Crystal Palace as the hosts spurned a number of openings to fire clear of the drop zone in South London

Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United: Milivojevic earns point for wasteful Eagles
Crystal Palace - Newcastle United
Crystal Palace
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Newcastle United
Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Kelly (Sakho 45+2'), Tomkins, van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Cabaye; Townsend, Zaha, Benteke.
Newcastle United: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 66'), Ritchie, Kenedy (Atsu 56'); Perez (Merino 80'), Gayle
SCORE: Milivojevic 54' (pen), Diame 22'
REFEREE: Andre Marriner (ENG)
INCIDENTS: Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United at Selhurst Park, London, UK

Luka Milijovević's second half penalty earned a point for Crystal Palace as the Serbian canceled out Mohamed Diamé's 22nd-minute opener, with Newcastle United holding the Eagles to 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.                       

On a frustrating afternoon for the hosts in South London, both Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke wasted a number of chances to take full points, as the Magpies return to Tyneside the happier of the two.

Eagles spurn host of chances

Within the opening throes of the contest, the hosts almost took any early lead. As the industrious Milivojević threaded a delightfully weighted pass that cut open the Magpies back line. Zaha was temporarily one-on-one with Karl Darlow, but the Ivorian forward failed to take the ball under control and wasted the opportunity.

Then shortly after, following sloppy play in midfield from Newcastle, Benteke raced in on goal, but cutting in to pull the trigger, allowed Darlow to make a smart stop at close range. Having been spectators for much of the opening 20 minutes however, the visitors then snatched the lead.

From an Ayoze Perez corner, the Spaniard's cross through a packed penalty area evaded all and fell to Diame at the back post, with the Senegalese afforded an easy tap-in to a largely unguarded net to give the visitors the lead.

 

First-half woes

Zaha was enduring a frustrating opening period and after Timothy Fosu-Mensah's slide-rule pass from the right found his team-mate, Zaha could only scuff his shot off target when baring down on goal - albeit against a Newcastle defender.

Seconds later, the visitors could have doubled their advantage and it was Kenedy who was again proving a menace as against Burnley in midweek. Having been found by a sumptuous long-ball from deep, cut inside but could only shy straight at Wayne Hennessey, From the rebound, the Welshman was again put to work diving full-stretch to keep out Ayoze Perez's curling effort from the edge of the box.

Just minutes from the break, Palace almost drew level on two occasions. First, Zaha found space on the edge of the area after exchanging passes with Yohan Cabaye and after the winger turned inside to shoot, his shot deflected off both Cabaye and Ciaran Clark into the path of Benteke. The Belgium however, was unable to latch on as the ball pin-balled into his path, off his knee and crept wide.

Cabaye then found space inside the area but the Frenchman's shot lacked power and straight into the gloves of the Eagles' stopper. It was a half of missed opportunities for the hosts who went into the interval a goal down, with work to do.

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Hosts draw level from spot

Just like in the opening minutes of the contest the hosts resumed after the half time break on the front foot, but were again lacking a cutting edge in the final third. The Eagles then though were then gifted a chance to equalise from the spot.

Benteke was adjudged to have had his shirt pulled as referee Andre Marriner pointed for a spot kick. Serbian Milivojevic stepped up and cracked his kick. As Darlow got a strong hand on his effort, the stopper could not prevent the ball creeping in to level the match.

Buoyed, Palace sensed blood with a quarter of the game to play, with Rafa Benitez's side beginning to sit deeper and play with less possession. 

Knowing the importance of another point in the capital both sides became wracked with nerves - including both sets of defences - forced to scramble clear of danger, after hesitation in the back line as the game continued its' high-tempo pace. 

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Both sides go for broke

Despite a lack of the ball, Newcastle were still a threat on the break indeed both sides were going for the vital third goal that would likely take maximum point at Selhurst.

James McArthur was the first to try his hand and after twisting and turned from 18 yards on shooting, hit his left-foot effort flew just over the bar. 

It was not only an afternoon of frustration for Zaha but for Palace as a collective unit. The former curled wide late on for the hosts, before Benteke almost snatched the points.

The Belgian had a header cleared off the line by Clark in the 88th minute, and in a frantic goal-mouth scramble his rebound effort was somehow turned over the bar by the visiting defence.

The final whistle blew on pulsating second period in South London, as Newcastle return to the North East with point, as Roy Hodgson's men reflect on two points dropped.