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Crystal Palace vs Newcastle: the relegation battle heats up

The foot of the Premier League table remains so tight that 14th placed Crystal Palace against Newcastle in 15th going into the game, could have been dubbed a six pointer.

Early exchanges in the game went in the Magpies favour, the away side looking significantly more comfortable with Shelvey back in the side and controlling possession. He created well showing good decision making early on to fake a shot from the edge of the area, instead choosing to pass out to Yedlin overlapping.

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The resulting cross from the American found Perez in the area, but his effort was weak and straight into Hennessey’s grasp. Newcastle continued to dominate early proceedings as they won a corner played in low by Kennedy, Palace produced some incredibly sloppy defending uncharacteristic of a Roy Hodgson side, as its missed my multiple defenders and Diame pokes in unmarked at the back post.

After the goal, the game becomes more open as Perez showed sublime vision to play an exquisite reverse pass to Kennedy, the Brazilian deceives a defender to turn onto his unflavoured right foot but Hennessey is again equal to the shot.

The Palace goal keeper’s save rebounded to Perez on the edge of the area who attempted to curl the ball into the net but Hennessey continued to keep his side in the game. As the second half came to a close the home side began to take back control of the game, neatly passing the ball around the congested penalty area.

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Eventually, Zaha was found in a promising position he produced a low shot, which deflected off two defenders and was then tipped by Darlow right into Benteke’s path. With the goal gaping, the Belgian was unable to divert the ball in using his thigh and had to watch as his shot travelled agonisingly wide.

Palace carried their momentum from the first half into the second period looking threatening from crosses, Zaha looped one over the top of Benteke who was judged to have had his shirt pulled by Clark. Although the penalty was a soft one, it was poor decision making from the Newcastle defender as the cross appeared to be out of Benteke’s reach. Milivojevic’s penalty was a brilliant effort, after guessing the correct way even at full stretch Darlow could only fingertip the ball onto the post and in. From that point onward Hodgson’s side continued to dominate the match as they spurned multiple chances and the winning goal evaded them.

Newcastle’s superb start faded quickly and they were lucky to get a point out of this encounter, once again failing to defend a lead. While the home side will also be left thinking this was two points dropped as they registered 21 shots, yet their manager will be very disappointed with the way they started this game. Overall neither team will be best pleased with a draw as they remain handing precariously above the relegation zone.

Written by Harvey Sayer.

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