English Premiership

Newcastle park the bus, earn a point at Palace

Rafael Benitez (Getty Images)
Rafael Benitez (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Despite thoroughly dominating Newcastle United, Crystal Palace were held to a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

A combination of poor finishing by the hosts and uninspiring, but effective, defensive tactics from Rafa Benitez' Newcastle outfit made for a dull 0-0 draw in a match where Crystal Palace were the best team throughout.

Home fans were made to worry before the match even started as Wilfried Zaha left the pre-match warm-ups early with an apparent back problem. Fortunately he was able to shrug it off in time to start the match but it may have still had an impact on his performance for the rest of the match.

The early signs were good for the Eagles and they almost got off to the perfect start less than a minute after the match had kicked off. Andros Townsend picked out James McArthur with a delightful cross but he sent his header over the bar.

Newcastle nearly stole a goal of their own on 10 minutes as Ayoze Perez robbed the ball off James Tomkins before dribbling the length of the pitch and launching a shot straight at Wayne Hennessey, much to the relief of Tomkins.

The visitors tightened up immensely after McArthur's early chance and strangled the life out of Crystal Palace's attacking intent.

The home side were largely limited to speculative shots from range as Zaha struggled to find space in behind the defence, and Townsend was having a hard time finding his teammates with crosses into a crowded box.

On the balance of play and sheer stats along, Palace deserved to win this one after hitting 16 shots on goal to Newcastle's four, but in all honesty they never really looked that threatening in front of goal - which shows by the fact they only hit four chances on target.

Newcastle will be delighted to take a point away from home and it's difficult to argue with their choice of tactic after they got exactly what they came for at Selhurst Park. It just was not particularly entertaining to watch.

Sat 19 Sep 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
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