Dare I Say It? We Weren't Very Good

Last updated : 17 February 2022 By Footy Mad - Editor

Top half of the table and just three points from a European place, so how can anyone possibly MOAN?

Well ... it wasn't very good, and once again the visiting team (who weren't at their best) had more of the ball.

Some can argue "but wait until we start to hit form", and who can argue with that?

Since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, Palace striker Christian Benteke has scored just one goal in 1300 minutes of Premier League football.

Scott Dann and Jairo Riedewald both dropped out of Palace's starting line-up after Monday's 1-1 draw with Brighton, with left-back Patrick van Aanholt returning from the hamstring injury that forced him off early in the win over Bournemouth.

Midfielder James McCarthy also came in for just his second league start since his summer move from Everton.

But with Jeffrey Schlupp, Gary Cahill and Joel Ward injured and Mamadou Sakho still serving the suspension for his red card against Bournemouth, midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate had to fill in as a makeshift centre-half.

Yet despite being up against a two-man attack, the Senegal international and the rest of the Palace defence dealt comfortably with most of what Newcastle could throw at them.

The Eagles even ventured forward, with Zaha testing Dubravka from a wide angle in the first half. James McArthur then twice went close after the break, while Benteke's low strike was saved by Dubravka on 74 minutes.

But Almiron's late volley denied Palace the point their manager Hodgson felt they deserved, inflicting their first defeat since losing to leaders Liverpool on 23 November.