Crystal Palace 1-0 Newcastle: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Van Aanholt's Strike Downs Magpies

Saturday afternoon's contest at Selhurst Park between the two lowest-scoring sides in the league was lit up by Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt, who scored a superb first-half free kick, which proved to be difference between the teams. 

The home side dominated throughout the 90 minutes. In the first-half, Palace had two excellent opportunities from corners, but both headers saved excellently by Newcastle's Martin Dubravka. Christian Benteke, whose barren run at Selhurst Park continues, also spurned a glorious opportunity when he planted his header wide from point-blank range. 

Martin Dubravka

The Eagles deservedly took the lead on the stroke of half-time, going 1-0 up as left-back Patrick van Aanholt stepped up to take a right-sided free-kick from 25 yards, and whipped a powerful effort into the net.

Palace could have added a second in the second half, with Jordan Ayew hitting the post, and having another effort well-saved by Dubravka.

Newcastle rarely threatened the Palace goal throughout. Allan Saint-Maximim looked lively throughout, but the Magpies managed just two shots on Vicente Guaita's goal. A miserable 300th Premier League defeat for Steve Bruce, made worse by Valentino's Lazaro's 95th minute red card for hauling down ​Wilfried Zaha

Here's 90min's breakdown of the game.

Crystal Palace

Key Talking Point

A 1-0 victory is exactly what Roy Hodgson would have been after. Their first clean sheet for ten games, and their first ​Premier League victory since Boxing Day. 

It was Palace's threat from set-pieces that guided them to victory. Van Aanholt's goal came from a free-kick, and the home side had several excellent opportunities from corners throughout the match. 

Patrick van Aanholt

Were it not for some assured goalkeeping from Dubravka, perhaps Van Aanholt may have added a couple of assists to his goal, such was the quality of his delivery throughout. 

Crystal Palace Player Ratings

Starting XI: Guaita (7); Ward (6), Dann (6), Cahill (6), van Aanholt (8*); Kouyate (6), McCarthy (6), McArthur (6); Ayew (7), Benteke (6), Zaha (7)

Substitutes: Riedewald (5), Tosun (N/A)

Patrick van Aanholt

It was the Dutchman's excellent 25-yard free kick that made the difference in the first half. Aside from his goal, the 29-year-old was a thorn in ​Newcastle's side, with his deliveries from set-plays causing all sorts of issues in the opposition penalty area. 

Not only did he score the decisive goal (his 15th since the start of the 2016/17 season), but he also helped his side record a clean sheet. A top drawer performance.


Key Talking Point

Newcastle really struggled to create anything in the final third - this being the third consecutive game they failed to find the back of the net in.

They are joint lowest scorers in the division, which comes after Steve Bruce's recent comments, claiming £40m frontman Joelinton is not a natural goalscorer. 

A favourable run of fixtures offers some hope that Bruce may be able to turn his side's fortunes around, but their poor form continued on Saturday afternoon.

Newcastle Player Ratings 

Starting XI: Dubravka (7*); Lazaro (5), Fernández (5), Lascelles (5), Schär (5), Rose (5); Almirón (5), S Longstaff (5), Bentaleb (5); Saint-Maximim (6), Joelinton (5)

Substitutes: Ritchie (4), Gayle (5)

Martin Dubravka

The Newcastle keeper kept his side in the match during the first half, pulling off a string of impressive saves. 

Newcastle may have only conceded once, but that was largely thanks to yet another impressive performance from the Slovakian shot-stopper.

Looking Ahead

The Eagles, who leapfrogged Newcastle into 13th position, travel to Brighton next week, and will look to build upon Saturday's victory and clean sheet. 

The Magpies, now 14th and two points behind ​Palace, have a home game against Burnley, who are unbeaten in five. Steve Bruce needs to start finding a way to pick up some points, and fast. 

Source : 90min