Premier League has been a one-horse race this year due to Manchester City’s sheer dominance but the relegation battle has turned out to be an enticing one with all the teams placed in the bottom half (11th to 20th) are unsure of their survival. Two such teams locked horns at Selhurst Park this afternoon when an injury-riddled Crystal Palace side hosted Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United in an intriguing encounter. Three points would have been a great relief for both the sides, particularly for the Eagles who have come back sensationally under Roy Hodgson despite Frank De Boer’s horrendous inception but are having much difficulty to maintain the momentum following ever-growing injury concerns.
The game, however, proved to be an end-to-end encounter and probably had a fair outcome in the end when both the teams settled for a 1-1 draw.
Below are the Newcastle United players rated from their draw against the Eagles.
Karl Darlow: 7
The Magpies custodian made a few decent stops and almost stopped Luka Milivojevic’s second-half spot-kick. But the Serbian put too much behind it and Darlow had to concede within ten minutes into the second-half.
DeAndre Yedlin: 7
Kept on making forward runs, whipped in crosses and also maintained a defensive composure with tackles, clearances, blocks and interceptions. A balanced display from the American international.
Jamaal Lascelles: 6
Lascelles was solid defensively and made his presence known by combating well with Christian Benteke’s physicality. He, however, lost a few duels and struggled aerially at times to deal with the Eagles’ crosses from both the flanks via Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Patrick Van Aanholt.
Ciaran Clark: 6
Clark pulled on Benteke to concede a soft penalty but did extremely well to throw his body and block the big Belgian’s effort from close range towards the end.
Paul Dummett: 6.5
Dummett was troubled by pacy Andros Townsend at times but managed to contain him down the left-hand flank and mostly concentrated on defensive duties when the Magpies were living dangerously towards the end.
Matt Ritchie: 6.5
Ritchie was denied by Hennessey once, tried to link up upfront at times but impressed with his work rate and also helped his defence by pulling off crucial blocks, clearances and one hard tackle.
Jonjo Shelvey: 6
Shelvey was controlling the game from the middle of the park. Tried to switch the game in the flanks but struggled to win duels and regain possession at times in the second half. An average outing from the Englishman who is capable of delivering much more.
Mohamed Diame: 7
Unmarked Diame broke the deadlock with a simple finish at the far post from Ayoze Perez’s corner. He was combative in midfield but struggled in the second half, particularly after Crystal Palace’s equalizer. Was taken off to be replaced by Isaac Hayden.
The Chelsea loanee has made a positive impact in Newcastle’s game down the left-hand flank and his runs were often troubling the Eagles backline to deal with. Looked off paced after the break and Rafa Benitez opted to replace him with Christian Atsu before an hour mark.
Ayoze Perez: 7
Perez’s low corner was not dealt properly by Palace backline and Mo Diame made no mistake to earn his side an early lead. Tested Hennessey a couple of times and linked up well up front with Gayle. Was replaced by Mikel Merino late in the game.
Dwight Gayle: 6
Tested the keeper once, was more mobile than his previous games, worked hard but could not find the back of the net.
Christian Atsu: 6
Came on in place of Kenedy. Could not leave much impact from the bench.
Isaac Hayden: 6
Was introduced in place of Diame. Tried to bring back normalcy in a scattered midfield.
Mikel Merino: 6
A defensive change replacing Perez. Tried to screen the defence against enormous pressure from the Eagles.
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