Palace 0-0 Newcastle United
Newcastle United went into this game in desperate need of points after a horrendous run of fixtures and results.
Some significant noise before this one had spiced things up a bit, both in terms of Rafa’s future at the club with Jamie Carragher pleading with his former boss to call time on his Newcastle stewardship in the face of an ongoing lack of support from the club and in the press more generally with Zaha pleading the victim in the hope of gaining some favour from referees no doubt.
Rafa started, what many would consider, his strongest side after weeks of surprises and shocks in his first eleven selections. That meant a return for Shelvey, Kenedy and Rondon with Lascelles also starting after his half time withdrawal last week.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu, 69), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Perez (Muto, 81), Rondon (Joselu, 45)
Some early stick for Zaha for throwing himself to the ground aside (no card shown), there was little between the sides in first 10 minutes.
A huge chance for Newcastle however sees Perez nick the ball from Palace back line but his effort was tame and straight at Hennessey in the Palace goal.
That seemed to shake Palace into action, a good save by Dubravka from a Milivojevic fee-kick just one of several moments of worry as the home side started to turn he screw. The same player then going closer as his cross would miss everyone and hit the far post before going to safety.
A yellow card for Yedlin for upending Zaha would be justified before the break next with Newcastle well and truly on the back foot. In truth, a fairly typical Newcastle away performance from last season.
Rafa would certainly be looking for more in the second half going forward however. Those few chances they had created in the first half wasted, Kenedy drifting offside when looking straight across the back line a typical example.
Perhaps surprisingly Rondon would be withdrawn at half time, Joselu coming on in his place.
In the first moments of the first half there was a huge shout for a penalty for Newcastle, a Shelvey ball into the box would see Joselu pushed to the floor. Nothing given.
A few flying tackles and some flailing arms sparked the game and both sets of fans into action in the second half.
On 80 mins a real let off for Newcastle, ex Mackem van Aanholt decides to take an extra touch when a first time shot would have had Dubravka in all sorts of trouble. Instead the delay allowed Fernandez to make another great intervention.
Somehow Sakho then headed wide when he really should have scored. Yedlin then having to intervene to stop Palace taking the lead as the home side pushed for a late winner.
In the last minute a break from Palace ended in a cross that McArthur needed to do no more than get a toe on to surely win the game. Instead the ball missed everyone to the relief of everyone in black and white.
0-0 the final score and a second point of the season for the Magpies.