Once again, Newcastle have failed to put in an acceptable performance. This time it resulted in a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, a team that hadn’t won in 8 games.
This is the team that faced Palace yesterday, including the two second-half substitutes.
Here are our individual player ratings for the match.
Martin Dubravka – 8
- Dubravka has made the most saves in the Premier League this season. He was again put to work at Crystal Palace. Martin made two world-class saves on headers by Gary Cahill and Scott Dann, both from corners. On the goal, Martin shifted the wrong way just before Patrick van Aanholt’s free-kick giving him no chance to make the save. He made a few more crucial saves in the second half.
Valentino Lazaro – 6
- Lazaro was easily the best of the three loan signings this afternoon. He made some quality runs going forward but didn’t get much support from his teammates. The Austrian did well containing Wilfried Zaha who, while still a threat, didn’t get the better of Lazaro by any stretch. There was a dip in quality on his corners from last week, which were easily handled by Palace defenders. The red card for dragging Zaha down in the final minute soured what we thought was a decent display.
Federico Fernandez – 4
- Fernandez struggled a bit this match. He allowed Gary Cahill to leap over his back on his 6th-minute header that forced Dubravka into a crucial save. Fede didn’t do enough to prevent Van Aanholt’s cross early in the second half, which reached Jordan Ayew, whose shot hit the post. Later on, Wilfried Zaha just skipped by him like he wasn’t there. Zaha’s cross found Ayew in the box forcing Dubravka into another save.
Jamaal Lascelles – 5
- Lascelles struggled to contain Christian Benteke all afternoon. He allowed Benteke to get in front of him on a set-piece from van Aanholt. Fortunately, the Belgian was out of sorts and headed it well wide. Once again, our defense was too open allowing the opponents acres of space in the box.
Fabian Schar – 6
- Fabian Schar was probably our best defender playing on the unfamiliar left side of the back three. He put in a superb challenge in the 28th minute to prevent a one on one with Dubravka. Schar got forward on occasion and was even moved into the midfield late in the game. Struck the ball very well on his long-range effort that Vicente Guaita did well to save. It was an improvement over the Swiss international’s recent displays, however, still far from what he showed earlier this season.
Danny Rose – 4
- Danny started very brightly on the left. He was a part of two early breaks that threatened Palace, but the final ball was again lacking. He didn’t follow those early runs up enough and struggled to contain Jordan Ayew at times. Rose doesn’t look fully fit and faded late again.
Nabil Bentaleb – 3
- Bentaleb had a woeful afternoon at Selhurst Park. He was full of effort but guilty of trying to do too much. The Algerian continually gifted possession to Palace in dangerous areas. He put in some rash tackles and visibly showed his frustration. Bentaleb also allowed Gary Cahill to fly by him on a second-half set-piece. The former Chelsea defender couldn’t direct his header on target. He’s still very rusty but has now started five straight matches and gone the distance in four of them. After the last two performances, we’d like to see Isaac Hayden or Matty Longstaff come in for Bentaleb if Shelvey is unavailable next weekend.
Sean Longstaff – 4
- Longstaff had his best performance of the season at Oxford when playing in an advanced role. However, Steve Bruce has pinned the youngster deep in a midfield that doesn’t possess a natural ball winner. Sean has struggled immensely as a result. We saw some urgency from Sean to get the ball forward; however, he was part of a midfield that Crystal Palace just steamrolled all afternoon.
Miguel Almiron – 5
- Almiron was full of effort but lacked a threat until being brought off for Dwight Gayle around the 70-minute mark. To be fair, he made a few crafty runs that his teammates didn’t catch quickly enough, and the Paraguayan was caught offside. Miguel tracked back as he always does. Of note was when he threw himself into a timely challenge on a Jordan Ayew cross early that led to Palace’s first corner. Almiron just isn’t being pushed at the moment. He’s an automatic starter when maybe he should have his place under threat to spur him on a bit more. Maybe Valentino Lazaro can provide that competition.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 6
- Saint-Maximin played well both going forward and helped Danny Rose defensively. However, he lacked a final ball all game. Allan tries to do too much sometimes, and it can kill promising opportunities. Though he doesn’t get the support he needs from his teammates. Bruce tried to get his talisman going by moving him centrally on occasion. The 22-year-old showed urgency and desire to get Newcastle back into the game but was unable to create that magic moment like at Oxford.
Joelinton – 4
- Joelinton played like he has much of the season. He had glimpses of being a decent hold-up man but shows very little desire to get into the box. He had one effort on target that was from well outside the box. Bruce moved him out wide on occasion with Allan Saint-Maximin going upfront, but it made little difference. The 23-year-old once again was visibly agitated and received a booking for his part in a late-game tussle.
Matt Ritchie – 6
- Ritchie was full of verve and passion when he came on but had minimal impact going forward. His lack of acceleration was apparent at times when Crystal Palace broke. Ritchie should get back into the team next weekend as he provides the leadership and passion that is going to be necessary to get this team out of this mess.
Dwight Gayle – 5
- Gayle came on in the 70th minute for Miguel Almiron but was non-existent. He had only five touches and just couldn’t get into the game. It wasn’t his fault, and we have a feeling he’ll get the nod next week against Burnley.
Who Was Newcastle's Best Player At Crystal Palace?
- Martin Dubravka (79%, 1,121 )
- A. Saint-Maximin (9%, 133 )
- Valentino Lazaro (3%, 45 )
- Joelinton (2%, 30 )
- Dwight Gayle (1%, 19 )
- Fabian Schar (1%, 15 )
- Miguel Almiron (1%, 13 )
- Sean Longstaff (1%, 10 )
- Federico Fernandez (1%, 9 )
- Matt Ritchie (1%, 9 )
- Nabil Bentaleb (0%, 6 )
- Danny Rose (0%, 5 )
- Jamaal Lascelles (0%, 4 )
Total Voters: 1,419