Callum Wilson’s bicycle kick earns Newcastle point as Christian Benteke sees late goal ruled out by Var

  • Palace took lead through thumping Benteke header
  • Wilson equalised with stunning overhead kick
  • Benteke struck woodwork twice and has late goal chalked off

Callum Wilson’s spectacular overhead kick snatched a point for Newcastle United in the first game since Steve Bruce’s departure as manager – and opening away game under their new ownership – after a rearguard action by interim manager Graeme Jones.

Mehrdad Ghodoussi, suited, and Amanda Staveley, dressed in black and white, were both representing the Newcastle hierarchy in the directors’ box’s red padded seats.

Crystal Palace were the dominant side as Jones’ men spent long periods on the back foot, rarely attacking, and Patrick Vieira’s men could have won this comfortably.

Christian Benteke had put them in front with a header but he missed chance after chance – including hitting the woodwork twice and seeing a late goal ruled out by Var for a foul.

Newcastle’s winless start to the season continued but they did well to leave Selhurst Park unscathed.

Early on, Ghodoussi and Staveley were seen waving, with Newcastle’s packed away end looking on in fine voice.

Disgruntled Palace fans unveiled their huge banner before the game, criticising the involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in Newcastle. The first away game under new ownership had brought a strong first showing of outside opposition to them, referencing human rights concerns.

Jones showed that a new broom had arrived on the pitch too with Joelinton and Joe Willock on the bench initially, as Emil Krafth and Ryan Fraser were named in the first post-Bruce away starting line-up.

Jones was looking to counteract a home side that had shown encouraging signs this season despite late-goal affected results under Vieira, who has shown a more more positive Palace brand of football.

Vieira gave a start to Michael Olise, 19, another from their pool of emerging, young players, while fit-again Wilfried Zaha was on the bench for the home side.

Palace almost threatened to ruin the away fans’ mood in speedy fashion as Odsonne Edouard delivered a cross for Benteke, who shot over.

The home side quickly proceeded to dominate possession and be on the front foot.

“Cheer up, Stevie Bruce” was soon heard chanted from the visiting support, describing him as a Mackem, despite the testing start to the game.

Benteke missed another chance midway through the first half, directing a header against a post from inside the six-yard box, as Olise showed his threat by putting in the cross. The potential of the teenager’s left-footed deliveries is already apparent.

Tempers were on show when Callum Wilson and Ciaran Clark raised their arms on each other.

That did not lead to an increase in the intensity of Newcastle’s performance, as they went into half-time at 0-0 having rarely ventured into opposition danger areas.

More Palace pressure arrived at the start of the second half – and another Benteke chance – as he acrobatically volleyed over the bar from Conor Gallagher’s swirling cross.

Benteke finally got the breakthrough that he had been threatening though, as he headed in from inside the six-yard box. Gallagher had supplied Tyrick Mitchell, another of Palace’s young guns, and he fired over the cross for his team-mate to connect.

The Belgian could have soon added a second but another header by him, this time from just outside the six-yard box, hit the bar, after more lively work from Olise to set it up – and that would soon prove to be regrettable.

Newcastle had been offering very little but they had supporters – including one in Saudi dress – hugging and leaping and many shirtless in the London autumn air, as Wilson levelled from 10 yards.

Krafth had headed the ball into his area after Palace failed to clear a corner. Having looked glum earlier, Ghodoussi and Staveley had their smiles back.

After that moment of joy, Newcastle’s game plan reverted to type as Palace went on the front foot again.

Benteke thought he had won it with his late header but Palace were left frustrated as Mar.


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