Jean-Philippe Mateta’s double keeps Palace revival rolling and bruises Newcastle’s European hopes

Jean-Philippe Mateta

The frightening inconsistency that has always held back Crystal Palace and denied them true Premier League momentum has given way to a richness that swept away Newcastle United at Selhurst Park.

Forget the scoreline, this was every much as inventive as Palace’s 5-2 victory over West Ham on Sunday and as determined as their win over Liverpool at Anfield.

Jean-Philippe Mateta’s two goals proved the difference between the sides as Newcastle’s Europa League ambitions stalled in south London.

Every Palace player carried concerted belief in the system that manager Oliver Glasner preaches, plus a genuine desire to play on the front foot and to seize every opportunity that comes their way.

Confidence and positivity oozed through the home side from the moment that Joachim Andersen shot smartly on the turn after five minutes only to be thwarted by a superb block at source by Fabian Schar.

Eberechi Eze then teased the Newcastle defenders and stepped this way and that before firing just wide, helped by the first thought of his midfielders, particularly the outstanding Adam Wharton, to press and win the ball back.

Adam Wharton
Adam Wharton, still only 20, is proving an inspired headline - Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images

Eze’s imagination was on show after 23 minutes when he lined up a free-kick and saw Martin Dubravka drifting across his six-yard area. A quickly snapped shot had the Newcastle keeper scrambling to make the save.

Eze was a joy to behold once more. Languid at times, dynamic at others and always calm in the moment.

Passing the ball around with purpose and at pace while always prepared to shoot if nothing else opened up were the signs of a side freed from the constraints of the Roy Hodgson days.

Newcastle were struggling to make headway in the Palace half until Bruno Guimaraes floated a ball in front of Alexander Isak whose chest control let him down as he attempted to race through.

Gradually the visitors established parity, finding a way to pass around and through the Palace press.

Early in the second half, Anthony Gordon jinked his way into the home area before setting up Harvey Barnes whose shot was deflected wide.

Palace were unflustered, however, and took a 55th-minute lead with a move of stunning simplicity.

Eze played the ball in to the feet of Mateta who in turn fashioned a delightful one-two with Jordan Ayew before stroking his shot beyond Dubravka.

It was Palace’s first goal against Newcastle in six matches and restored their dominance of the contest.

After Will Hughes had clipped a first-time curling shot on to the roof of the net, they deservedly made it 2-0 after 88 minutes.

Hughes was again involved, this time pulling the ball back for Mateta to steer home his second through the legs of Dubravka.

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