Premier League

Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Almiron wonder goal seals Magpies win

Grey Whitebloom
Miguel Almiron celebrates his match-winner for Newcastle against Crystal Palace
Miguel Almiron celebrates his match-winner for Newcastle against Crystal Palace / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Newcastle United held onto Miguel Almiron's first-half stunner to earn a 1-0 victory at home to a frustrated Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.

Both sides cancelled each other out in a scrappy, staccato opening half hour, broken up by one squandered sight of goal for Chris Wood which may well have been ruled out had VAR painstakingly analysed it.

The deadlock was broken by a sensational goal from an unlikely source in a game that looked unlikely to provide anything near the quality of Almiron's 32nd-minute opener.

Scampering onto Bruno Guimaraes' volleyed sweep over the top, Almiron shrugged off Tyrick Mitchell to arc his first goal in 37 Premier League appearances right into the top corner.

Crystal Palace had to wait until the 41st minute for their first attempt of the match but Odsonne Edouard passed up the gift Joelinton presented Palace's isolated frontman.

Newcastle, the side that have dropped the most Premier League points from winning positions this season, sat back passively in the second half. Patrick Vieira reacted to this invitation by tossing on Jean-Philippe Mateta and shifting to a 4-4-2 for the final 30 minutes.

The burly forward duly unsettled Newcastle, as his introduction - coupled with the arrival of James McArthur - finally sparked a sluggish Palace into life.

Wilfried Zaha dragged a shot wide from inside the box with 25 minutes to play. Tossing crosses into the box and invariably collecting the second ball, Palace boasted 78% possession in the second half but couldn't find their way to goal.

Newcastle's sixth consecutive home victory, matching a feat last achieved by Sir Bobby Robson's Magpies in 2004, saw them leapfrog Palace into the heady heights of 11th, with 40 points on the board.

Newcastle vs Crystal Palace player ratings

1. Newcastle (4-2-3-1)

Miguel Almiron
Miguel Almiron produced a stunning effort to break the deadlock / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

GK: Martin Dubravka - 7/10 - Calm with the ball at his feet, Dubravka wasn't troubled with what little work he had to do with his gloves.

RB: Emil Krafth - 7/10 - Dealt well with the twinkle-toed threat of Wilfried Zaha, winning the first duel which set the tone.

CB: Fabian Schar - 6/10 - Skittish when put under pressure in possession but commanding when attempting to rob it from the opposition.

CB: Dan Burn - 7/10 - Made some crucial interventions as Palace's threat built after the interval.

LB: Matt Targett - 7/10 - In a crucial recovery position to halt a Palace counterattack in the first half as well as teeing up Wood's early miss.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes - 8/10 - Swiped a gorgeous ball over the top for Almiron's opener but ferreted around the pitch to show that silk comes with steel.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey - 5/10 - Trotted around the pitch without much urgency to get on the ball in a subdued outing.

CM: Joelinton - 6/10 - Almost undid all of his industrious work off the ball by creating Palace's first sight of goal with a timid pass on the edge of his own box.

RW: Miguel Almiron - 7/10 - Alongside his blockbuster, Almiron hassled and harried any opponent vaguely near him in possession.

ST: Chris Wood - 5/10 - Struggled to ever get the ball under control as he broke through on goal before side-footing wide of the target in one of the game's clearest openings.

LW: Allan Saint-Maximin - 5/10 - Wowed the crowd but moved Newcastle further away from goal with a blur of legs in front of a stationary ball in a piece of skill that captured an eye-catching but ineffective performance.

SUB: Jacob Murphy (77' for Saint-Maximin) - N/A

SUB: Joe Willock (77' for Almiron) - N/A

SUB: Sean Longstaff (94' for Guimaraes) - N/A

2. Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1)

Odsonne Édouard
Odsonne Edouard began the game as the lone striker for Crystal Palace having been overlooked for the starting XI in the FA Cup semi-final / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Vicente Guaita - 5/10 - Acknowledged how good Almiron's strike was with a little fistbump for his fellow South American at half-time.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne - 5/10 - Tucking inside to almost make a back three in possession, Clyne was limited to a defence-first role.

CB: Joachim Anderson - 6/10 - Spraying the ball around from the back, Anderson offered a flicker of penetration amid an underwhelming display from Palace.

CB: Marc Guehi - 5/10 - Wasn't in a covering position to help Mitchell for the opening goal but dealt calmly enough with the play that was in his immediate vicinity.

LB: Tyrick Mitchell - 3/10 - Endured a very poor evening as he was either bypassed or ploughed straight through on numerous occasions - chiefly for the opener.

CM: Cheikhou Kouyate - 4/10 - Had the ball knocked over his head by Guimaraes as the nadir of a sluggish performance.

CM: Jeffrey Schlupp - 4/10 - Struggled to stamp his authority on the match.

AM: Conor Gallagher - 3/10 - Bullied in aerial duels against Joelinton, Gallagher failed to impose himself upon proceedings with his usual verve and vigour.

RW: Michael Olise - N/A - Forced off inside the first half through injury.

ST: Odsonne Edouard - 5/10 - Having spent so much of the match isolated, Edouard limply snatched at a clear sight of goal towards the end of the first half.

LW: Wilfried Zaha - 5/10 - Quiet in the first half, Zaha grew into the game but hardly had the beating of the crafty Krafth.

SUB: Jordan Ayew (40' for Olise) - 5/10 - Skirting around the fringes of the match, Ayew was more fury than finesse on the sporadic occasions he found himself in space behind Newcastle's backline.

SUB: Jean-Philippe Mateta (60' for Gallagher) - 7/10 - Immediately jolted Palace into the ascendency as a wall for players to bounce a pass off and give Newcastle's backline another forward to think about.

SUB: James McArthur (60' for Kouyate) - 7/10 - Dropping to collect the ball off Palace's centre-backs, McArthur added a bit of zip and fizz to Palace's previously ponderous play.