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  • Julian Taylor at Selhurst Park

Mateta at the double as Crystal Palace clip Magpies' wings to impress Glasner



Crystal Palace 2 Newcastle United 0


Under new management, the Eagles continue to quietly ruffle a few feathers. Tonight it was the turn of the Magpies, whose mission to swoop on the capital amounted to nothing other than listless defeat.


A brace of second half goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta proved decisive for Crystal Palace. However, Oliver Glasner's work since replacing Roy Hodgson in the Selhurst Park hot seat continues to impress, the Londoners' desire surpassing that of Newcastle United.


Palace were alive with intent all evening, and never looked in any significant danger against Eddie Howe's team, still harbouring European possibilities for next season. The encounter was far from memorable but it does represent further progress for the south London outfit.


Once again, Ebere Eze was at the heart of the matter for the Eagles, creating chances and taking responsibility in the final third. The former QPR man is one of many thriving under Glasner.


Newcastle, on the other hand, looked shorn of belief on the night, rather surprising for a side who eclipsed the Eagles 4-0 at St James' Park in the corresponding fixture back in October. Thanks to Mateta, a player reborn in the last few months, Palace got their revenge, with the bustling Frenchman delivering his 13th and 14th goals of 2023-24.


Soaring


Under Glasner's guidance, the Eagles have been genuinely soaring over the last couple of weeks. A superb victory at Anfield to temporarily dent Liverpool's Premier League title hopes and a 5-2 home win over West Ham has showcased an exciting, expansive brand of football unfolding from the former Eintracht Frankfurt coach. The Palace faithful are already quite taken with Glasner.


In 14th place ahead of their meeting with Newcastle is hardly a desired position, admittedly, and with the vultures circling over creative forces, Ebere Eze and Michael Olise, it remains to be seen if the star duo will be at the club next term. Nevertheless, the players appear to be enjoying life under Austrian Glasner.


Palace - who left Olise on the bench due to the rigours of late - started brightly. Unsurprisingly, Eze was the first to show his intent, with a low, curling right foot shot which went inches past Magpies' keeper Martin Dubravka, before Mateta and Adam Wharton went close with a header and raking drive respectively.


Intensity


Newcastle arrived at Selhurst Park in sixth spot and still in contention for Europa League qualification. Yet Eddie Howe's side struggled to equal the precision and intensity from the hosts for much of the game. Striker Alexander Isak had run riot against Tottenham recently and Palace needed to be mindful of the threat from the £60m Swedish star who was denied at close range by Palace keeper Dean Henderson. That was the sum of Newcastle's foraging in the opening period, although they began to grow in confidence having weathered the early Eze promptings.


Notably, Glasner has Palace working hard at their pressing game and Newcastle at times appeared ill-equipped to cope. Eventually, the Eagles' industry paid off when they deservedly took the lead in 54 minutes.


Mateta was on hand with a composed finish - the Palace forward slid the ball under Dubravka from a neat inter change with Jordan Ayew which split the Magpies' central defensive area.


Assured by making the breakthrough, Palace - and Eze - began to flow, with Newcastle's discipline waning when confronted by the in-form playmaker and partners Mateta and Ayew. Will Hughes turned an effort inches over the bar as Glasner's men looked to double the advantage.


With the portents still very much with Palace, it was time for Glasner to unleash Olise, who came on for Ayew in the 72nd minute. Newcastle's overall response was intermittent and lacking in conviction. While Bruno Guimaraes worked hard in midfield, the service to Isak in general was too often lacking.


Lurking


With three minutes remaining, Palace sealed the points with a second goal. Lurking with intent around eight yards out, Mateta drilled the ball under Dubravka from Will Hughes' pass, with Newcastle allowing the latter far too much room in the penalty area.


If the final few weeks of the campaign are little more than consolidation under the new remit, Crystal Palace are now most certainly in a good place. The Eagles will travel across to west London to face Fulham on Saturday full of this fresh and continued desire to impress both their fans and Glasner.


Eagles: Henderson, Mitchell, Ayew, Eze, Munoz, Mateta, Andersen, Clyne, Hughes, Wharton. Richards

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