Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle United 0: Mike Ashley in stands as fans chant for him to 'get out of our club'

Mike Ashley was at Selhurst Park as Newcastle United claimed only their second Premier League point of the season.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 22 September, 2018, 16:54
Ayoze Perez and James Tomkins.

Rafa Benitez's second-bottom side somehow held Crystal Palace to a goalless draw after spending much of the game in their own half.

Owner Ashley watched the match with managing director Lee Charnley and associates Justin Barnes and Keith Bishop.

It was Ashley's first appearance at a game since May last year, and there were repeated chants against the billionaire from United's 2,900-strong travelling support at a soggy Selhurst Park.

Newcastle fans chanted for Ashley to "get out of our club" and also briefly held up a banner advertising a website which promotes alternative retailers to his Sports Direct chain.

Benitez had recalled Jonjo Shelvey, Salomon Rondon and Kenedy to his starting XI and, arguably, named his strongest team with the exception of Florian Lejeune, out with a long-term injury.

Wilfried Zaha – who had demanded more protection from referees after scoring Palace's winner over Huddersfield Town last weekend – was passed fit to start after hurting himself in the warm-up.

Zaha and former United winger Andros Townsend both ran at the visiting defence in the opening minutes, and James McArthur put a header over Martin Dubravka's goal.

Ayoze Perez took the ball off James Tomkins in the 10th minute, but last season's top scorer, looking for his first goal of the season, could only shoot tamely at Wayne Hennessey.

Roy Hodgson's side delivered a series of balls into Newcastle's box, from open play and from set-pieces, but they couldn't force a breakthrough in the first half-hour, and Benitez's side slowly settled into the game.

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Palace captain Luka Milivojevic struck the post for the home side with a free-kick before the break.

Joselu replaced Salomon Rondon at the break and the striker had a claim for a penalty appeal waved away seconds into the new half after going down in the box.

However, chances were few and far between in a scrappy second half punctuated by chants against Ashley.

Benitez sent on Christian Atsu and Yoshinori Muto, but United spent the bulk of the half on the back foot.

A bottle thrown from the away end struck Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The home side Palace had a series of late chances, and Newcastle will have been relieved to have left the field with a point ahead of next Saturday's home game against Leicester City.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, McArthur, Kouyate (Meyer, 63); Townsend, Zaha, Ayew (Sorloth, 71). Subs not used: Guaita, Ward, Schlupp, Kelly, Puncheon.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett; Diame, Shelvey; Ritchie (Atsu, 72), Perez (Muto, 80), Kenedy; Rondon (Joselu, 46). Subs not used: Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Ki.

Bookings: Yedlin 36, Tomkins 51

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)