Elliot Anderson's brilliant Newcastle United cameo points to one thing
For the second game running, Newcastle United’s players left the pitch aggrieved at a refereeing decision.
Three days after a controversial 98th-minute strike condemned the club to a defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, Eddie Howe’s team were held to a goalless draw at St James’s Park by Crystal Palace.
However, Newcastle felt that they should have won the game, having seen a second-half own goal chalked off for a foul by referee Michael Salisbury following a VAR check.
The 19-year-old midfielder – who was sent on for his home Premier League debut – came to the fore as Howe’s team pushed for a late winner. On this evidence, it won’t be long before Anderson is starting league games.
Howe had again been without Bruno Guimaraes, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, three of his best players. Sven Botman and Fabian Schar replaced Dan Burn and Jamaal Lascelles in the starting XI.
In the absence of Guimaraes and Saint-Maximin, the team lacked a final ball at times.
United, captained by Kieran Trippier in the absence of Jamaal Lascelles, made a positive start. They looked to use Ryan Fraser down the left in the early stages, and Isak had an early chance after being put through on goal. The striker, however, saw his attempted chip blocked by Vicente Guaita.
Newcastle saw more of the ball, but Palace had their moments, and Nick Pope did well to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta, who turned and shot in the box as the half-hour mark approached.
After a scrappy period of play, United started to exert some sustained pressure on their visitors. Botman had a header from a Matt Targett corner stopped on the line, and a follow-up effort was deflected over the bar.
Newcastle had the better of the half, but without Guimaraes and Saint-Maximin, they lacked a final ball.
United thought they had got their breakthrough in the 51st minute when Tyrick Mitchell put the ball past his own goalkeeper after a deep Trippier free-kick was headed back across goal. However, the goal was ruled out for a foul on Guaita by Willock – who had been pushed – following a VAR check.
The decision incensed the club’s players, coaching staff and fans – and raised the decibel levels inside the stadium.
Guaita and Willock were able to play on after treatment, and Howe sent on Anderson and Jacob Murphy in the 70th minute. They replaced Fraser and Miguel Almiron.
Pope stopped a shot from visiting substitute Odsonne Edouard, and Howe replaced Targett with Dan Burn with just over 10 minutes left on the clock.
Newcastle hadn’t created a chance for Isak since his early opportunity, and a late opportunity fell to Willock. The midfielder put the chance wide.
United, helped by the energy and movement of Anderson, pressed for a winner in the final few minutes, but the game ended in a stalemate.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Targett (Burn, 79), Longstaff, Willock, Joelinton, Fraser (Anderson, 70), Almiron (Murphy, 70), Isak (Wood 90). Subs not used: Darlow, Lascelles, Ritchie, Lewis, Manquillo.