Callum Wilson earns draw for managerless Newcastle at Crystal Palace
Callum Wilson ’s wonder goal rescued a point for Newcastle at Crystal Palace but they remain without a Premier League win after nine games this season and it could have been much worse in the capital.
Referee Darren England ruled out Christian Benteke ’s 87th-minute header for an infringement in the penalty area which would have earned Patrick Vieira’s side a deserved victory.
Benteke had earlier hit both a post and the crossbar while he missed another gilt-edged chance after he opened the scoring in a one-sided contest at Selhurst Park that ended as a 1-1 draw.
Gateshead-born Graeme Jones was in charge of his boyhood club after Steve Bruce was sacked on Wednesday and there were some subtle differences to his former boss on display.
Newcastle reverted to a back five again and Joe Willock was notably dropped to the bench. Opposite number Vieira also made a bold call, with the fit-again Wilfried Zaha only named among the substitutes while Michael Olise was handed his full Palace debut.
It was the Magpies’ second match since a Saudi-backed consortium completed its takeover of the club and home fans in the Holmesdale End unveiled a banner which questioned the merits of the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund owning 80 per cent of the North East outfit.
On the pitch, an early delay occurred after Palace captain Luka Milivojevic needed treatment following a crunching 50-50 tackle with Isaac Hayden.
The only genuine chances of the first half occurred in a six-minute period where Wilson fired into the side netting from a tight angle after the hosts had failed to deal with a free-kick before Benteke headed against a post with 20 on the clock.
Olise had created the opportunity for the Belgian, who should have scored, and the other key flashpoint of the opening 45 was when both managers exchanged words in the 26th minute.
Joel Ward and Wilson came together by the touchline and, after Milivojevic joined in, Newcastle interim boss Jones pushed the Eagles captain which resulted in Vieira and his first-team coach Shaun Derry getting involved.
Eventually referee England took control, with the outcome a caution apiece for Ward and Wilson.
Palace had enjoyed 79 per cent possession during the first half and yet struggled to turn that opportunities, but that soon changed.
An exquisite overhead kick from Benteke almost broke the deadlock in the 50th minute and six minutes later the former Liverpool forward did open the scoring to make it goals in consecutive games.
Tyrick Mitchell produced a wonderful floated ball to the back post where Benteke towered above his rivals to power home a header from six yards to add to his effort at Arsenal on Monday.
He almost doubled his tally soon after but saw another header hit the top of the crossbar and with 65 on the clock it was crucial as Newcastle grabbed an equaliser.
Palace failed to deal with a corner and Wilson produced a sensational overhead kick into the top corner to beat Vicente Guaita and score for the fourth time this season.
Jones introduced Miguel Almiron and Willock after while Zaha was brought on for the hosts before Benteke was presented with another tempting opening.
Odsonne Edouard dummied James McArthur’s pass to put Benteke through but he sidefooted wide to silence Selhurst Park.
More drama was to follow when Benteke headed home McArthur’s corner with three minutes left but, after referee England was told to look at the pitchside monitor by VAR, he disallowed the effort due to Marc Guehi having a handful of Ciaran Clark’s shirt.
It ensured another draw for Palace and a ninth league game without a win for Newcastle.