How Newcastle tried - and struggled - to move on from Steve Bruce

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Graeme Jones chats with Ciaran Clark - PA
Graeme Jones chats with Ciaran Clark - PA

Callum Wilson’s spectacular overhead kick snatched a point for Newcastle United in the first game since Steve Bruce’s departure as manager - and opening away game under their new ownership - after a rearguard action by interim manager Graeme Jones.

There was beauty in the strike but the rest of the display was not the easiest on the eye as Jones attempted to prioritise solidity over ambition.

Mehrdad Ghodoussi, suited, and Amanda Staveley, dressed in black and white, were among the onlookers, both representing the Newcastle hierarchy in the directors box’s red padded seats.

Crystal Palace were the dominant side as Jones’ men spent long periods on the back foot without the ball, rarely attacking, and Patrick Vieira’s team could have won this comfortably.

Christian Benteke had put Palace in front with a header and caused problems but he also missed chance after chance - including hitting the woodwork twice and seeing a late goal correctly ruled out by Var for a foul.

It meant Newcastle’s winless start to the season continued but they did well to leave Selhurst Park unscathed - and this display highlighted that the next permanent manager will have much work to do to improve what he inherits.

Flooding defence

Jones, Newcastle’s interim manager, showed that the club have moved on from the Bruce era with his unexpected selection and approach against Palace.

A generous view would be that this was more of a move more towards the pragmatism associated with Rafael Benitez.

An alternative would be that it showed a negative mindset, reflecting their own lack of quality and acknowledgement of Palace’s threat.

The blueprint was a simple one: establish a solid base, and close down space. Newcastle’s defensive third of the field could often be seen loaded with bodies, sitting deep and at least trying to nullify Palace’s dangerous attacking options down the flanks, and Sean Longstaff dropping deep to form what was effectively a back five.

Emil Krafth was surprisingly back in the starting line-up as one of the three more central defenders, alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark, and on top of that trio, Jones deployed Javier Manquillo to the right of them and Matt Ritchie to the left, with both being forced into some dirty work rather than focusing on venturing forward too much to deliver in support of their attackers.

Newcastle's decision to cede so much possession - a remarkable 75 per cent, no less - meant that they had little chance to relieve the pressure, and while nobody could doubt their work ethic, they were ultimately indebted to Palace's wastefulness in front of goal to stay in the game.

Benteke may have scored Palace's goal but he missed two wonderful chances - a close-range header in the first half that struck the post and a one-on-one chance with Karl Darlow he sent into the side-netting - hit the crossbar with another and saw a late effort ruled out after a VAR intervention.

Relying on Wilson

Jones’ lack of ambition meant that even their central midfielders were restrained - and any future permanent manager will need to get more out of his engine room in terms of igniting them on the break. Both Longstaff and Isaac Hayden were made to look like auxiliary defenders rather than a driving force here.

That meant that Ryan Fraser - another surprise selection - was often non-existent as an attacking outlet. Even the dangerous Allan Saint Maximin’s potential to create was not utilised and he had a quiet afternoon.

Wilson was given hardly any service but still managed a spectacular equalising goal with his one serious chance, firing an overhead kick into the top corner after Palace failed to clear a corner on the second phase.

One can only shudder to think how much more trouble Newcastle could be in without him.

Using the bench

Seeing the likes of Joelinton and Miguel Almiron - both costly recruits by Newcastle’s standards in recent years - on the bench raised questions about their use of resources in recent times.

Jones explained that he viewed Joelinton as better in a wide left role rather than in a front two, which is why he was left out, and while the Brazilian was brought on late here, his goal output continues to be a disappointment.

Almiron was brought off the bench sooner than that - midway through the second half - and he left more of a mark on the game. Joe Willock - whose fitness the club are looking to improve - was also brought on at the same time. At least they were introduced to try and aid the attack, but while Newcastle did manage a flurry of late unexpected pressure after winning a series of set-pieces, they will surely know that they cannot always rely on the brilliance of Wilson to get them to safety.

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle - as it happened

04:02 PM

We'll have a match report from Palace vs Newcastle

At the top of this blog shortly, while reports from the other 3pm kick-offs will be live on Telegraph Sport soon.

Thanks for reading.

03:58 PM

Full time scores in the Premier League

Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1

Everton 2 Watford 5

Leeds 1 Wolves 1

Southampton 2 Burnley 2

03:57 PM

FULL TIME - Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1

The home side will be wondering how they haven't won this game, but Graeme Jones' interim reign starts with a draw.

03:55 PM

GOAL! Leeds 1 Wolves 1

The home side are awarded a penalty in added time and Rodrigo slots home with the minimum of fuss.

03:53 PM

GOAL!! Everton 2 Watford 5

What is going on?!

Watford conceded five last week against Liverpool but have scored five this week!

Shambolic defending from Everton and Emmanuel Dennis finishes yet another Watford counter-attack.

03:50 PM

GOAL!! Everton 2 Watford 4

Josh King has a hat-trick for Watford!

The ball drops to the forward in the box, he shifts it past an Everton defender and then slots home.

What a turnaround from the visitors.

Joshua King scores his third goal at Goodison Park - GETTY IMAGES
Joshua King scores his third goal at Goodison Park - GETTY IMAGES

03:49 PM

GOAL DISALLOWED!

So it's still Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1.

Marc Guehi pulled a Newcastle defender's shirt as the cross came in and it's disallowed after a Var check.

Patrick Vieira and the vast majority of people inside Selhurst Park pretty miffed by that decision.

03:47 PM

GOALLLL! Crystal Palace 2 Newcastle 1

It's that man Christian Benteke again!!

He leaps like a salmon and plants a header into the corner from eight yards out!

Uh oh, we're going to have a Var check...

03:42 PM

GOAL! Everton 2 Watford 3

And now the visitors have the lead! They launch a counter-attack and Josh King slots a delightful left-footed finish past Jordan Pickford.

What a comeback from the Hornets!

03:40 PM

GOAL! Everton 2 Watford 2

Juraj Kucka heads home a corner to get Claudio Ranieri's side back on level terms.

03:33 PM

Big chance for Palace!

Christian Benteke could've had a hat-trick today.

He's scored one, hit the woodwork twice and now finds himself one-on-one with Karl Darlow.

But the big Belgian only manages to find the side netting with his left-footed strike. Disappointing.

03:27 PM

WHAT A GOAL! Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1

A bit of head tennis in the Palace box sees the ball drop to Callum Wilson with his back to goal - and he fires an unstoppable bicycle kick into the top corner!

An absolute stunner.

03:26 PM

GOAL! Everton 2 Watford 1

It's all happening in the second half!

Richarlison has just come on as a substitute and nods his side into the lead.

Richarlison heads Everton into the lead against his former club Watford - GETTY IMAGES
Richarlison heads Everton into the lead against his former club Watford - GETTY IMAGES

03:24 PM

Benteke hits the woodwork (again!)

He does really well to time his leap and direct a header at goal - but it clips the top of the bar and flies over.

Newcastle under the pump here.

03:20 PM

GOAL! Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 0

Christian Benteke hit the post in the first half and has fired a scissor kick just over since the restart...and now he's opened the scoring for Palace.

Tyrick Mitchell slings in an inviting cross and Benteke nips in between two defenders to nod home!

03:17 PM

GOAL! Southampton 2 Burnley 2

Superb response from Sean Dyche's side who hit back straight away, and it's Maxwel Cornet at the double!

He spins away from a defender on the edge of the box and lashes a thumping strike past Alex McCarthy.

03:12 PM

Close!

Christian Benteke's acrobatic scissor kick flies just over the bar.

03:10 PM

GOAL! Southampton 2 Burnley 1

Superb finish from Armando Broja who takes advantage of some dilly-dallying at the back by the visitors.

Ibrahima Diallo robs James Tarkowski and feeds Broja, who dashes forward and slams a low strike past Nick Pope!

03:07 PM

And we're under way

In the second half.

02:49 PM

Half time - Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 0

Palace have dominated possession but have struggled to break Newcastle down.

Graeme Jones will be happy with his side's organisation and resilience but they'll need to show a bit more going forward if they want to claim all three points.

02:47 PM

It's still 0-0 at Selhurst Park

The home side have had 78 per cent of possession so far as the first half draws to a close.

02:43 PM

GOAL! Southampton 1 Burnley 1

Southampton have been knocking on the door and don't have to rue that Nathan Redmond miss for too long!

Redmond's outswinging corner is met by Tino Lavramento whose thumping header levels things up.

02:41 PM

MISS OF THE SEASON?!

At St Mary's...Southampton winger Nathan Redmond looks like he has to score from about a yard out, but somehow strikes the ball with his heel and it flies past the post!

02:38 PM

As it stands

Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 0

Everton 1 Watford 1

Leeds 0 Wolves 1

Southampton 0 Burnley 1

02:36 PM

A bit of breaking news

From the Championship - although not entirely unexpected...

Mick McCarthy has been sacked by Cardiff, who lost again this afternoon to Middlesbrough and are just two points above the relegation zone.

02:33 PM

Palace fans with a banner criticising Newcastle's new owners...

Crystal Palace fans hold up a banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United - PA
Crystal Palace fans hold up a banner criticising the new ownership of Newcastle United - PA

02:30 PM

Ward and Wilson booked

02:24 PM

Palace hit the post!

Christian Benteke has a free header about six yards out from Michael Olise's cross...but the Belgian striker hits the post and the ball is cleared.

02:19 PM

Close!

Newcastle defender Emil Krafth goes up for a free-kick, latches on to a flick-on in the box and his strike is cleared off the line.

Then Callum Wilson fires into the side netting from a tight angle.

The goals are flying in everywhere else...apart from Selhurst Park.

Newcastle interim manager Graeme Jones takes charge of his first game today - GETTY IMAGES
Newcastle interim manager Graeme Jones takes charge of his first game today - GETTY IMAGES

02:17 PM

GOAL! Everton 1 Watford 1

Watford have the first goal of the Claudio Ranieri era. Josh King's strike is originally chalked off for offside - but after a lengthy check (with lines drawn on the pitch etc) the Var gives it and we're level at Goodison!

02:16 PM

GOAL! Southampton 0 Burnley 1

Maxwel Cornet opens the scoring for the visitors with a thumping header that goes in off the post!

02:13 PM

GOAL! Leeds 0 Wolves 1

Lovely bit of play from Nelson Semedo, who skips past Jack Harrison and fizzes a cross in towards Raul Jimenez.

The Mexican's shot is blocked but Hwang Hee-Chan slams in the rebound!

02:10 PM

Luka Milivojevic goes down

After coming off second best in a 50/50 with Isaac Hayden.

He needs a bit of treatment but is deemed fit to continue.

02:06 PM

It's been a decent start from Crystal Palace

Who have had the lion's share of possession in the early stages - but no real chances of note so far.

02:04 PM

GOAL! Everton 1 Watford 0

Lovely play from Demarai Gray who beats a defender, pulls the ball back and Tom Davies slots home.

Not exactly what Claudio Ranieri would have been hoping for given his side were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool in his first game in charge...

02:02 PM

We're under way at Selhurst Park

And in the other 3pm games too.

01:52 PM

Team news from the other 3pm kick-offs

Everton vs Watford

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Townsend, Allan, Davies, Gray, Gordon, Rondon.

Watford: Foster, Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Masina, Sarr, Tufan, Kucka, Sissoko, Hernandez, King.

Leeds vs Wolves

Leeds: Meslier, Llorente, Struijk, Cooper, Shackleton, Klich, Dallas, Raphinha, Harrison, James, Rodrigo.

Wolves: Jose Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Nelson Semedo, Dendoncker, Joao Moutinho, Ait Nouri, Hwang, Traore, Jimenez.

Southampton vs Burnley

Southampton: McCarthy, Livramento, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud, Romeu, Walcott, Diallo, Elyounoussi, Redmond, Broja.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Collins, Taylor, Brownhill, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Cornet.

01:40 PM

Some pre-match reading for Newcastle fans

01:33 PM

Newcastle interim boss Graeme Jones

Has made two changes to the side which lost to Spurs last weekend in Steve Bruce's final game in charge - Emil Krafth and Ryan Fraser are recalled with Joe Willock and Joelinton dropping to the bench.

01:31 PM

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle team news

  • Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Milivojevic, McArthur, Olise, Gallagher, Edouard, Benteke.
    Subs: Butland, Tomkins, Kouyate, Ayew, Zaha, Hughes, Mateta, Schlupp, Clyne.

  • Newcastle: Darlow, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Hayden, Longstaff, Ritchie, Saint-Maximin, Fraser, Wilson.
    Subs: Schar, Joelinton, Lewis, Hendrick, Murphy, Almiron, Willock, Gillespie, Gayle.

01:29 PM

Hello and welcome

To our live coverage of Crystal Palace vs Newcastle in the Premier League - plus updates from today's other 3pm kick-offs...Everton vs Watford, Leeds vs Wolves and Southampton vs Burnley.

Today's game at Selhurst Park is Newcastle's first since Steve Bruce left the club earlier this week following the Saudi takeover at St James' Park.

Bruce's departure had been coming, with the manager appearing to be on borrowed time since the consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) took control.

But the 60-year-old remained in control for the first game of the new era - a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham - before being relieved of his duties.

After his exit, Bruce told Telegraph Sport's Luke Edwards he was now likely to retire due to the strain that has been placed on him during his two-year spell on Tyneside - particularly the toll from abuse including being called "a stupid, tactically inept cabbage-head".

Bruce's assistant Graeme Jones is likely to remain interim manager until the next international break. And he has a tricky job on his hands, with Newcastle still seeking their first Premier League win of the season and sitting just one place off the foot of the table.

Former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has been interviewed for the permanent job and is one of Amanda Staveley's preferred candidates, but other members are still pushing alternative options.

Crystal Palace have drawn their last three league games - and will count themselves somewhat unlucky not to have come away from the Emirates Stadium with all three points on Monday night.

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette netted an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time to deny Patrick Vieira on his return to his old club.

We'll have live updates as all the goals go in this afternoon - and stick with us in the meantime for team news and build-up before the matches get under way.

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