Crystal Palace 2-0 Newcastle: Jean-Philippe Mateta scores again as good times roll for Oliver Glasner

Mateta opened the scoring at Selhurst Park (Action Images via Reuters)
Mateta opened the scoring at Selhurst Park (Action Images via Reuters)

Jean-Philippe Mateta’s meteoric rise over the last couple of months has been one of the main successes of the early stages of the Oliver Glasner era at Crystal Palace. He continues to deliver.

The Frenchman now has eight goals in nine games since Glasner took charge in February, and for the first time he was the difference for the Austrian’s side — Mateta netting both goals as Palace ousted Newcastle 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

It was, on the face of it, a match that mattered more to Eddie Howe’s men. They have European football on the line; the Eagles not so.

Yet the home side had beaten Liverpool at Anfield and West Ham 5-2 in their last two games and arrived brimming with confidence. Victory over the side who so mercilessly tore Tottenham apart 4-0 on the counter-attack 11 days ago was to Palace’s credit, and was totally deserved.

Newcastle arrived hoping to tap in to that same game-plan: Bruno Guimaraes playing over the top for Anthony Gordon and Alexander Isak to chase and cause havoc. But they were unable to — Glasner’s 3-4-2-1 system keeping them at bay and methodically piecing together more patient attacks at the other end.

Michael Olise was only introduced in the 73rd minute, presumably a case of protecting those valuable legs, but that allowed Eberechi Eze to become Palace’s go-to man from the start and push his case for a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad in the week UEFA have expanded squads from 23 players to 26.

Eze danced towards the Newcastle box and curled just wide in the 12th minute, and was soon delivering a replayed corner off his weaker left foot which Mateta met but glanced just over.

Glasner has made a big impact at Crystal Palace already (REUTERS)
Glasner has made a big impact at Crystal Palace already (REUTERS)

Soon Eze spotted goalkeeper Martin Dubravka off his line and expecting the Englishman to deliver from a free-kick. So, of course, he shot instead, almost catching the Slovakian out.

Dean Henderson was out smartly to block at the feet of Isak as the mercurial 24-year-old broke away on one occasion, but Newcastle mustered nothing better in a flat first-half performance.

Only in the final 25 minutes of the second period did this fraught match gather any modicum of intensity, but by that point Palace had scored against Newcastle for the first time since October 2021.

Eze fired the ball into Mateta, whose one-touch give-and-go with Jordan Ayew took both Fabian Schar and Dan Burn out of the game. Mateta was through and duly rammed home.

Newcastle began to push — teams losing by one goal always do — but that only afforded Palace the space to break away. Jeffrey Schlupp combined well down the left with Will Hughes, who crossed for Mateta to beat Dubravka again. Mateta scoring, Palace winning, Glasner beginning to yield results.