Jean-Philippe Mateta doubles up as Crystal Palace ease past Newcastle

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jean-Philippe Mateta;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jean-Philippe Mateta</a> fires home his, and <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Crystal Palace;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Crystal Palace</a>’s, second goal.</span><span>Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock</span>

It’s a question most Crystal Palace supporters and perhaps Roy Hodgson must be wondering - what would this season have been like if Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise not spent so much of it on the treatment table?

A third successive victory for Oliver Glasner’s side thanks to Jean-Philippe Mateta’s 10th and 11th goals of the season ended Newcastle’s recent revival and left Eddie Howe’s side knowing they face a battle to secure European football again. It had been almost exactly a year since Palace last won three in succession after Hodgson returned to replace Patrick Vieira in a blaze of glory. But while those came against Leicester, Leeds and Southampton who all ended up being relegated, this time successive victories over Liverpool, West Ham and Newcastle have shown the progress being made under their Austrian manager.

Mateta, who now has eight in nine matches since Glasner’s appointment, provides a real fulcrum for Palace’s attacks and took both his goals brilliantly on a night when Eze showed off his dazzling array of skills that surely make him a contender for England’s Euro 2024 squad. But while Olise was only required to make a cameo as a substitute as his return from injury is closely monitored, their run of five matches without even scoring against these opponents was consigned to the history books in clinical fashion as they also ensured their Premier League status for a 12th season in a row.

“It’s a good feeling to complete mission No 1 mathematically and I hope the players get addicted to winning games,” said Glasner, who revealed his captain Marc Guéhi could be back from injury next week.

“I was so impressed with the intensity we showed in the first 30 minutes – I was really scared that we would have to make 10 substitutions if we continued like this because I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was really amazing.”

Newcastle’s hopes of qualifying for Europe for a second successive season had been significantly boosted by taking 10 points from their last four matches before arriving in south London. Howe’s side could have picked a better time to face Palace although he still called this “a missed opportunity” after slipping to seventh in the table behind Manchester United.

“We were disappointing in most aspects of our play and we have to take responsibility for that,” said the Newcastle manager, who admitted that the 10-day break since their 4-0 win over Tottenham had affected their performance. “We looked rusty in lots of aspects of our game and it’s a very flat feeling at the moment.”

It is perhaps a reflection of Palace’s style of play under previous managers that their run of failing to score against Newcastle stretched back to October 2021. But it was clear that they were keen to pick up where they left off in Sunday’s 5-2 thumping of West Ham when Eze was inches away after some dazzling feet on the edge of the box. Mateta headed his cross over minutes later as the hosts began to take control of proceedings with some slick passing moves.

Newcastle struggled to find their rhythm in the face of some intense pressing but Alexander Isak finally had his first sight of goal on the half-hour mark when he raced on to a brilliant pass from Bruno Guimarães, only to be denied by the feet of Dean Henderson.

Newcastle’s players were out early for the second half but once more it was Palace who took the initiative. Their breakthrough finally came 10 minutes after the break courtesy of a brilliant one-two between Mateta and Jordan Ayew. Mateta almost doubled his tally from Eze’s corner straight away before Will Hughes was not far away with his curling effort that had Martin Dubravka scrambling.

Longstaff was convinced he should be given a penalty after going down under pressure from Hughes but referee Thomas Bramall dismissed his appeals to the frustration of Howe and the travelling fans. “A 50-50 call,” said Howe.

The introduction of Olise for the last 20 minutes was the last thing Newcastle’s defenders needed and Elliot Anderson was shown a yellow card for wiping him out. A flowing move down the left featuring Tyrick Mitchell and Hughes eventually spelt the end for Newcastle as Mateta slammed home his second and “Olly Glasner’s red and blue army” rang out at the final whistle.

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