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Point against Palace proves Newcastle have stomach for fight, says Darlow

05 February 2018

Newcastle are two places above the relegation water after gathering 25 points from 26 encounters.

Newcastle might have been two goals up at halftime but Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey made two good saves in quick succession, blocking Brazilian winger Kenedy's shot with his chest then diving to his left to palm away Perez's effort from the rebound.

A high-tempo start to the clash saw both teams look to make early inroads, but it was the hosts who threatened first on nine minutes when Patrick van Aanholt broke forward from the left and sent Christian Benteke through on goal, but the Belgian striker was unable to beat Karl Darlow from 16 yards out.

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Palace nearly took the lead after just three minutes when Luka Milivojevic's through ball found Wilfried Zaha in space but his first touch took the ball away from him as Karl Darlow gathered comfortably.

Palace ended the first half on top, but the ball was not falling for them inside the penalty area and Newcastle were able to head into half time with a rare lead, with Diame's goal their first during the opening 45 minutes of a league game since December 23. Luka Milivojevic's spot-kick was nearly kept out by Darlow but the ball squirmed over the line.

Roy Hodgson's side had the better chances of an open encounter in the capital, but found themselves trailing to Mohamed Diame's opener midway through the first half.

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He said: "The way we were playing in the first half I would certainly have taken [a point]. We have a lot of grit and desire and will go to the very end".

"It's a point that doesn't help either side enormously".

Newcastle manager Benitez questioned the decision to award Palace a spot-kick. "We needed to be strong in defence and it was hard".

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Point against Palace proves Newcastle have stomach for fight, says Darlow