Fifteen. Yes, 15 games unbeaten now for Eddie Howe and Newcastle.
In this famous club’s 130-year history they had never gone 15 consecutive games without defeat in the top-flight until now.
For Howe himself, a personal record as the first English manager to go 15 games unbeaten in the Premier League this century.
Eddie Howe’s high-flying Newcastle are now unbeaten in 15 consecutive games this season
Crystal Palace lost Wilfried Zaha to injury in the second half at Selhurst Park on Saturday
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The man who spent 15 months without a job after getting relegated with Bournemouth in 2020, now on the march towards European adventures with Newcastle.
And thus just 15 months after the Saudi takeover, it is the six points that Newcastle are clear from fifth place that is perhaps the number that really matters in this most extraordinary of turnarounds.
It could have been an eight-point gap had they taken their chances and made their dominance count on this bitterly cold evening in South London but in the end, they had Nick Pope to thank after his wonder save from Jean-Philippe Mateta ensured that their unbeaten run went on.
When the Magpies last made this 255-mile trip to Selhurst Park in October 2021, they ended that night in 19th and without a win all season. Just two players – Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson – remained in the starting eleven from that afternoon. How times have changed.
Bruno Guimaraes (left) started for Newcastle despite limping off with an ankle issue last week
Patrick Vieira made four changes from the side that drew at Selhurst Park midweek against Manchester United, leaving out the free kick hero from that night in Michael Olise.Despite Olise’s terrific form and his involvement in Palace’s last four Premier League goals, Vieira insisted that after consecutive games against Chelsea and Man Utd, his team needed fresh legs.
Yet it was the selection of Bruno Guimaraes for alternatif indowinpoker Newcastle that came as the biggest surprise just six days after he had left St James’ Park on crutches after rolling his ankle against Fulham.
Guimaraes began brimming with confidence, allowed plenty of time and consistently demanding the ball to the regular backdrop of ‘We’ve got Bruno in the middle’ from the visiting support.
Joe Willock (left) has a lot of joy against Joel Ward (right) down the Newcastle left hand side
From the outset, Newcastle found joy down their left flank exploiting Joel Ward but failed to make it count.
Five minutes in, Joe Willock broke in behind the Palace backline and chipped an inviting delivery into the path of Miguel Almiron who connected but failed to direct the volley on target as it crashed into the side netting.The away end thought it had gone in.
Sven Botman then found Joelinton, who left Joel Ward with alarming ease but his right-footed strike was straight into the hands of Vicente Guaita.
At the half-hour mark, Marc Guehi was fortunate to avoid a second yellow after his earlier challenge on Botman. The Palace centre-half took out Callum Wilson but he was given the benefit of the doubt by Craig Pawson.