Saturday afternoon’s 0-0 draw between Crystal Palace and Newcastle was destined for the last slot on Match of the Day from the moment Andre Marriner blew his whistle to signal full-time, with Mamadou Sakho’s horror-miss in the second half summing up exactly the sort of game supporters were subjected to in SE25.
I still have no idea how Mamadou Sakho failed to find the target from a header at the far post with an open goal. It finished Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle United. #CPFC #NUFC #CRYNEW #EPL #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/CVYM0i4CeH
— ⚫⚪ Bronxy ⚪⚫ (@BenBronx) September 23, 2018
In a game of very few clear-cut chances, Palace probably just about shaded it, with Sakho’s shocker representing the most obvious opportunity to give Roy Hodgson a first home goal and victory of the the 2018/19 season. As you can see from the footage attached above, the ball is flung into the penalty area after some fantastic work from Andros Townsend over on the far touchline, only for Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka to completely misjudge the flight of the ball and present the Frenchman with a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring.
Despite worries that he had strayed a touch offside, it looks as though the former Liverpool defender was actually stood onside, making his headed miss with the goal gaping all the more frustrating for us and him. On a day when Rafa Benitez’s players offered next to nothing in an attacking sense, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that Sakho’s error has led to two points being dropped which, just a few weeks after we saw Joel Ward put a free header wide against Watford and Christian Benteke thwarted at point blank range at home to Southampton, is a bitter pill to swallow.
To Mamadou’s credit, both he and James Tomkins were superb throughout Saturday’s game at the other end of the field, notching up their second consecutive clean sheet and further cementing their place as the club’s first-choice central defensive pairing. It’s just a shame Mama wasn’t able to put the cherry on the cake of what was otherwise a faultless display by scoring the goal which would have seen off the Toon Army.