Newcastle’s winless start to the Premier League season continued as they held Crystal Palace to a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Christian Benteke’s goal put Palace in front in London before a stunning overhead kick from Callum Wilson ensured Graeme Jones’ first game in charge did not end in defeat.
The Magpies, unfortunately, remain in the bottom three – in 19th – and are only two points above 20th-placed Norwich, three points off Leeds in 17th.
Whilst Wilson’s sensational goal will take the headlines, another player stole the show with his performance on the pitch – Emil Krafth.
He fully justified his spot in the team and caught the eye with an impressive display. There was little he could have done to prevent Benteke’s goal in the second half. Javier Manquillo was slow to close down to the ball in from out wide and then the Belgian colossus pinned Ciaran Clark down in the six-yard box and powered a header past Karl Darlow, on the opposite side of the back three to Krafth.
He then played a crucial role in the equaliser as his headed flick-on set up Wilson to acrobatically fire the ball into the top corner. Krafth reacted in the box from a corner to get his head to the ball and it sat perfectly for the ex-Bournemouth hitman to finish.
Along with his assist, Krafth was able to show off the defensive side of his game. Per SofaScore, the Sweden international won 70% (7/10) of his duels on the pitch. He also made a whopping eight clearances, as he produced four tackles, two blocks and one interception. This shows that he was on the ball defensively as he snuffed out a number of Palace attacks to win possession back for his side from the right centre-back position.
SofaScore handed him a rating of 7.7 for his display, the highest on the Newcastle team. So, forget Wilson being the club’s standout performer against Palace… it was Krafth! The 2019 signing grasped his opportunity with both hands and will surely have cemented his place in the side for next weekend’s daunting clash with Chelsea.