Newcastle earn point in first game after Bruce’s exit

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Callum Wilson equalised for Newcastle
Callum Wilson equalised for Newcastle

Callum Wilson’s magnificent overhead kick cancelled out Christian Benteke’s opener as Newcastle held Crystal Palace to a draw in the Magpies’ first game since the departure of manager Steve Bruce.

Graeme Jones, Bruce’s former assistant, took charge of the visitors at Selhurst Park following the 60-year-old’s dismissal by the club’s new Saudi-backed owners on Wednesday.

The Magpies were second best for the majority of the game but earned a share of the spoils when Wilson sent an acrobatic volley into the top corner after Palace had failed to clear a Newcastle corner.

Eagles striker Benteke had opened the scoring 11 minutes into the second half, powering a header into the bottom corner from Tyrick Mitchell’s deep cross.

Benteke also struck the woodwork in both halves, heading Michael Oliseh’s teasing delivery against the foot of the post in the first before sending a looping header onto the top of the crossbar in the second.

In an eventful afternoon for the Belgian striker, he spurned a glorious opportunity to restore Palace’s advantage when he fired into the side-netting from James McArthur’s through ball, before having a late goal ruled out by VAR for a foul against Marc Guehi.

Palace’s sixth draw of the season leaves them in 15th place – five points above Newcastle, who remain second bottom on four points and without a win this season.

Newcastle’s new owners have said the appointment of a new manager “will be announced in due course” after relieving Bruce of his duties just 13 days after the Saudi Arabian-backed £305m takeover of the club.

The consortium has already held talks with former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca, while former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, ex-Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez have also been linked with the job.

Bruce’s exit was met with relief bordering on jubilation by the vast majority of Newcastle supporters – but there was little for the travelling Toon Army to get excited about in the early stages on Saturday as Palace dominated possession.

The closest the visitors came to a first-half breakthrough was when Wilson fired into the side-netting from a tight angle after Emil Krafth’s goal-bound effort was cleared by Guehi.

It seemed only a matter of time before Palace doubled their advantage once Benteke had nodded the hosts into a thoroughly deserved lead, but Wilson sent the away fans wild with a magnificent strike into the top corner from Krafth’s flick-on.

The former Bournemouth striker has now scored six goals in his last six Premier League appearances for the club.

The Magpies rode their luck late on as Benteke’s strike was disallowed, but interim manager Jones will have appreciated his team’s resilience in his first of two games at the helm before a new manager is due to be appointed.