Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Newcastle United 1.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United
Manager Rafael Benitez felt Newcastle were victims of a "soft penalty" decision as fellow strugglers Crystal Palace came from behind to earn a draw.
Mohamed Diame had turned home Kenedy's corner at the back post midway through the first half for the visitors.
But Luka Milivojevic earned Palace a point with a second half penalty after Ciaran Clark was penalised for pulling Christian Benteke's shirt.
"He was pushing my player and my player was pulling," said Benitez.
"We cannot do it, but I can see a lot of penalties not given. We then changed everything because obviously they had more confidence and they were pushing, we knew that they have very good players up front. We needed to be strong in defence and it was difficult."
Former Newcastle striker and manager Alan Shearer also questioned the penalty decision on Twitter.
"If that's a penalty then there should be 10 penalties per game," he wrote.
But speaking on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, former Premier League striker Steve Claridge felt the decision was much clearer.
"You can just see the shirt being pulled. Yes, it's a penalty. It's a definite pull on the shirt. Absolutely. A stupid, stupid thing for Clark to do."
The point lifted Palace up to 14th, with Newcastle remaining 16th but a point clear of 18th-placed Stoke.
"It will have to be sufficient for me," said Palace manager Roy Hodgson. "The referee gave the penalty and I am just happy we scored it this time - the rules of the game prevent people from pulling shirts."
Daylight for Palace
It probably should have been all three points for the home side who had more than 62% of the possession and 14 shots in the second half.
Palace had also started strongly and Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow had to be alert to save from Wilfried Zaha and Benteke in the first half.
But they will have to settle for a three-point cushion above the relegation zone with 12 games remaining after Milivojevic's fourth goal in eight games.
"The way we were playing in the first half I would certainly have taken (a point). After watching the second half and watching us dominate the game as we did, I feel we were unlucky not to have got all three points in the end because our second half performance merited that," said Palace manager Hodgson.
"It's a point that doesn't help either of us enormously but we've just got to make sure that when we can't win, we draw."
Palace have lost only three of their 17 league matches since a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in the reverse fixture in October.
And with that turnaround coinciding with Hodgson's arrival in September, it is the first time Palace have enjoyed clear daylight above the bottom three.
But despite being fouled for the penalty, Benteke has now failed to score in all 11 of his league appearances at Selhurst Park this season.
The Belgium striker did, though, provide a constant threat against the Magpies and was only denied breaking that home drought by Clark's 89th-minute block.
Benteke also linked up well with his teammates, and with new signing Alexander Sorloth an unused substitute, the striker clearly remains a key element in Palace's survival bid having scored in the midweek draw with West Ham.
Backs to the wall for Newcastle
Newcastle had to dig deep to avoid what would have been just a second defeat in six games, with the visitors indebted to goalkeeper Darlow and defender Clark.
Clark was at fault for the penalty with a clear tug on Benteke spotted by the assistant referee, but equally his block from the Belgium striker ultimately secured what could be a crucial point at the end of the season.
Newcastle's opener was slightly against the run of play as Ayoze Perez applied a crucial touch to help Kenedy's corner on for Diame to sweep home.
"We did well coming here and getting one point. We were controlling the game in the first half, the three offensive players they have, we did well in defence," said Newcastle manager Benitez.
"We had a couple of chances and the counter attack early in the second half could have changed everything. We needed to defend a little bit better."
Diame's finish was Newcastle's first goal in the opening 45 minutes since the now departed Henri Saivet found the net at West Ham on 23 December.
Newcastle could have gone 2-0 up just before half-time as Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey blocked from the lively Kenedy on his second appearance for the club, before making a flying save to turn away Perez's effort not long after.
But from that point in the 32nd minute until a late flourish, Newcastle did not register a shot at the Palace goal.
New signing Islam Slimani was not selected due to an ongoing thigh injury, while striker Dwight Gayle has now not scored in his last 14 league appearances.
Missed opportunity for Palace - what they said
Crystal Palace goalscorer Luka Milivojevic: "Honestly I'm not happy with the point, after all the chances that we created and missed, in my opinion we deserved two (more) points."
Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow: "First half we were very good and had a lot of chances, played some good football, second half they came back at us and we did well to hold on to a draw.
"We've shown we have got a lot of fight and can hopefully get out of this relegation battle.
"It was a sloppy five, 10 minutes from myself that could have been better. We have a lot of grit and desire and will go to the very end."
Man of the match - James McArthur (Crystal Palace)
Milivojevic is spot on - key stats
- Crystal Palace have lost just once in their last 10 home Premier League games.
- Newcastle have collected just two points in their last eight away Premier League games in the month of February.
- Luka Milivojevic is Crystal Palace's top scorer in the Premier League this season with six goals, and the Serb has netted five goals in his last 10 appearances in the competition.
- Only Andy Johnson with 11 has scored more Premier League penalties for Crystal Palace than Milivojevic.
- Palace have conceded the opening goal of the game in 17 different Premier League games this season, no team has conceded the first goal more often.
- Seven of Newcastle's 24 Premier League goals this season have been scored via corners, the highest percentage in the division.
- Only Everton with seven have taken more penalties in the Premier League this season than Palace, and no side have conceded more penalties than Newcastle with five.
Crystal Palace travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Newcastle have an extra day to prepare for the visit of Manchester United to St James' Park (14:15 GMT).
- 24Fosu-MensahBooked at 64mins
- 34KellySubstituted forSakhoat 45+2'minutes
- 3van Aanholt
- 3DummettBooked at 57mins
- 10DiaméSubstituted forHaydenat 65'minutes
- 15KenedySubstituted forAtsuat 57'minutes
- 17PérezSubstituted forMerinoat 80'minutes
- Andre Marriner
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Newcastle United 1.
Attempt missed. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.
Foul by Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace).
Paul Dummett (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United) because of an injury.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.
Attempt blocked. Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by James McArthur.
Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha with a cross.
Attempt saved. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Atsu.
Attempt missed. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James McArthur.
Attempt blocked. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Andros Townsend.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Mikel Merino replaces Ayoze Pérez.
Attempt missed. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Yohan Cabaye.
James McArthur (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt missed. Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace).
Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match (Crystal Palace).
Offside, Crystal Palace. Luka Milivojevic tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Wilfried Zaha.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by DeAndre Yedlin.
Attempt missed. Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Christian Benteke.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Isaac Hayden replaces Mohamed Diamé.
Foul by Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace).
Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace).
Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Wayne Hennessey tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.
Attempt missed. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Yohan Cabaye with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.
Paul Dummett (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.