Tony Pulis gambled and lost. Crystal Palace looked out for a draw and they very nearly scratched a point. But a header in injury time saw Newcastle grab the win, leaving Palace still hovering just above the danger zone.
The first half finished scoreless, with Newcastle boasting the vast majority of the possession and almost all of the shots. Despite Palace’s precarious position, it seemed Pulis would be content with just a point.
How do you solve a problem like Cabaye? Well, the Magpies are still scratching their heads at that one. They had their chances, they simply couldn’t convert. A free kick in the fourth minute, taken by Cheick Tiote, went straight into the wall. Two quick chances in the 12th minute saw Papiss Cissé hit straight at Julian Speroni before Luuk de Jong put the rebound over the goal.
The hosts thought they had a chance to take the lead in the 37th minute, when the ball struck Palace defender Scott Dann’s arm. It looked as though there was nothing Dann could’ve done about it, however, and referee Lee Probert waved away appeals.
Crystal Palace had an excellent opportunity to break the game open early in the second half. Kagisho Dikgacoi went one-on-one with Tim Krul, but thanks to some excellent goalkeeping, the scoreline stayed level. A moment later, Yannick Bolasie hit the crossbar, leaving the visitors cursing their bad luck.
Particularly by the end of the match.
Cissé spurned another great chance in the 66th minute, his free header off the end of Hatem Ben Arfa’s cross going over the bar. With the vast majority of the shots coming from the hosts, Newcastle were visibly frustrated.
But in the end, they grabbed all three points, thanks again to another combination from Ben Arfa to Cissé. This time Speroni could do nothing to stop the header.
Newcastle: Krul; Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko (Marveaux 88), Anita, Tioté, Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 76); de Jong (Ben Arfa 59), Cissé
Goals: Cissé 94′
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bolasie (Bannan 67), Ledley, Puncheon (Guédioura 80), Jerome (Murray 76)