- No shots on target for Palace
- Out attempts NUFC
- Merino nabs winner off corner
Mikel Merino scored his first goal since 2015, leading Newcastle United to another win.
The Magpies have lost just once since dropping their first two matches of the season, and now sit sixth after a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
Stoke and West Ham losses keep Palace five points shy of safety, their three points coming last week versus Chelsea.
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There was pace but sloppiness to the opening 20 minutes, with a card handed out to Florian Lejeune for a step on the heel of ex-Newcastle star Andros Townsend.
Rob Elliot rescued a ball through the six as Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp combined in the 24th minute.
Matt Ritchie earned the Magpies a corner kick with a shot partially blocked by Mamadou Sakho.
Ex-Magpie midfielder Yohan Cabaye looked to have given his former team a man advantage with a scissor tackle on DeAndre Yedlin, but there was only a yellow to be found.
Christian Atsu dizzied Joel Ward to tempt the net, but fired his shot off the outside of the goal.
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A very haphazard second half for Newcastle allowed Palace to adventure a bit, and Andros Townsend very nearly scored with a left-footed shot in the 65th minute.
Mohamed Diame subbed into the game and made room to zip a shot that Julian Speroni dove to catch. It was the first shot on target of the match.
Then Shelvey forced Speroni into a parried save in the 74th minute.
Newcastle kept piling on the pressure, but it was Patrick Van Aanholt who couldn’t get on the end of sub Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s invitation to the back post.
That’s when the 21-year-old Merino, recently made permanent from Borussia Dortmund, out-leapt James MacArthur to nod Matt Ritchie’s corner kick beyond Speroni. 1-0, 86′.