Newcastle hadn’t lost at Selhurst Park since 1984 before Saturday’s trip to South London… and they never looked in danger of losing that superb record.
Two first half strikes, courtesy of Yohan Cabaye’s cool finish and a Danny Gabbidon own goal, put the Magpies in a commanding position and despite Crystal Palace’s endeavor to get back into the match, a late Hatem Ben Arfa penalty kick sealed a 3-0 win for Newcastle.
Tony Pulis’ Palace were outclassed by an energetic and clinical Magpies side in the driving rain and swirling wind as horrendous weather hit England’s capital. It could have been more comfortable for the away side, but their sixth win in their last eight games sent them within three points of the top four. Palace remain in the relegation zone but are just one point from safety.
It will be a very Merry Christmas for Alan Pardew and the Toon Army up in the North East.
An even start to proceedings at Selhurst Park as the Eagles held firm despite a few dangerous set pieces from the Magpies.
Loic Remy was looking sharp up top as Newcastle aimed to hit the Eagles on the counter-attack but Pulis’ men were looking solid and organized.
The horrific weather conditions, driving rain and swirling winds around South London, weren’t conducive to attacking play.
However splendid play from Moussa Sissoko on the right saw him beat Dean Moxey and then pull a perfect ball back for Cabaye to stroke home a calm finish on his return to the starting lineup.
But Palace didn’t hide after going behind as Cameron Jerome forced a good stop from Tim Krul and from the resulting corner Barry Bannan’s in-swinging cross was nearly bundled home for an equalizer.
Then a moment of madness came from Gabbidon in the 39th minute as Matheiu Debuchy’s right wing cross was going out of play and no Newcastle forward was around, but Palace’s defender launched himself at the ball and deflected the cross into his own net to put the Magpies 2-0 up.
Following the break Julian Speroni made a terrific stop from Cabaye after his 30-yard free kick swerved all over the place and the Italian ‘keeper adjusted his body well to keep the effort out.
Newcastle looked more likely to extend their lead than Palace mounting a fight back, with the Eagles struggling to create much going forward as the Magpies looked strong and composed in possession.
In the 62nd minute Palace came close after Yannick Bolasie’s right-wing cross found Marouane Chamakh but the striker headed wide after he rose highest in the box. With the final 10 minutes approaching, Newcastle went forward and in-form attacker Yoann Gouffran curled a powerful shot off of Speroni’s right hand post as the Magpies aimed to seal yet another win.
A rash challenge from Jonny Parr on Shola Ameobi saw Neil Swarbrick point to the spot in the 86th minute, as Ben Arfa stepped up to smash the ball home and round off the scoring.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey (Parr, 45), Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon, Bannan (Bolasie, 45), Chamakh, Jerome (Gayle, 77)
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Cabaye (Ben Arfa, 79), Tiote, Sissoko, Anita, Gouffran, Remy (Shola Ameobi, 75)
Goals: Cabaye (25), Gabbidon (OG – 39), Ben Arfa (86)