Newcastle got a well earned three points this afternoon against Norwich City, and while Newcastle were the better side in the first half, Norwich were very good in the second half and it was good to see Newcastle keep a clean sheet.
And it was the third goal in just five appearances by Papiss Cisse as he brilliantly put the ball home after 10 minutes, and with Tim Krul producing a simply magnificent save in the second half, Newcastle got their first clean sheet in six games.
But it was all three points and this will give the lads confidence and it takes us up to 47 points from 29 games, one more point than we got last season, and we still have 9 games to play.
The Newcastle line-up was strange with Jonas Gutierrez playing at left back in place of Davide Santon.
The game kicked off under overcast skies, and Newcastle had a wonderful chance to go 1-0 up after only 70 seconds.
Papiss Cisse found himself straight through on goal, but he tried to lob goalkeeper Ruddy, but it wasn’t high enough, and the goalkeeper easily reached the ball.
A golden chance gone begging.
But Newcastle were starting the game with some energy, and would you believe it after 10 minutes Jonas Gutierrez broke down the left wing and put in a cross and Papiss Cisse got in front of the defender and hit the ball home first time from 12 yards out, giving Ruddy no chance.
It was a brilliantly executed goal by the Newcastle number 9, and his 3rd goal in his 5th appearance for Newcastle.
But then Newcastle started to get a bit sloppy and Ben Arfa dribbled the ball out of the penalty area and then, of all people, Mike Williamson tried to dribble the ball clear and presented Norwich with a chance when he was dispossessed, but the ball was hit over the cross bar.
It was some suicidal defending by Newcastle.
Newcastle were passing the ball around well, but still looked too lackadaisical at times, in what was such an important game.
After 30 minutes Newcastle almost went 2-0 up, when an excellent cross come shot from Cabaye, was well saved by Ruddy.
The goalkeeper tipped it around his left hand post for a corner, and Demba Ba only just missed connecting with it – it was a great save by Ruddy.
After 30 minutes Newcastle were dominant, but were still only a single goal ahead.
After 34 minutes a Norwich player handled in the penalty box, but it seems the referee though it was accidental, and he waved play on.
A minute later Coloccini made a good block from Bennett and the ball went for a corner.
On 41 minutes Cisse was straight through again on goal, surrounded by Norwich players, but again the goalkeeper saved it – but Cisse should really have scored, and he could have even had a hat-trick in the first half.
On 44 minutes, Surman found himself clear with only Krul to beat, but he blasted the ball wide as the Newcastle defense were all over the place.
Norwich were coming more into the game as the half time whistle blew, but Newcastle would need to tighten up in the second half if they were going to get all 3 points, and really should have been more than 1-0 up at the break.
Newcastle made no changes at the half and in the first minute Ben Arfa found himself through on the right but he had to hit the ball with his right foot, and put the ball wide.
Newcastle were starting to play sloppily and on 53 minutes Pilkington was straight through in the inside left position but Krul saved well, when he deflected the ball for a corner.
Norwich were starting to take the ascendancy on and on 55 minutes Tim Krul produced a magnificent save as he somehow put the ball over the bar, from a Whitbread header when it looked like a goal.
On 63 minutes Santon came on in place of Ben Arfa and then on 69 minutes Shola Ameobi came on for Papiss Cisse.
Norwich were making a game of it, and were playing much better and with more aggression than in the first half, and Newcastle were ruing their missed chances in those first 45 minutes, as Norwich were giving the Magpies everything they could handle.
On 76 minutes Gosling came on for Danny Guthrie, as Alan Pardew was trying to get some fresh legs in the Newcastle midfield, and trying desperately to hold on for the win.
Norwich continued to have more of the play and on 90 minutes Morrison was straight through on goal but he fluffed his shot and ball trickled through to Krul in the home goal.
But Newcastl;e played out the final 3 minutes of stoppage time to a great roar from the home fans, and it was agreat rtesuilt for our lads.
We were not at our best today, but the lads showed grit and determination in the second half to hold onto the lead.
We can thank Papiss Cisse for a terrific goal, and we can thank Tim Krul for that world-class save in the second half – what a goalie this lad is turning out to be.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie, James Perch, Yohan Cabaye; Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling, Haris Vuckic, Ryan Donaldson, Shola Ameobi
Norwich (4-5-1): John Ruddy; Kyle Naughton, Elliott Ward (c), Zak Whitbread, Adam Drury; Anthony Pilkington, Andrew Surman, David Fox, Jonny Howson, Elliott Bennett; Steve Morison
Substitutes: Jed Steer, Russell Martin, Andrew Crofts, Bradley Johnson, Wes Hoolahan, Simeon Jackson, Grant Holt