Newcastle created a good number of chances in this game against a Crystal Palace side who would have been more than happy in getting a point at St. James’ Park this afternoon, but it was some class from a certain number 10 – Ben Arfa – in injury time that got Newcastle all three three points.
Papiss Cisse congratulated by John Carver after sensational winner
Ben Arfa got the ball with 93 minutes gone on the clock, and moved in from the right wing and then flighted a beautiful ball to Papiss Cisse in the penalty box, and the Senegal striker headed the ball with conviction into the back of the net, and the 51,500 crowd went simply crazy – and it will be a good night tonight in the Bigg Market. 😀
Newcastle labored in this game, and Luuk de Jong looked ineffective and doesn’t seem to have the physical presence up front for the Premier League – but it was Papiss Cisse who had the chances in this game, just like he had them last week at Fulham.
In the previous 11 league games Newcastle had failed to score in eight of them, and in the six Premier League games Loic Remy has been missing, we had never scored a goal – before today that is.
And while we cannot get too carried away with the Newcastle performance today, in truth it was pedestrian at times, Newcastle were still the better side and had the chances to win this game.
Crystal Palace carried out their game plan well at Sunderland last week, and came away with what they wanted – a 0-0 boring draw, and they almost did it again today at Newcastle, but it was a touch of class from Ben Arfa that saved Newcastle today.
Newcastle had two chances after 12 minutes, when Papiss Cisse got a good shot on goal but goalkeeper Speroni parried the ball up in the air and de Jong came in and headed the ball weakly over the bar – that was a good chance and Luuk has to do better than that.
And then after 24 minutes Crystal Palace had a good chance as Jerome was through the center – but he hesitated and his shot was brilliantly blocked by Paul Dummett, who threw his body in the way of the ball to block the shot.
Moussa Sissoko was making some of those powerful runs down the right wing, and he pulled the ball back to Cisse, whose shot was well saved by Speroni, who flew to his right to make yet another save.
That was good play by Cisse, but again the goalkeeper made the save.
On 36 minutes Newcastle had a decent claim for a penalty from a corner, when big Mike Williamson headed the ball down and the ball hit a defender’s arm, but referee Lee Probert waved play on. 🙁
Half time came and it was a pedestrian game, but both sides had chances to score and they showed why they have difficult scoring goals this year.
Crystal Palace had a good initial spell at the beginning of the second half and after 54 minutes Tim Krul was forced into a good save from Kagisho Dikgacoi, and it was Tim’s first save of the game.
After 56 minutes Palace almost scored, as Bolasie put in a great shot that hit the top of the cross-bar and went for a goal kick – that was a let-off for Newcastle.
After 59 minutes Ben Arfa came on for the ineffective Luuk de Jong who did nothing in this game to increase his chances of getting a permanent deal at Newcastle.
And then on 64 minutes Papiss Cisse was clean through after a fantastic defense splitting pass from Moussa Sissoko, but his shot was blocked by Speroni who saved Crystal Palace this afternoon with some very good saves.
And after 70 minutes it was simply brilliant play by Ben Arfa on the right wing, and the Frenchman beat three Palace defenders, and finished with a right footed cross from the byline that was headed narrowly over the bar by Papiss Cisse – that would have been a great goal.
Newcastle were now pressing forward all the time, cheered on by an almost capacity crowd.
And then two minutes into added time Cheick Tiote put in a fantastic shot that came off the cross-bar, and Yanga-Mbiwa coolly brought he ball under control on the right hand side, and played it into the six yard box to Papiss Cisse who just couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net – that was a big miss.
But then Ben Arfa showed his class (again) and with time running out he got the ball and moved in from he right wing, and then drifted a beautiful cross into the box that Papiss Cisse did well to head the ball with great conviction into the back of the net, and it was all 3 points for the Magpies.
That’s three wins in the last four league games – 9 points from four games – but Newcastle made this very difficult – but the goal will give the lads and Papiss Cisse in particular great confidence for the home game against Everton on Tuesday night.
There was a good crowd today – only about 700 short of a full house – 51,588.
Howay the Lads!!
Newcastle (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko (Sylvain Marveaux 88), Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 76); Luuk de Jong (Hatem Ben Arfa 59), Papiss Cisse
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling
Crystal Palace (4-5-1): Julian Speroni; Adrian Mariappa, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney, Joel Ward; Yannick Bolasie (Barry Bannan 68), Kagisho Dikgacoi, Mile Jedinak (c), Joe Ledley, Jason Puncheon (Adlene Guedioura 80); Cameron Jerome (Glenn Murray 76)
Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Gabbidon, Stuart O’Keefe, Thomas Ince
Referee: Lee Probert