Newcastle made it three wins from the last four games by beating Crystal Palace yesterday, but it was a case of the late late show for United.
Palace rarely threatened despite the odd foray on the break and parking the bus seemed to be the mantra of Tony Pulis. It really isn’t my cup of tea but Palace need points and must get them however they see fit. In fairness it very nearly worked and for a second week running it looked as though the Eagles would be heading South from the North East with a point in the bag.
It took until extra added on time for United to breakthrough as Hatem Ben Arfa floated a cross in for Papiss Cisse to head home. Another stoppage time goal for Cisse who showed improvement in his all-round game but he could and perhaps should have found the back of the net earlier.
First he and Luuk de Jong exchanged passes on the edge of the box allowing the Senegal international the opportunity to turn and crack a shot at goal which was denied by Julian Speroni.
Then Moussa Sissoko charged forward after winning the ball in the defensive third running 60 yards before crossing for Cisse who fired at goal first time only to once again be denied by the Palace ‘keeper.
As mentioned earlier Palace rarely threatened although they did come close just before half-time through Yannick Bolasie wjo fired just over the frame of Tim Krul’s goal.
The same player went closer just after half-time as his effort bounced off the top of the crossbar before heading out of play but if your reading this looking for more offensive tales regarding Crystal Palace then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.
United had the bulk of possession (73% according to BBC) and had to break Palace down. Cisse was once again denied by Speroni after being played in by Sissoko before the number nine headed wide from a Hatem Ben Arfa cross. Perhaps his most guilt-edged miss however came as Cheik Tiote fired a thunderba*tard off a shot off the crossbar. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa managed to control the rebound and centred for Cisse who missed everything.
But with time running out Cisse was to have the last laugh and grabbed the goal that gave us the three points nodding home from a Ben Arfa centre. The goal came after the three minutes of added on time which Tony Pulis picked up on, but it’s worth pointed out to that it’s a minimum of three minutes and maybe, just maybe, his sides time-wasting antics perhaps had something to do with there being some more added on time.
All in all in was a win that could have been better although I had maintained that it was never going to be easy. Pulis and Palace will feel that they should have had a point but overall I think we just about deserved the win which leaves us in 8th position in the table.
Papiss Cisse seems to have a knack of grabbing these late goals. I’m not sure what it means. On one hand I’d prefer us not to leave it so late, but on the other surely it’s a good thing that we seemingly keep on going in the search for something?
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Cheik Tioté, Yoan Gouffran; Luuk de Jong, Papiss Cisse
Subs: Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor, Massadio Haïdara, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi
Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Adrian Mariappa, Scott Dann, Damien Delaney, Joel Ward, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Mile Jedinak, Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley, Jason Puncheon, Cameron Jerome
Subs: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Gabbidon, Stuart O’Keefe, Adlene Guedioura, Barry Bannan, Tom Ince, Glenn Murray