Miguel Almiron’s marvelous goal gave Newcastle a sixth successive home win in the Premier League, courtesy of a 1-0 win over an out-of-the-way Crystal Palace.
The Magpies winger made a labyrinthine run down the right before putting in an impressive effort from the post, following an exquisite pass from popular St James’ Park figure Bruno Guimaraes, who is in top form for Eddie Howe’s side. .
Palace manager Patrick Vieira was frustrated for most of the game as his side were deservedly beaten after creating very little in the north-east.
Wilfried Zaha squandered the best of his second-half chances when he fired wide from inside the box, but that was all that worried Newcastle, who went on to win six straight in the local league for the first time since 2004 and hit the magical 40 points. . mark necessary to ensure survival.
Before the match, Newcastle boss Howe called for a fast start at St James’ Park to reach the 40-point milestone and that was what his team delivered.
Palace, still reeling from their FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea at the weekend, were unable to deal with the quick-minded Magpies players as Emil Krafth and Allan Saint-Maximin enjoyed plenty of freedom down the wings from the beginning.
In midfield, Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes, fresh from their winning performance against Leicester at the weekend, combined early on to free Almiron in the penalty area, but only a strong Marc Guehi block prevented him from an early first goal. .
Then Newcastle striker Chris Wood enjoyed one of the clearest chances of the night when he latched onto a long ball from Matt Targett to go one-on-one against Vicente Guaita. The Kiwi shot unconvincingly off-target and the offside flag was raised, but replays showed VAR would have given it if he had come on.
But it wasn’t long before Newcastle’s early run gave them the breakthrough. Guimaraes latched onto the loose ball from Krafth’s throw-in to put a superb long ball to Almiron’s foot. The Paraguayan got rid of his man to venture into the area, and found the corner -via the post- from an impossible angle.
Vieira showed his anger with his Palace side by bringing out Michael Olise for Jordan Ayew five minutes before half-time, with no injury in sight for the England Under-21 international, as his side struggled to create chances. The only goal attempt in the first half saw Odsonne Edouard pass the ball into the arms of Martin Dubravka after some slack defense by Joelinton.
Palace did not improve after the break so more changes came from Vieira. Jean-Phillipe Mateta and James McArthur, who started at Wembley on Sunday, replaced Cheikh Kouyate and the quiet Connor Gallagher, and the visitors began to show more effort.
And when Zaha latched onto Edouard’s pass in the box, many thought Palace found their leveller. But the Ivorian international dragged his effort past Dubravka’s spot and the opportunity was gone.
- Newcastle: Dubravka 6; Krafth 8, Schar 6, Burn 7, Target 7; Guimaraes 7, Shelvey 6, Joelinton 6; Almiron 8, Wood 6, Saint-Maximin 7
- Substitutes: Murphy 6, Willock 6, Longstaff n/a
- Crystal Palace: Guaita 6; Clyne 5, Andersen 6, Gehi 6, Mitchell 5; Kouyate 5, Gallagher 4 Schlupp 5; Olise 4, Eduardo 5, Zaha 6
- Substitutes: Ayew 5, Mateta 6, McArthur 6
The only other chance for Palace came when Mateta headed in a McArthur cross, but Newcastle were relatively quiet on the night that saw them secure Premier League football for next season.
Howe: Long way to go after hitting the 40 mark
Wednesday night marked exactly five months since Newcastle boss Howe took over at St James’ Park, but after several weeks of heartbreak the 44-year-old can now relax a bit more and enjoy the rest. of the Bell.
Howe failed to win his first three games in charge of the club, but his side have progressed to a side that produced, according to the Magpies manager, their best performance of the campaign in the first half against Palace.
“We were very good in the first half,” he said. “Probably, on the ball and in terms of our intensity, one of our best performances. In the second half, it was difficult, Crystal Palace came back into the game but we defended very, very well.”
“It seems like a long time ago and you can quickly forget where we were and where we came from this season. We know that we have a long way to go to improve, but we are delighted with the response from the players. to our work.
“It’s a big night for the football club. You can very quickly forget where we were and how hard we’ve worked to get to this position now.”
For Palacio de Vieira, the Eagles manager admitted that Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea was still on the minds of his players, which explained their slow start to the game.
“We entered the game not in the best way,” the Frenchman said. “We didn’t play enough up front and our centre-backs had too much possession.
“The second half was better but we didn’t create enough chances. We had possession, but we didn’t put the ball in the box and we made the right decision.
“Losing the FA Cup semi-final was a lot for us, we’ve seen it with the way we came into the game. But we have to bounce back and get back to basics and win football games.”
Newcastle’s nod to the good old days
Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz analysis:
Since the era of Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle hadn’t won six straight in the Premier League, and it’s the kind of football the club’s new Saudi owners were trying to move into after years of stagnation.
Not much was to be revealed tonight, given that both sides had all but secured Premier League survival before the game, but now the Magpies have the top half in their sights.
If Newcastle finish in the top ten at the end of the season, then it will be a really positive first half at St James’ Park for the new owners. It justifies the patient process in signing Eddie Howe, as well as the early investment the club made in the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, who quickly settled in alongside Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton in midfield.
Meanwhile, excellent form at home will help unite the team, its owners and the fans as they take the first steps on this new journey together. Away form is less impressive with three defeats in a row and, with Liverpool and Arsenal yet to visit St James’ Park, improvement away from home will be next on Howe’s checklist.
For Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira demanded before the match that his players not fade in May after their FA Cup semi-final defeat, so he will not be happy with this display.
The likes of Connor Gallagher and Michael Olise seemed unprepared for tonight’s challenge, which may have explained their early retirements on either side of halftime. This will be a lesson learned for Vieira’s young winger.
Newcastle return to action on Saturday when they travel to Norwich in the Premier League; start 3 p.m. Crystal Palace will then take on Leeds live on Monday Night Football; start 8pm.