Yesterday, Newcastle beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at home thanks to a late Merino header. This win extends Newcastle’s 3 game unbeaten streak.
The first goal opportunity came for Crystal Palace when the ball is headed along the goal to Zaha who cuts in and tries a low shot, Elliot collects the ball with relative ease. Just 5 minutes later the referee made two controversial decisions when Zaha went looking for a penalty after going down in the box and then Cabaye lunges into a reckless challenge with Yedlin. The American was lucky not to get his leg broken and Cabaye somehow escapes with only a yellow. Less than 10 minutes later Newcastle were on the attack when Shelvey split Palace’s defence open to Atsu who burns past Ward but hits into the side netting. The away side had a good attack moments later when Townsend whipped a ball into Zaha who just headed wide. Both sides went into half time goalless.
The first real attack of the half came when Townsend made a surging run into the box before curling a shot just over the bar. Newcastle kept on applying pressure with 20 minutes to go when Merino layed off a ball to Diame who’s shot was just caught by the keeper. The home side kept looking for a goal when Shelvey’s long shot rebounded off the keeper but it bounced off Diame and went out for a goal kick. Newcastle were lucky not to concede when Loftus Cheek sprayed a ball across the box but Van Aanholt couldn’t get any contact, a real let off for the home side. Finally, the deadlock was broken when Ritchie whipped in a corner and Merino powered it home. Limbs all over the shop.
Newcastle weren’t at the races for most of the match and were lucky to win right at the end but all that matters is that it’s another 3 points on the board.
Feature image credit: Ben Sutherland