time: Magpies 0 Eagles 0
mins A crossfield pass from
Jonjo Shelvey out towards the United right allowed substitute Sean Longstaff
to approach the Eagles box. His mis-hit ball was whacked out of play by Luka
Milivojevic for a throw-in down by the corner flag Fabian Schar took
quickly in the direction of Javier Manquillo.
His cushioned pass back to Schar allowed him to send over a swirling centre
that dropped towards the back post, Andy Carroll arriving and get a glancing
header on the ball that directed it into the path of Miguel Almiron.
He volleyed home with his left foot from eight yards out and set off to
celebrate in the South Western Corner, discarding his shirt and tossing it
into the air as he ran.
Embracing a ballboy before the rest of his team mates followed in, Almiron
eventually began the journey back to his own half amid great applause - Sean
Longstaff having had the presence of mind to retrieve his shirt and turn it
round the right way. Almiron was inevitably booked by an apologetic looking
Full time: Magpies
1 Eagles 0
only half way.
"You canít get carried away in the Premier League. Weíve got some
really hard games coming up - thatís the Premier League - but weíve given
ourselves a good platform going into Christmas.
changed our formation for the third time this year and thought weíd put two at
the top and see if we could cause them a few problems. To get a clean sheet, you
need your goalkeeper to do well - heís made two or three really good
"I nearly did a Jose Mourinho, running down the line! Delighted for him,
and all the hard work he's put in.
think the crowd showed their appreciation for him. I think relief is the wrong
word - we're all just delighted for him.
he came to the club in January he lit the place up with his pace, trickery and
skills. Day in, day out, he works and works, but unfortunately he's not been
able to manage a goal. Today he's got the winner and we're all delighted for
took a long time, he's been unfortunate on so many occasions. Today when it fell
to him, it was a difficult chance, coming from behind him, and he's managed to
smash it in.
a great pro, a great lad, and he works really hard. When you've got a gem like
that they deserve all the success I'm sure will find him.
goalkeeper made a few saves but I don't think anyone can deny that Almiron
deserved the winner.
"He's a great pro, he works really hard, and when they work hard like that
they deserve all the success they find."
On Paul Dummett:
"Heís got a groin injury. Weíll see how he is. For Dummy to play ... we
were struggling on that left side with (Jetro) Willems
out. It was difficult for him, but you know how it is for him Ė he sticks at
it, and never, ever lets anybody down."
"I was rather
hoping we would win it.
"Our second-half performance followed on from the
first-half, I thought we had a lot of the ball and created a lot of
chances but youíve got to take your chances and we didnít.
"As a result of course, as the game
goes on, thereís always that risk that a cross will come in, Andy (Carroll)
will out jump whoever is marking him and the ball will fall very kindly to
another one of their players.
"Of course, during the course of the
game, we dealt with that threat that Newcastle have well.
"We didnít allow that many crosses into the box. We didnít allow Andy
to get his head on many balls in there, we stopped crosses. We didnít allow
Jonjo Shelvey to get on the ball which is of course another big weapon.
"And as a result, we were able to use
the space in midfield to get the ball down and I thought that created some good
chances for us. We didnít take them, they took theirs and we lose the game.
"Thatís football. We have to accept
it. But Iím quite proud of the team especially considering the changes weíve
had to make recently due to our injury situation."
Miguel Almiron scored his first goal for the club,
making him the 148th Newcastle
player to have done so in the Premier League, from 236 who have played in
that competition for us.
It took him until the 27th game of his Magpies career and
finally arrived after 2,191 minutes.
Miggy is the second Paraguayan to
do so, following in the boot steps of Diego Gavilan.
He found the net at home to Coventry City in April 2000 - his fifth
appearance for the Magpies.
United won for the first time this
season when Alain Saint-Maximin wasn't in the side, that feat
coming at the sixth time of asking in the Premier League, seven if one
includes the League Cup.
Eagles @ Magpies - all time:
2018/19 Lost 0-1
2017/18 Won 1-0 Merino
2015/16 Won 1-0 Townsend
2014/15 Drew 3-3 Janmaat, Aarons, Williamson
2013/14 Won 1-0 Cisse
2009/10 Won 2-0 OG(Derry), Ranger
2004/05 Drew 0-0
2001/02 Won 2-0 Shearer, Acuna (FAC)
1998/99 Won 2-1 Speed, Shearer (FAC)
1997/98 Lost 1-2 Shearer
1994/95 Won 3-2 Fox, Lee, Gillespie
1987/88 Won 1-0 Gascoigne (FAC)
1983/84 Won 3-1 Waddle, Keegan, Ryan
1982/83 Won 1-0 Waddle
1981/82 Drew 0-0
1978/79 Won 1-0 Shoulder
1972/73 Won 2-0 Hibbitt, Nattrass
1971/72 Lost 1-2 Dyson
1970/71 Won 2-0 Robson 2
1969/70 Drew 0-0
1964/65 Won 2-0 Suddick, McGarry
1946/47 Won 6-2 Bentley, Pearson, Shackleton 2,
Stobbart, Wayman (FAC)
1919/20 Won 2-0 Dixon, Hall (FAC)
1906/07 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
between ourselves and Palace tend to be tight affairs in the main, with last
season's two meetings producing just a single goal - and that from the penalty
Our previous three home wins over the Eagles were all by 1-0 margins and it's
fair to say that aside from the goals scored (by Papiss Cisse, Andros Townsend
and Mikel Merino), only the final scoreline will live in the memory of those
at SJP - the TV selectors unsurprisingly overlooking these meetings.
This latest clash was threatening to be even more forgettable than usual and
those free partial season tickets were looking like poor value for money
before the 83rd minute of play arrived.
At that point, a Fabian Schar centre, an Andy Carroll knockdown and Miguel
Almiron shot combined to take this encounter from the mundane to the
memorable. The obvious delight of Miggy at finally breaking his duck was
matched by relief in the stands, manifesting itself in the most almighty
For much of the afternoon though, a point from a 0-0 draw looked to be the
height of United's ambition despite fielding a front pair of Carroll and
Joelinton in a 3-5-2 formation.
Palace created the majority of the scoring chances but the visitors were unable
to find a way past Martin Dubravka; the Slovakian making four noteworthy stops
to preserve a clean sheet.
Steve Bruce made three changes to the side beaten at Burnley last Saturday, with
Jetro Willems, Christian Atsu and Sean Longstaff making way for Florian Lejeune,
Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey.
Partnering Schar and Federico Fernandez, Lejeune was making his senior comeback after sustaining knee ligament damage in
the corresponding home game back in April and looked to have come through the 90
Paul Dummett meanwhile compensated for the absence of the injured Willems by
moving out to left wing back - a position that doesn't particularly suit him
and which brought variable results when he found some space down that flank in
the opening half an hour of the game.
Aside from an early venture into the box by Isaac Hayden that ended when he
tripped over his own feet, Newcastle's only effort of note in the opening period
was a neat jink and shot by Almiron that
failed to trouble Vincente Guaita.
And the second half unfolded in similar style; Javier Manquillo continuing his
recent upturn in form and the pick of a
solid back five for handling and frustrating Wilfried Zaha effectively.
However the midfield and forwards suffered frequently from mishit and
miscontrolled passes, failing to put pressure on an Eagles back line that had
conceded just once in four outings but was weakened by injury and suspension -
resulting in players out of position and Academy rookies filling the bench.
First to be sacrificed was Hayden, who was again positioned on the right of
the midfield with Miggy in a more central area, where he made a couple of
timely interventions to regain possession.
Hayden's replacement by the elder Longstaff was as much to do with protecting
him ahead of a hectic week as his minimal impact on this game, but indicated
that an equally laboured display from Jonjo Shelvey wasn't directly to do with
fitness issues. At one point it did seem that he'd downed tools in solidarity
with the striking Metro drivers, but his precise pass began the move for the
The introduction of Palace old boy Dwight Gayle for the faltering Joelinton
didn't alter anything, with the first four passes aimed towards the substitute
striker dropping out of the sky like meteorites.
Having done his best work of the afternoon in his own box to snuff out set
pieces from the visitors though, Carroll met Schar's centre from the
right and set up Almiron for a priceless finish.
Victory raised United two places up into ninth - their highest position
for over two years - and extended the unbeaten home Premier League run to
eight games, something last achieved in 2012.
It certainly wasn't pretty, but once again this season United somehow found a
way to win - and collect maximum points ahead of what are a trio of
tricky-looking festive fixtures in just seven days.
They may not possess their current ten point cushion between them and the
relegation zone by the time they break off for the FA Cup, but for Newcastle reach 25
points from 18 games - their best top-flight return in six years - is an
achievement worthy of note. If they add to that tally in the next week or so
then who knows, we might even pick a full-strength XI against Rochdale....
The usual litany of post-match comments directed at us included comparisons of
the Almiron goal to that of Frank Clark's breakthrough effort against
Doncaster, claims that Bruce is "a lucky General" and queries as to
whether the fourth instalment in the Goal! movie series was being filmed
Perhaps the most telling one though was a random line overheard outside the
ground; "that would have been a masterclass under Rafa." Although
one suspects the person who said it was talking about perceptions of the
present and previous manager, in some ways today was classic Benitez.
In a way, we've arrived at the next transfer window in a similar position we
were perceived to be in before the last one: managing the basics effectively
in that defenders are defending, the goalkeeper has got his eye in again and
the goals are coming from somewhere, if not from a strike duo.
Tough to beat, tough to watch: the worry is that we're content with our current
level and the only aspiration for growth is on the balance sheet. Maybe the
difference will become evident when the current first team boss accepts a lack
of transfer activity more willingly than his predecessor.