Premier League: Classy Newcastle win 3-0 away to Crystal Palace
Last Updated: 21/12/13 7:06pm
Hatem Ben Arfa: Celebrates scoring Newcastle's third goal
Newcastle cemented their place in the Premier League's top six with an impressive 3-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
In wet and windy conditions, the Magpies bossed the Selhurst Park encounter and enjoyed 67% possession over the course of the 90 minutes against Palace, who remain 18th in the table.
Best of the match
- Goal of the match: Yohan Cabaye showed his intelligence to create space for himself before striking a low shot home after trickery on the right flank from Moussa Sissoko.
- Man of the match: Cabaye, back after a one-match ban, was the main man for Newcastle, netting the opener and firing in four shots on target.
- Miss of the match: Cameron Jerome leant back and fired over the bar midway through the second half, just when Palace were threatening to get back into the game.
- Save of the match: Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni did well to keep out Cabaye's swerving free-kick on 56 minutes.
- Talking point: Newcastle are only six points off the top of the table. With home games against Stoke and Arsenal next up, will they end 2013 in the top four?
The returning Yohan Cabaye put the visitors ahead after 25 minutes and then a Danny Gabbidon own goal six minutes before the break ensured a comfortable half-time advantage.
Late in the second half, substitute Hatem Ben Arfa scored from the penalty spot to ensure the points went back to Tyneside as Tony Pulis suffered his first home defeat in charge of Palace.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew made one change after last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Southampton. Cabaye returned to the Magpies midfield after serving a one-match ban, with Shola Ameobi dropping to the bench, meaning there was no room for his brother Sammy in the matchday 18.
Pulis also made one change after Palace's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last Saturday. Dean Moxey was back after a hamstring injury and replaced Kagisho Dikgacoi, who was out with a muscle complaint. Stuart O'Keefe, who came on for Dikgacoi early on at Stamford Bridge, was missing with a similar problem. That meant wantaway striker Kevin Phillips was able to take a place on the bench. Joel Ward moved into central midfield alongside skipper Mile Jedinak.
After 20 minutes, Mathieu Debuchy was on hand to meet Cabaye's corner but could only glance his header inches wide of the far post.
However, the opening goal was to arrive five minutes later. Moussa Sissoko went past Marouane Chamakh on the right flank, and cut the ball back for Cabaye who had given Jedinak a shove before peeling away in order to make himself some space. The Frenchman then struck a low shot that deflected in off Jedinak past Julian Speroni for his fourth goal of the season.
Tim Krul was called upon to save from Cameron Jerome on the half-hour mark but less than 10 minutes later, Newcastle doubled their lead.
Again, the danger came from the right-hand side as Debuchy was able to cross into the area, with Moxey not closing him down. Gabbidon stretched to intercept the delivery but only succeeded in diverting it past Speroni.
Pulis threw on Jonathan Parr and Yannick Bolasie for the second half, withdrawing Moxey and Barry Bannan.
Speroni did well to save Cabaye's swerving free-kick on 56 minutes, while in the 68th minute, Jerome missed Palace's best chance of the match, firing over from six yards out after Jedinak had headed down a free-kick.
Cabaye was guilty of missing a great opportunity to sew up the game as he was played through on a goal by a wonderful Sissoko pass, but he could only shoot straight at Speroni.
Then on 80 minutes, Yoan Gouffran saw a shot from the edge of the area clip the post.
Chamakh was booked in the 83rd minute for a foul on Fabricio Coloccini, meaning he will be suspended for the Eagles' Boxing Day clash at Aston Villa.
Ben Arfa, who had excited the away fans since coming off the bench to replace Cabaye, then made it 3-0 from the penalty spot after Parr had fouled another substitute, Shola Ameobi, in the area.
Newcastle play host to Stoke on Thursday afternoon, when Palace travel to Villa Park.
Barclays Premier League
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Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Matt Le Tissier gives his reaction to Crystal Palace v Newcastle.
Tony Pulis admitted Crystal Palace conceded two "awful" first-half goals to Newcastle but is standing by his players.
Alan Pardew says Newcastle's 3-0 victory away to his former club Crystal Palace on Saturday was "almost dreamlike".