Miguel Almiron’s superb strike gave Newcastle a sixth straight Premier League home win for the first time since 2004 as they broke the 40-point barrier.
Almiron’s 32nd-minute goal, his first for the club since February last year, was enough to secure a 1-0 win over battered FA Cup semi-finalists Crystal Palace and lift the Magpies to 11th place, 15 points from the relegation zone.
However, they were forced to retire until the final whistle as Patrick Vieira’s side mounted a concerted counterattack belatedly in front of a crowd of 51,938 at St James’ Park, including the Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in a classic match. of two halves.
Palace’s energetic start pinned Newcastle deep in their own half, in possession but with little space to exploit it, although it took a timely block from Marc Guehi to prevent Almiron’s shot after Allan Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes had joined forces to set it up.
Saint-Maximin could not find a finish to match their mazy run after Joelinton dispossessed Jeffrey Schlupp in midfield three minutes later, and the home side unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty after Almiron blew the ball against the outstretched arm of Cheikhou Kouyate. – virgin beach.
With both teams adopting solid forms, they largely quashed the other’s threat to leave goalkeepers Martin Dubravka and Vicente Guaita as virtual spectators.
But the Spaniard was winning the ball from his net 13 minutes before the break when, after Guimaraes had collected Emil Krafth’s touch to his chest and lifted a pass over full-back Tyrick Mitchell, Almiron fled before firing a shot. through Guaita and inside the far post.
The Paraguay international was denied a second four minutes later when the keeper dived to his right to claim his dunking effort, and he also had to deal with a long-range effort from Guimaraes as the Magpies felt the blood.
Palace had a chance to equalize four minutes before the break after a Joelinton error put Odsonne Edouard through on goal, but Dubravka handled his weak attempt comfortably.
The Magpies picked up where they left off, with Almiron seeing off a blocked shot and Joelinton heading away from Matt Targett’s free-kick in the first three minutes of the second half.
An out-and-out Wilfried Zaha doubled his efforts to get the visitors back into the game as they enjoyed their best possession spell, but it just wasn’t happening for him.
Dan Burn had to be vigilant to deny possession from substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta deep in the Newcastle penalty area in the 62nd minute, and Dubravka was relieved to see Zaha fire a wide attempt from Edouard’s pass three minutes later with Palace pressing.
Mateta and Edouard also failed to test the keeper with headers, and Zaha with a final shot, from promising positions with the home side camped in their own half and seemingly unable to escape , and referee Tony Harrington’s final whistle couldn’t come soon. enough for the locals.