Until that point the match had 0-0 written all over it, not least due to both sides’ poor scoring records of late. With Loic Remy and Marouane Chamakh, each side’s top scorer, both injured, it was difficult to see where the goals would come from.
But whereas last week Palace were shameless in their attempt to play for a goalless draw against Sunderland, today they were much more expansive, with Cameron Jerome proving a useful outlet up front. It was he, though, who wasted Palace’s best chance of the match when they had three on two, electing to shoot rather than play in a teammate.
Palace pressured Newcastle in the second half and Yannick Bolasie saw a shot come back off the bar. It was Newcastle, though, who were turning the screw in the final stages – thanks in part to the introduction of the creative Ben Arfa. Cheick Tiote hit the bar in stoppage time but there was still time for Cisse to apply the decisive touch with the last attack of the match.
Palace boss Tony Pulis will be gutted to leave the North East empty-handed, having come so close to a valuable away point.
23’ Chance for Palace: Jerome wastes a glorious counter attacking opportunity. Palace have three on two, but Jerome decides to shoot rather than slip in a teammate and his effort is easily blocked.
30’ - Speroni denies Cisse! Newcastle get forward on the counter attack and the Palace keeper does well to get down to Cisse's powerful strike.
39’ - Bolasie goes close for Palace! He finds himself on the right hand corner of the box, cuts inside, looks for the top corner, but fires narrowly over.
55’ – Off the bar! Palace go close again as Bolasie cuts in on the left hand side of the box and aims to curl one into the top corner. It's a great attempt but comes back off the bar.
90+2’ - So close for Newcastle! Tiote hits the bar from distance, then it falls to Ameobi who sqaures for Cisse, but the striker can't get on the end of it in the six yard box.
90+3’ – GOAL: Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace: Newcastle have won it at the death! Ben Arfa picks out Cisse who heads past Speroni. The home fans go wild!
Crystal Palace have scored just 6 goals from their 15 away league matches this season.
Papiss Cisse’s goal was the first Newcastle have scored this season without Loic Remy in the side.
Palace now have just 4 points from their last 7 games.
Is Papiss Cisse back? In the absence of Loic Remy, Newcastle have been bereft of a goal source, so they could do with Cisse regaining his form. He worked hard today and had plenty of chances before he got it right in the nick of time, and that goal could give him the confidence he needs to find his scoring touch once more.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle). Back from injury, the Frenchman started on the bench but came on to apply the pressure that saw the Palace rear-guard eventually crumble. You sensed Ben Arfa was finding his feet again with every touch and in the dying moments he provided the beautiful assist for Newcastle’s winner.
Newcastle: Krul 6, Yanga-Mbiwa 6, Williamson 6, Coloccini 6, Dummett 6, Sissoko 7, Anita 6, Tioté 6, Gouffran 7, de Jong 5, Cissé 6... Subs: Marveaux 5, Ben Arfa 8, Shola Ameobi 6.
Crystal Palace: Speroni 7, Mariappa 6, Dann 6, Delaney 6, Ward 7, Dikgacoi 5, Jedinak 7, Bolasie 7, Ledley 6, Puncheon 6, Jerome 6... Subs: Guedioura 6, Bannan 7, Murray 5.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Hatem Ben Arfa
- Newcastle United
- Papiss Cisse
- Julian Speroni
- Loic Remy