Review by William George Eldridge
The ‘Wally with the brolly’ (aka Newcastle’s McClaren) would be best suited in shielding his embarrassment from the visually insulted Geordie following, as a five star Palace performance produced an entertaining five goal annihilation to condemn Newcastle to a relegation spot.
A day where forgotten gloves were the pain of hindsight and Selhurst Park’s daringly boiling Bovrils were sold in multitudes, this was yet another North vs South encounter, which comprehensively culminated in victory for Pardew’s men. Shockingly, this was Crystal Palace Football Club’s first victory over Newcastle United since 1998, but the way it was harmoniously conducted, was unquestionably worth the wait.
After Monday night’s disappointing defeat to Big Sam’s shrewd Sunderland, the entirety of South London were anticipating a swift transformation of fortunes to eradicate the inconsistent form that had seen Palace win just 2 out of the last 7 games, and just 2 home league victories all season.
Although Palace started the game with the majority of possession and half chances, it was somewhat inevitable that it would be the Magpies who would strike first. A darting run from Daryl Janmaat seem to surprise the Eagles defence, who stood off the Dutch full back, and allowed him to cross to a marginally onside Papiss Cisse, who calmly headed into Hennessey’s net, albeit with aid of the post.
A surprising statistic, this was only his second goal of this year’s campaign. Even more surprising, was his celebration, which resulted in him darting towards the lower Holmesdale end and seemingly aggravating the Palace supporters, an act that would haunt him for the rest of the proceedings.
In fact, it took all of four minutes for Palace to respond and for Cisse to regret his presumptuous swagger. A ball played to Connor Wickham, a man newly reinstated in the side after injury, was followed with a lay off James McArthur, whose shot just outside the box managed to find the back of the net, with assistance from a Dummett deflection.
Three minutes later, and it was 2-1. A teasing ball played across the Newcastle box evaded Coloccini and co, found its way to Zaha, who left it for Yannick Bolasie to fire home low to put Palace in control.
And just before half time, it was three. Wickham involved once more, hurdled a tackle to drop a perfectly placed pass to Wilf Zaha, who volleyed his shot into the ground, only to see it rise and fall neatly past the Newcastle defence and into the top corner.
As the half time whistle blew, it was widely noted that it would take some stellar motivation and serious adjustment to allow Newcastle a foothold back into the match, who boasted a defence which vacuumed all knowledge of organisation and fight. For Pardew, it was simply same again.
It took just two minutes for the fifth goal of the afternoon to rustle the netting and unsurprisingly it went in favour of the Eagles. A free kick from outside the box was crossed in via Yohan Cabaye, who found Damien Delaney at the far post. With the luck of the Irish on his side, he headed across the box towards the far post, where yet again, Yannick Bolasie was there to poke the ball home to ultimately seal the game for the Eagles.
And that was that. Palace had complete control of the match, and despite Newcastle’s endless running, their sheer lack of quality was obscenely apparent to all those watching.
The last action of the match joined hand in hand with the final whistle, as Palace put the final nail in the coffin in scoring their fifth of the afternoon. A direct serge forward and shot from Yannick Bolasie was deflected into the path of James McArthur, who had the calmness and decisiveness to strike through Elliott’s legs to perfectly end a tremendous afternoon at Selhurst Park, for Crystal Palace that is.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew: “I am really pleased with the performance, we were terrific. We were really good today. This is the sort of energy we have.
(On Newcastle) “I have got people I love at that club, fans, staff and players but whatever I say about Newcastle is contrived so I don’t want to say anything other than I hope their fortunes changes.”
Newcastle boss Steve McClaren: “When we get disappointments, can we recover? We are not doing. We have to find a solution to that. “It is not about systems, it is about attitude, about fight, about running backwards as quickly as you run forwards but when the third goal went in that went down.”
With this, Newcastle drop below their rivals Sunderland and into the relegation zone. Steve McClaren has a seemingly impossible task of keeping them up for the following season, assuming he is still in charge come May.
For Pardew’s Palace, a 6th place position, a great turn around in performance, and a club filled with optimism and nervous expectation.
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