Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Papiss Cissé’s last-minute winner leaves Tony Pulis calling foul

Cisse had missed a sitter a minute before his 94th minute striker that sent the Toon Army into celebration

St James' Park

Papiss Cissé has not even started 10 League games this season. Hatem Ben Arfa, according to his manager, is not trusted by his Newcastle United team-mates.In the absence of Alan Pardew, the man whose faith has clearly waned in the duo, Cissé and Ben Arfa duly crafted a dramatic, last-gasp winning goal.

It piled agony and even more pressure on relegation-threatened Crystal Palace, whose angry manager Tony Pulis afterwards argued that the final whistle should have been blown before the goal went in.

As for Cissé, he even had the good grace to dedicate his 93rd-minute header to Pardew, who was forced to watch the game at the Newcastle training ground as he served the second of his three-game stadium ban for head-butting the Hull midfielder David Meyler. “The gaffer said it was important we got three points today,” he said. “Those three points were for him.”

 

It was a better day all round for Cissé (below), afforded another rare start in the absence of the injured Loïc Rémy, the on-loan Queens Park Rangers forward who has stolen his thunder and his place. Cissé’s movement was better, he drew two sharp saves from Julian Speroni, but in the 90th minute it looked like his luck had still out when, less than two yards out, he failed to connect with a low cross from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa with an open goal at his mercy.

Palace had actually broke after that and there was an accusation from Pulis that Mike Williamson had handled as he challenged Glenn Murray on the edge of the Newcastle penalty area, That had been ignored, and it was in the third and final minute of added time that Ben Arfa showed his unique skill to go past Joe Ledley.

At that point, Pulis believed time should have been called. Instead, the French forward crossed cleverly to split the Palace defence and Cissé this time produced a fine, glancing header into the corner of Speroni’s goal.

“Yeah, I did think it wasn’t coming, especially when Papiss missed that chance on the stroke of 90 minutes,” said John Carver Newcastle’s assistant manager. “That was a great ball from Mapou and you think he has to put this one in.

“As long as we have time on the clock, we believe we can score right up to the last minute. We’ve done it on a number of occasions, especially going down that hill. When Hatem came inside I thought he was going to shoot, but he had the sense to stick it on Papiss’s head. Papiss probably took the hardest chance of the game. He guided it past the goalkeeper and there isn’t anybody more pleased for him than me.

“You’d like to think it will kick-start it for him now. He is a confidence-type player. If they get one, they sometimes get two or three.”

His mood could not have been in sharper contrast to Pulis, whose anger showed little sign of dissipating.

“The game should have been finished before Papiss Cisse scored,” he said. “The fourth official said it was time when Williamson actually hand-balled it. From them going down the other end was 40 seconds. We need a break. We got done in the 48th minute.

“For an hour we did very well. We tired a little bit at the end. They had a couple of chances which they hit the bar but I thought we’d seen it out.”

Carver had been in contact with Pardew throughout the game, which was watched for the first time in six months by the owner Mike Ashley. “I’ve spoken to the manager and he’s delighted,” added Carver.

Line-ups:

Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Krul; Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Anita, Tiote; Sissoko (Marveaux, 88), De Jong (Ben Arfa, 59), Gouffran 6 (Ameobi, 76); Cisse.

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Speroni; Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward; Dikgacoi, Jedinak; Puncheon (Guedioura, 85), Ledley, Bolasie; Jerome (Murray, 76).

Referee: Lee Probert.

Man of the match: Ben Arfa (Newcastle)

Match rating: 8/10

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