There was a brief roar from Scott Dann, Roy Hodgson clenched his fists and after seven minutes of injury-time Crystal Palace had won and can fairly confidently say Premier League football will be back at Selhurst Park next season.
A chant of ‘We are staying up’ came from their travelling support.
The same boast, however, cannot be said from those in black and white. Burnley’s comprehensive win at Bournemouth and the 81st minute penalty so ruthlessly crashed past Martin Dubravka by Luka Milivojevic ensure they still have work to do, with five games remaining. Brighton, Southampton and Cardiff, the three teams directly beneath them, all have games in hand.
Nothing at Newcastle is ever simple.
Indeed, the shot count that showed 18 to three highlighted a largely dominant display by Rafa Benitez’s side. It did not matter, when Wilfried Zaha turned on his dancing feet, and drew a foul from DeAndre Yedlin in the Newcastle penalty area, with ten minutes remaining, the visitors had their chance, and they took it, striding on to 39 points, four clear of their hosts.
Both sides had the ball in the net in an opening 45 minutes dominated by the home side. A fine, diagonal ball from Fabian Schar was headed into the path of Salomon Rondon by Matt Ritchie, deep on the Newcastle left.
Replays would show the Venezuelan striker was marginally off-side, as he bundled the ball past Vicente Guaita, after the goalkeeper could only parry his first effort. By the 22nd minute Newcastle had recorded six shots on goal. Guaita took a comfortable, low efforts from Isaac Hayden and watched as Schar smashed a a Florian Lejuene lay-off over the crossbar.
Then, in the 16th minute, after a sweeping Newcastle move, he did well to parry an angled, powerful drive from Ritchie. That was how the half ran. In the 29th minute DeAndre Yedlin surged down the Palace left, crossed well and for once Rondon was unmarked but his header lacked direction and it flew over the crossbar. The forward had another chance five minutes later, again from a Yedlin set up, this time from a header. Having got the ball out of his feet, around eight yards from goal, he turned and shot straight at Guaita.
Three minutes remained in the first half when Palace thought they had taken the lead, a right wing corner from Luka Milivojevic found James Tomkins and he swept a first time finish past Martin Dubravka and ran towards his own dugout in celebration.
Such was the time lapse that a red flair had gone off in the away end before Stuart Attwell was called over to his assistant, who had spotted James McArthur directly in front of the Newcastle goalkeeper, in an offside position, when the goal was scored.
Palace went close soon after the interval, Zaha cleverly volleying a cross to Jeffrey Schlupp, who headed over the Newcastle crossbar.
The home side came again. Ayoze Perez saw a shot deflected over, Lejeuene, before being stretchered off with his left leg strapped up, head over a fine chance from a Ritchie corner and on the hour Yedlin crashed a rising drive that flew narrowly wide of the corner of Guaita’s goal.
Christian Benteke fluffed his first real touch after coming on, getting a fine, left wing cross from Andros Townsend stuck in the 79th minute under his feet with the goal at his mercy. It did not matter.
Moments after Zaha went on his run, Schar missed with a potential foul just outside the box and then Yedlin’s challenge was clumsy and the Palace’s captain would lead his team to victory by firing in from the penalty spot.
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