NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United came back to earth with a bump as Crystal Palace recovered from conceding an early goal to claim a 2-1 victory in the Premier League at St James’ Park on Tuesday.
Buoyed by their weekend win at high-flying Everton to snap a run of five successive league defeats, Newcastle made the perfect start when Jonjo Shelvey fired home after two minutes.
However, Jairo Riedewald’s powerful deflected strike levelled it up after 21 minutes before Gary Cahill‘s thumping header put Palace ahead shortly after.
Newcastle grafted away in the driving rain looking for an equaliser in the second half but Palace defended diligently to make sure they headed back south with three points.
Defeat for Steve Bruce’s side left them in 16th spot in the standings on 22 points from 22 games, eight ahead of third-from-bottom Fulham who have played two games fewer.
Palace, who had been overtaken in the standings by Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier on Tuesday, returned to a comfortable 13th place with 29 points.
“We didn’t start very well and it was a poor goal to concede and I thought that could spell trouble,” Palace manager Roy Hodgson said after his side managed back-to-back league wins for the first time since the opening two games of the season.
“But we got back into the game very well and played some good football. I thought we were a bit cautious in the second half but in the last 20 or 25 minutes we dug in very well.”
Newcastle began with a spring in their step and when Callum Wilson’s knockdown arrived at Shelvey just outside the area he bounced his shot down into the ground and past Vicente Guaita.
The hosts looked rampant but were rocked when the ball fell to Riedewald whose thumping shot took a deflection on its way past Karl Darlow in the home goal.
Four minutes later Eberechi Eze’s corner was met by the run of former England defender Cahill whose header flew past Darlow for his 50th career goal.
“It’s been a long time coming. I used to get quite a few goals so that’s well overdue,” Cahill said.
Guaita saved well from Ryan Fraser as Newcastle responded and the hosts threatened after the break with Palace defenders Nathaniel Clyne and Scott Dann both making crucial blocks.
Palace should have doubled their lead late on though when Andros Townsend, who replaced the injured Wilfried Zaha in the 58th minute, somehow missed an open goal.
While the defeat will turn the spotlight back on Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, he said he was pleased with the performance.
“We had an awful 10-15 minutes where we conceded two goals with a mistake and a set piece but apart from that I couldn’t be more pleased with how we went about our work,” he said.