NEWCASTLE United maintained their European charge at Selhurst Park this afternoon.
Alan Pardew’s sided beat Crystal Palace 3-0 thanks to a strike from Yohan Cabaye, an own goal from Danny Gabbidon and a penalty from substitute Hatem Ben Arfa.
The win kept United sixth in the Premier League, with the club just six points behind leaders Liverpool.
However, Pardew will be without Cheik Tiote for the Boxing Day home game against Stoke City after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season.
Newcastle, making their first visit to Selhurst Park since the club’s promotion season, got a grip of the game midway through the first half.
Vurnon Anita played a well-weighted ball over the top for Mathieu Debuchy in the 19th minute, and Gabbidon made a timely interception to put his cross out for a corner. Debuchy headed inches wide from Cabaye’s flag kick.
Their breakthrough came in the 25th minute, when the superb Sissoko pulled the ball back for Cabaye, whose low shot took a deflection off Damien Delaney on its way past Julian Speroni.
Palace fought back, and Tim Krul did well to make an improvised save from Cameron Jerome after Davide Santon gifted him the ball. Anita stopped an inadvertant shot on goal from Newcastle’s Mike Williamson from the corner.
But United ended the half in complete control. A cross from Debuchy – who had combined well with Sissoko on the right – was inexplicably put into an empty net by Gabbidon six minutes before the interval.
Tony Pulis’s side pressed for a goal in the second half, but Krul was rarely troubled.
Tiote picked up his fifth booking of the season in the 65th minute for a challenge on Marouane Chamakh, and captain Fabricio Coloccini quickly followed him into referee Neil Swarbrick’s notebook, also for a foul.
Jerome put a volley over Krul’s crossbar after Mile Jedinak found him in space with a header, and the chance lifted the home fans in the Holmesdale Road end of Selhurst Park, which Palace were attacking after the break.
Substitute Shola Ameobi, left out of the starting XI to accommodate Yohan Cabaye, played the midfielder in after replacing Loic Remy, but Speroni was equal to his weak shot.
Ben Arfa was lively after his late introduction, and he converted a late penalty, awarded for a Jonathan Parr foul on Ameobi, to make it 3-0.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Anita, Cabaye (Ben Arfa, 78), Tiote; Sissoko, Remy (Shola Ameobi, 75), Gouffran. Subs not used: Elliot, Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, Obertan, Cisse.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey (Parr, 46), Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon, Bannan (Bolasie, 46), Chamakh, Jerome (Gayle, 77). Subs not used: Price, Campana, Williams, Phillips.
Goals: Cabaye 25, Gabbidon 39 (og), Ben Arfa 86 (pen)
Bookings: Tiote 65, Coloccini 67, Chamakh 84
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston)