Miguel Almiron strike downs Crystal Palace as Newcastle United make it six in a row at St James's Park

Newcastle United made it six wins on the bounce at St James’s Park as they edged out a spirited fight back from Crystal Palace.
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Miguel Almiron’s wonderful first-half strike was enough for Newcastle as they weathered a much improved second-half performance from Patrick Vieira’s side.

A pre-match Allan Saint-Maximin display was almost overshadowed early on when the Frenchman’s cross-field pass was intercepted by Wilfried Zaha but he couldn’t make Newcastle pay.

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United’s first opening fell to Almiron but he was denied at close range by a cluster of defenders in-front of him.

A cagey start saw Newcastle have the better of the play but they couldn’t force a real opening in the first quarter as the Palace rearguard stood strong.

That all changed just after the half hour mark however when Almiron was sent through by a delightful Bruno Guimaraes ball. The Paraguayan still had a lot to do but he shrugged off his marker and curled the ball beautifully in the top corner, giving Guaita no chance.

Newcastle didn’t release the pressure on their opponents following this goal as Almiron and Guimaraes soon had smart efforts denied by the goalkeeper as Newcastle looked to press home their advantage before the end of the half.

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In truth, all of Palace’s chances in the first period came because of Newcastle’s defensive mistakes as Odsonne Edouard went close following Joelinton’s slack touch at the edge of the box.

Miguel Almiron celebrating his goal for Newcastle United against Crystal Palace (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Miguel Almiron celebrating his goal for Newcastle United against Crystal Palace (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Miguel Almiron celebrating his goal for Newcastle United against Crystal Palace (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Guimaraes and Almiron on the right continued to be a threat for the hosts with the Brazilian’s fast feet seeing Conor Gallagher booked for a late challenge just before the half-time whistle.

The first chance of the second-half fell to Joelinton who saw his header go wide after a very teasing delivery by Matt Targett.

Much like the first-half, the opening stages of the second period saw Newcastle with most of the play with Palace’s wide men in Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew, who came on for Michael Olise just before the break, struggling to make an impact.

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Such was Vieria’s dissatisfaction with his team’s play, he brought on two further subs in Jean-Philippe Mateta and James McArthur before an hour had passed.

Palace switched to a 4-2-4 formation and started to look more threatening with Zaha shooting narrowly wide after 65 minutes.

The visitors continued to grow into the game and had a few set-pieces but failed to threaten Martin Dubravka’s goal too often.

Howe then reshuffled his pack with the introduction of Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock after 76 minutes.

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Newcastle withstood late Palace pressure, including a very late Zaha curling effort to secure all three points and end the night having hit the magical 40-point mark.

Up next for Howe’s side is a pressure-free trip to Carrow Road.

Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka, Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Jonjo Shelvey ©, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Chris Wood, Allan Saint-Maximin

Substitutes: Karl Darlow, Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, Federico Fernandez, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock, Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff