Newcastle earned a 3-0 win at a rain-drenched Selhurst Park on Saturday.
In the early stages of the match, it looked as if Newcastle might play "hoof ball" in the windy weather. But, after about 15 minutes, they changed tactics a bit with great success. Matheiu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko had great success getting down the flanks and getting pressure on the Palace defense. Sissoko helped set up the opening goal as he got in behind the defense and centered the ball to Yoan Cabaye. Cabaye, back from suspension, slotted it home off a deflection to give the visitors a 1-0 start.
Newcastle survived a flurry of Crystal corners before doubling their lead thanks to an own goal. Debuchy put in a cross and Daniel Gabbidon's poor attempt at a clearance ended up in the back of the net. Maybe unlucky for the Eagles, but a 2-0 lead at half was well deserved by Newcastle. They put constant pressure on the defense and were keen to cross at any opportunity.
Newcastle could not regain the same sort of swagger in the second half. Their attacks were less frequent and more disjointed. Palace did well to hem Newcastle in to their own half. The Eagles did have some dangerous looks, but they could never find the back of the net.
Newcastle were given a bit of a boost when Hatem Ben Arfa came on in the 79th minute. The sub made an instant impact, keeping possession and making a dangerous pass in to the area. Moments later, he did much of the same, setting Yoan Gouffran up for a shot that hit the woodwork. Finally, in the 86', Shola Ameobi was fouled in the box and Ben Arfa made no mistake from the spot, giving Newcastle their third goal of the match. It was the first time since the Southampton match last season that Newcastle scored more than twice in a match. It was the first time since December, 2012 that Newcastle won a match 3-0.
How did each individual player do? That's up to you. Vote in the poll below and we'll have a response post up later in the week.
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