Great save in crunch match decides it
Apenalty save from Karl Darlow ensured Andros Townsend’s superb free kick was enough for Newcastle to secure a crucial 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at St James’ Park yesterday.
The crunch clash was lacking in any real quality until Townsend, a reported £12 million (R249 million) signing in January, produced a stunning free kick from 20 yards in the 58th minute that flew into the top-left corner.
The drama continued 12 minutes later as Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow kept out former Magpie Yohan Cabaye’s penalty after Moussa Sissoko handled inside the area.
Newcastle’s eighth win of the season saw them climb out of the relegation zone, with all eyes now turning to Norwich’s trip to Arsenal later.
In a must-win game for Newcastle, the nerves could be felt all around the ground as the hosts tried to assert themselves early on the FA Cup finalists.
Those nerves were compounded by a reckless challenge from Patrick Mbemba, who left referee Mike Dean with no option but to dish out a yellow card in the fifth minute.
Crystal Palace were able to attack with worrying ease in the opening quarter, with only a phenomenal last-ditch tackle from Jamal Lascelles preventing Connor Wickham from a one-onone opportunity deep inside the area.
Newcastle remained on the back foot for much of the firsthalf, which irked the tetchy home supporters who were relieved to see Darlow make a solid stop to deny Cabaye from a tight angle.
Palace desperately tried to atone for the missed opportunity and force a late equaliser, but Newcastle stood firm to collect a priceless three points in their pursuit of Premier League safety.
Absa Premiership Results: Golden Arrows 1-0 Free State Stars, 3pm); Polokwane City 0-0 Black Aces