Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0 Saturday 30 April 3pm
A 90 minutes (plus injury time) full of nerves but a single goal eventually decided the match, the right way.
Newcastle were by some distance second best in a first half when the home players looked even more nervous than the sell out crowd.
A series of excellent saves from Karl Darlow kept Newcastle in the game…and potentially in the Premier League, as rumours of Palace resting before the FA Cup final were made to look a little hollow.
Jack Colback had a glorious chance just before half-time and bent his shot well wide of the left hand post from only 12 yards, not the ideal time to miss a sitter!
Second half and something had definitely changed, though it was hard to identify what.
No substitutes either way but suddenly Newcastle were in the ascendancy and it looked as though United suddenly had an extra man.
The moment came on 58 minutes, Andros Townsend was as usual our main (only?) threat to the opposition and this latest run was halted over 25 yards from goal.
Townsend himself stepped up and sent a magnificent left footer into the top corner.
The final half hour was obviously going to be torture but Newcastle looked comfortable, apart from the worry about how many corners they were conceding.
Sure enough, with 20 minutes left a deep corner saw Mike Dean point to the spot for a Sissoko handball, having seen the incident now on TV it is outrageously bad (the decision).
Yohan Cabaye stepped up and…Karl Darlow saves!
A very average penalty but a match winning save!
The rest of the game is a blur to be honest and Newcastle failed to score a second despite Palace leaving themselves open as they pressed for the equaliser.
The Mackems scoring in the last minute did little to dampen my day.
Newcastle simply needed to win these last three games and it is now one down two to go, whatever happens elsewhere we can’t control.
After the match, Alan Pardew embarrassingly failed to go and face the assembled journalists according to Mark Dougkas of the Chronicle, instead sending along Keith Millen for the question and answer session.
Pardew has refused to speak to the press, apparently. Sent Keith Millen.
— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) April 30, 2016
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0
Newcastle: Townsend 58
Possession was Newcastle 50% Palace 50%
Total shots were Newcastle 10 and Palace 9
Shots on target were Newcastle 4 and Palace 3
Corners were Newcastle 4 and Palace 8
Team: Darlow, Anita (Shelvey 88), Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Townsend, Tiote, Colback, Sissoko, Wijnaldum (Perez 80(, Cisse (Mitrovic 72)
Unused Subs: Woodman, de Jong, Taylor, Mbabu
Ref: Mike Dean