Yohan Cabaye was making only his second visit back to St James Park since jumping ship back in January 2014.
On both occasions he has been at the centre of debate after each match.
In April last year, Sunderland fans were frothing at the mouth, accusing Yohan Cabaye of cheating, to help his old club avoid relegation. It was a lacklustre performance that day from the former Newcastle star but it was a weak penalty in particular, that was well saved by Karl Darlow, which brought cries of ‘foul play’ from the Mackems.
On Saturday, it was the 28th minute challenge involving DeAndre Yedlin that has put Cabaye in the headlines.
Sliding in from the side, it was a very messy tackle that could have caused serious injury, the kind of daft unnecessary tackle we saw a fair few times from the midfielder when he was wearing black and white (as well as the many positive aspects we saw when Cabaye was in black and white).
It looked a certainty that Newcastle would have a man advantage for the final 62 minutes but amazingly the referee awarded a yellow card. To my mind, he took his time to wait and see how bad Yedlin was hurt before deciding whether to send Yohan Cabaye, which is a bit of a cheat obviously, as it is the actual challenge and/or intent that needs to be punished.
From that point on, it was Yohan Cabaye was more targeted by the fans, rather than the referee the subject of abuse.
DeAndre Yedlin though is philosophical about it, saying on reflection: ‘It happens…he (Cabaye) wasn’t trying to hurt me and all was good’.
The Newcastle right-back also revealed that afterwards Yohan Cabaye sought him out to apologise.
In European competitions and most other countries it would be hard to imagine a player staying on the pitch after a challenge like Cabaye’s but Yedlin declares ‘You take hits that you wouldn’t do in other leagues – we are prepared and ready for it.’
For most fans it was perfect justice as Newcastle scored in the 86th minute, with United fans enjoying the childish but amusing sight of Jonjo Shelvey screaming some kind of abuse at Yohan Cabaye who had ended up sprawled on the ground during the goal incident.
Three more points and we move on.
DeAndre Yedlin talking to the Chronicle:
“It happens….Yohan Cabaye was apologetic afterwards but he is a good guy and it wasn’t intentional.
“He wasn’t trying to hurt me and all was good, we got the three points and now we are looking forward to next week.
“It was a big result for us, especially against a team like Crystal Palace.
“It is obviously good to get a clean sheet and good to show character to fight until the end and get a good goal.
“Any player knows that this is a physical league and you have to be ready to take some hits.
“You take hits that you wouldn’t do in other leagues.
“We are prepared and ready for it.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0
Newcastle: Merino 86
Possession was Palace 45% Newcastle 55%
Total shots were Palace 10 Newcastle 7
Shots on target were Palace 0 Newcastle 3
Corners were Palace 5 Newcastle 3
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden (Merino 56), Atsu, Perez (Diame 66), Joselu (Mitrovic 78)
Darlow, Clark, Gamez, Murphy
(Read what Rafa had to say after the match HERE)
(Andros Townsend believes Newcastle didn’t deserve to win – read it HERE)
(Garth Crooks believes Newcastle could win the Premier League if Rafa is given right resources – Read HERE)
(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Palace match HERE)
(Alan Shearer reacts to win over Palace HERE)
(Amusing Roy Hodgson hard luck story after final whistle HERE)