CRYSTAL PALACE 0
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Craig Hope reports from Selhurst Park ...
KEVIN Nolan and Ryan Taylor opened their black-and-white scoring accounts as Newcastle United extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace.
It took just 99 seconds for the visitors to find the breakthrough, Nolan latching onto Jonas Gutierrez's defence-splitting chip before firing low through the legs of Darryl Flahavan.
Fellow January arrival Taylor then doubled the advantage on 21 minutes. Gutierrez was again the provider as, from his pass, Taylor measured a dipping left-foot strike beyond the reach of Flahavan from 20 yards.
United has to withstand some late Palace pressure but were good value for the win which takes them up to second in the table.
SECOND-HALF UPDATES (click refresh for latest)
And the game peters out with United claiming a 2-0 victory thanks to first-half strikes from Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor.
There will be four minutes added time.
89min - Jonas Gutierrez makes way for Geremi after another good shift down the left flank.
87min - Lee levers on the shoulders of Coloccini to guide Moses' deep cross back across goal, the ball bounces in the six-yard area but is plucked to safety by Steve Harper.
85min - United are having to withstand some late pressure as Palace launch yet another aerial assault - referee D'Urso relieving Toon nerves as he blows for a Lee fould on Simpson.
80min - There's a bit of needle creeping into this one after that Lee challenge and referee Andy D'Urso is not the most popular man among the home crowd.
77min - Steve Harper is flattened by Alan Lee as the pair contest anothe high ball - the Palace striker is soon surrounded by irate yellow shirts and the Irishman subsequently enters the book.
75min - The Magpies remain in control and are teasing passes around their experienced midfield trio of Smith, Nolan and Butt.
69min - United break from a Palace corner as Gutierrez springs Ranger away down the right. The Toon youngster backs himself to beat Hill and rightly so as he burns by the Eagles defender and into the area. Ranger has support in the most unlikely form as Enrique and Coloccini charge into the danger zone. It is the Spainish full-back who is the recepient of his team-mate's low pullback but his shot, after working room off Fonte, is blocked well by McCarthy.
67min - Palace respond with a double swap as Sears and Danns make way for Victor Moses and Sean Scannell.
66min - And before play restarts Danny Guthrie is replaced by Nile Ranger.
65min - Nicky Butt gets his first run out of the season as replacement for Ryan Taylor.
64min - The outstanding Danny Guthrie is felled by Danny Butterfield and he rightly enters the book.
63min - Shola should have had his fifth of the season! The inventive Danny Gutrhie fashions an opening for the striker with a defence-splitting pass but Ameobi, opting to shoot first-time, side-foots high and wide from 12 yards.
59min - N'Diaye, seizing on Lee's flick, gallops in on goal from midfield but the Frenchman hasn't banked on the alert Coloccini who eats up the ground to recover and block the youngster's shot - great work from the Argentine.
54min - Ryan Taylor's corner is only half-cleared with the ball ending back at the midfielder's feet. He steps by the challenge of the fast-closing Butterfield but gets his angles all wrong with a ferocious cross-cum-shot which spirals away for a throw-in!
49min - Former Magpie Darren Ambrose takes aim with a 25-yard free-kick but the yellow-shirted wall does its job as the ball cannons wide. Ambrose drops a right-wing corner onto the head of N'Diaye but the young Frenchman can only nod tamely wide when unmarked 10 yards out - much to the angst of the home crowd.
47min - There's an early flap at the back for United as a deflected cross evades Coloccini. However, when the ball bounces loose on the penalty spot, Jose Enrique arrives to steer a header back to the grateful arms of Steve Harper.
No changes during the break as Palace resume play for this second period.
And so sounds the whistle to signal the end of what was an exhilarating first-half from the Magpies who lead 2-0 at the break.
There will be one minute added time.
43min - Clint Hill is first man in the book as he upends Danny Guthrie midway inside the Palace half.
40min - As it stands United are top of the league!
38min - Kevin Nolan goes in search of a second but his 20-yard curler is saved and held with relative ease by Flahavan.
34min - Freddie Sears latches on to Lee's looping flick but the youngster is soon dispossesed by the pacey Enrique who nicks away for a corner. The deep flag-kick is retrieved by N'Diaye but his return falls straight to the feet of Coloccini who doesn't need to be asked twice and clears his lnes at the first attempt.
27min - Kevin Nolan robs Fonte, attempting to clear 25 yards out, and it looks as though the United midfielder is clean through on goal. He scampers onto the loose ball but the recovering Palace defender does enough to knock his opponent off balance allowing keeper Flahavan to race from his line to collect and contain the danger.
25min - That's a let-off for the Geordies! Alan Lee, ghosting unmarked into the United penalty area, glances a header from Ambrose's cross inches wide of Harper's far post with the keeper beaten.
21min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (0-2): RYAN TAYLOR gets off the mark for the Magpies as, collecting a Gutierrez cross from the left 20 yards out, he measures a dipping left-foot strike to perfection with the ball gliding inches above the out-stretched fingertips of Flahavan - what a start for Chris Hughton's men!
17min - A six-man United move leaves Palace chasing shadows and only a backpedalling Flahavan, who tips over the crossbar, prevents a Nolan header, from Guthrie's centre, climaxing what was a magnificent passage of play. The resulting corner is cleared by Hill.
14min - United should be two up! Jose Enrique, having skillfully evading Danns on the left flank, is tugged to the ground by the Palace midfielder who is lucky to escape a caution. Ryan Taylor whips a venomous low free-kick into a crowded six-yard area and, when the ball skips through legs, only the razor-sharp reactions of Flahavan, on the goal-line, keeps the score at just one as he fists away before a panicked Derry completes the clearance.
12min - Both sides are adopting a direct style of play and it almost pays dividends for the hosts as Sears feeds on the knockdown from a high ball forward before forcing a knee-cap save from Steve Harper at his near post, the West Ham loanee having unleashed a powerful low shot from 12 yards.
8min - Coloccini goes route one in the direction of Ameobi who has peeled away from assigned handler Fonte, the United striker cushions a first-time volley back into the danger zone from the left channel but yellow shirts arrive all too late with Palace able to clear with ease from a scarcely populated penalty area.
6min - Nolan is called on in a defensive capacity as his prodded clearance from the toe of Sears inside the area, followed by Danny Simpson's brave block from Derry's shot, helps to preserve United's early advantage.
2min - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-0): It takes the Geordies just 99 seconds to break the deadlock! Jonas Gutierrez clips a delightful ball in behind a static Palace backline allowing Kevin Nolan, venturing deep into enemy territory, to dispatch through the legs of Flahaven for his first for the club - what a start!
United, kitted out in the yellow change kit last worn during the opening-day draw at West Brom, get the game started amid a light drizzle here in South London.
NEWCASTLE United make one change from the side which beat Sheffield Wednesday during the week with Danny Guthrie replacing the injured Andy Carroll.
That means the Magpies are likely to revert to the 4-5-1 system often deployed during pre-season.
Shola Ameobi will take on the role of lone striker with Kevin Nolan supporting, while Guthrie, making his first start of the season, is joined in midfield by skipper Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez and Ryan Taylor.
It's a case of as you were at the back with Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Jose Enrique, Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini keeping their places.
Nicky Butt returns to the bench after hand surgery.
Carroll is missing with a minor groin problem while Joey Barton also sits this one out because of a foot injury.
CPFC: Darryl Flahavan, Clint Hill, Patrick McCarthy, Jose Fonte, Danny Butterfield, Alassane N'Diaye, Neil Danns, Shaun Derry, Alan Lee, Freddie Sears, Darren Ambrose
Subs: Victor Moses, Nathaniel Clyne, Sean Scannell, Johannes Ertl, Matt Lawrence, Kieran Djilali, Nick Carle
NUFC: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith (c), Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Tim Krul, Tamas Kadar, Nicky Butt, Nile Ranger, Xisco. Geremi, Kazenga LuaLua
Referee: Andy D'Urso
Attendance: 20, 643