AT LAST MIGUEL ALMIRON had his moment.
After 27 games and 2,191 minutes of Premier League action a goal for the Paraguayan.
Up until now the £21 million signing from Atalanta United in the MLS had only one assist to his name in 11 months at the club.
Now this, an almighty volley that lifted the roof off St.James’ Park.
It was the 82nd minute when Fabian Schar fired over a cross from the right.
Andy Carroll rose highest heading a ball across the box and the crowd held it’s breath.
One bounce and from just to the left of the penalty spot he arched his body to release a left foot drive that almost burst the net.
Off the 5ft 10 inch forward went charging away in in celebration taking his shirt off and spinning it round as he headed to the corner flag.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was half way to joining him before he thought better of it as he sprinted down the line.
Palace were gutted having had the better of the first half. Patrick Van Aanholt and Wilfried Zaha had a heated exchange as they walked back to halfway, about how the goal had been defended.
When Almiron finally emerged from amongst his teammates referee Simon Hooper laughed apologetically as he booked him for taking his shirt off.
Almiron laughed back, nothing was going to spoil this moment.
ALMIRON THE HERO
At the full time whistle the crowd chanted his name and when he got towards the tunnel he got a hug from manager Bruce that almost squeezed the air out of him.
It was difficult to judge whose smile was wider the manager or player’s.
Bruce has kept faith with him arguing that his performances have been better than the stats have suggested.
Before taking the Newcastle job, Bruce had also been told by friends in the North East that it was Almiron who ignited the club’s season when he arrived at the end of January.
A season that is turning around very nicely for Bruce with a home draw against Champions Manchester City followed by three wins from the last four.
At the end of September after a 5-0 drubbing at Leicester they were favourites for the drop.
They are now ten points above that drop zone in ninth.
JOELINTON WOES CONTINUE
The first half yesterday was one of their brighter here at St.James’ although without a goal.
That lack of goals remains a problem.
Joelinton, £40million and one goal, is a striker who looks more unsure of what he is supposed to do the nearer he gets to goal.
You would expect a bit more from a Brazilian in a number nine shirt but you don’t get a lot.
There was one point during the first half that Newcastle boss Steve Bruce completely lost it with him.
The hand gestures suggested he needed to start moving a bit more, the player looked perplexed.
This is the club’s record signing at £40million.
United could have been ahead yesterday after only seven minutes old when Almiron slid through a great ball for Issac Hayden.
BENTEKE MIRRORS JOELINTON
He moved it to the side of the goalkeeper and was just about to shoot when he lost his footing on the slick surface.
Joelinton did have a shot but it hardly tested the goalkeeper
Florian Lejeune came forward from the back to have a go with a dipping effort from 30 yards but Guaita did well to collect it low down.
For Palace’s part their forays into the danger are were few and far between in the first period.
Christian Benteke has simply forgotten how to score. Witness a free diving header in the 26th minute that went well wide.
Zaha had a chance six minutes before the break with an angle drive well saved low down by Martin Dubravka.
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The Newcastle goalkeeper had to be at his best in the second half as well, as the game started to swing Palace’s way, denying both James McArthur and Benteke.
Then came the moment.
Palace had done so well to keep Carroll quiet when he jumped to meet that cross and Almiron, finally, did the rest.
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