Pulis bemoans a season of goodwill at Selhurst Park as the Magpies silence the Eagles
T’is the season of goodwill to all men, but Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis was not pleased at his side’s generosity in the 3-0 Premier League defeat at home to Newcastle United.
In foul weather conditions, Newcastle had a 2-0 lead at the break thanks to Yohan Cabaye’s deflected strike and a Danny Gabbidon own goal.
Palace had a marvellous chance to halve the deficit in the second half but Cameron Jerome blazed a volley over the bar from six yards.
The final nail was hammered in the coffin via a tale of three substitutes. Palace replacement Jonathan Parr brought down substitute Shola Ameobi, and Hatem Ben Arfa, who started the match on the bench, buried the spot-kick.
On the final whistle, the Palace fans took their displeasure out on the referee, but in truth they had given the visitors an early Christmas present, and gift-wrapped it themselves.
Pulis said: “The first two goals were poor. We have looked solid since I came here, but today we gifted them two goals.
“After that you’re chasing the game and against a team I think will be in the top eight come the end of the season, that is very difficult.
“If Cameron Jerome scores, then it could have been very different.”
Closing down: Cameron Jerome tries to get close to Mathieu Debuchy on Saturday
He added: “We have to do well at home – Villa Park and Manchester City are going to be tough.
“But we’ll have good runs and bad runs. You dust yourself down and you go again. But either way, you cannot gift goals like we have today.”
Joel Ward began the game in midfield after KG and Stuart O’Keefe picked up injuries in mid-week – a set of circumstances that Pulis highlighted as key.
“We were unfortunate to lose the two guys who play in midfield, and so we decided to put Joel in there and bring Dean [Moxey] onto the left.
“But Newcastle gave us so many problems on their right that we had to change it at half-time, and I think that probably cost us.
“The own goal was not Danny’s fault, he’s been caught in the wrong place but Newcastle were putting in so many crosses, that was the problem.”
With West Ham United, Fulham and Cardiff City all losing, and West Bromwich Albion drawing, very little changed at the bottom of the table with Palace still inside the dropzone, a point behind West Ham.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew, returning to his old stamping ground, said: “We know the pressure that can be exerted on you here, so we had a game plan to take the sting out of the game and the players did it excellently.
“It’s a sweet feeling to come back to a club I love and see my team put in such a good performance.”
Next up for Palace is a trip to Aston Villa on Boxing Day, and the long jaunt to Manchester City on December 28.
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