WATCH: Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace
Last Updated: 22/10/17 12:02am
Mikel Merino came off the bench and headed Newcastle to a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace with his first goal in English football.
The Spaniard's header from Matt Ritchie's 85th-minute corner handed the Magpies a win they barely deserved on an afternoon where they were poor for long periods before producing a late flurry.
Palace - who enjoyed better chances for much of the game - ultimately paid for their lack of finishing with their best effort coming from fit-again winger Wilfried Zaha, who headed wide before the break.
The home side found themselves defending deep as Palace dominated possession, but inspiration remained in short supply.
Andros Townsend sent a dipping 65th-minute shot over Rob Elliot's crossbar, but Newcastle belatedly found their feet and, after substitute Mohamed Diame had warmed keeper Julian Speroni's hands with a curling effort, Jonjo Shelvey caused him a degree of difficulty with a swerving long-range strike which he just about managed to block.
Patrick van Aanholt only just failed to connect with substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek's cross as he slid in at the far post with 10 minutes remaining, but Merino struck from Ritchie's corner to snatch victory at the death.
Fantasy Football is back!
Fantasy just got real. Pick your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team for free here.