Oct 21, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​St James' Park
Attendance: 52,251
NewcastleNewcastle United
1-0
Crystal Palace
Merino (86')
Lejeune (21'), Lascelles (28'), Manquillo (60'), Joselu (66')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Cabaye (28'), van Aanholt (28')

Rafael Benitez "really pleased" after late victory over Crystal Palace

Benitez
© SilverHub
Rafael Benitez puts Newcastle United's late 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace down to the effort shown by his players on the training ground.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has declared himself "really pleased" with his side's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

The Magpies left it late to see off the division's bottom side, earning their first win in four games through a late Mikel Merino header at St James' Park.

Benitez was particularly happy with the character shown by his players to battle to the three points, taking them to 14 for the season and now back into the top six of the division after nine games.

"When you win a game you have to be really pleased," he told reporters. "Without playing at the level we have in the past. To get three points the way we scored, with a good delivery, a good determination from Merino - it was really important to show the character of the team. To the end we were trying to control, attack and push.

"Could we play better? Maybe. They have confidence and pace and are good on the counter-attack. It was important for us to keep them at the bottom of the table. We are coming from the Championship, we didn't sign too many players, you tell me after September 1 where we will be, I will tell you fine!

"Credit to our players, they are doing really well. I don't think too much but we're happy with the points we have. All the hard work in training sessions is paying dividends. It is a long race. We will enjoy a couple of days and then we will prepare for the next challenge."

Newcastle, who have lost just one of their last 10 league games on home soil, return to action on October 30 with a trip to face Burnley.

Mikel Merino tackles Charlie Austin during the Premier League game between Southampton and Newcastle United on October 15, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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