Match ends, Newcastle United 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace
Papiss Cisse headed in a dramatic last-minute goal as Newcastle snatched victory at home against Crystal Palace.
Newcastle dominated for large periods but struggled to find a way past Julian Speroni, who denied Cisse's early shot.
Palace keeper Speroni again kept out the hosts as he gathered Cheick Tiote's low effort, while Cisse headed over.
Yannick Bolasie hit the bar for Palace but Cisse stole the points in added time, heading in Hatem Ben Arfa's cross.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for Palace, who had looked like escaping with a valuable point as they battle against relegation. They remain one place and three points above the bottom three.
Newcastle, meanwhile, move up to eighth and, while a top-five finish looks beyond them this season, the win will come as more relief for home fans following a run of four successive defeats in all competitions at St James' Park earlier this year.
They had won their last fixture there, with Loic Remy's goal enough to beat Aston Villa 1-0, but the France international has since suffered a calf injury and Newcastle's reliance on the striker was laid bare when they failed to trouble Fulham in their last Premier League fixture.
Despite having rarely threatened the Cottagers' defence in that game, Newcastle assistant John Carver - in the dugout as boss Alan Pardew served the second of his three-match stadium ban - kept faith with Cisse and Luuk de Jong in attack.
The pair had managed just one goal between them in the league all season, but the decision to start with them again was almost vindicated early on. Cisse opened up space for himself inside the area with a smart turn and struck a powerful shot straight at Speroni, who then parried the ball into the path of De Jong but the Dutchman headed over.
Palace were evidently more focused on nullifying Newcastle than attacking themselves as they largely kept nine men behind the ball, and they failed to force goalkeeper Tim Krul into a meaningful save in the first half.
Instead, it was Newcastle who came closest to opening the scoring before the break as Cisse smashed a first-time volley straight at Speroni from Moussa Sissoko's cross.
The visitors emerged positively for the second half and only the woodwork denied them as the lively Bolasie wriggled his way into the area before curling in a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar.
That chance was enough to convince Carver to make a change as Ben Arfa - back in the squad after a month out with injury - replaced De Jong.
It had the desired effect as the Frenchman's determined and direct running allowed Newcastle to regain control. Tiote strode through but shot tamely at Speroni before Cisse powered a header just over the bar from Ben Arfa's cross.
Palace responded by again packing their defence and it looked like they had done enough to frustrate the hosts but their resistance was broken when Ben Arfa curled a teasing cross behind the defence and Cisse headed in.
Newcastle assistant manager John Carver:
"When Hatem Ben Arfa came inside, I thought he was going to shoot, but he had the sense to stick it on Papiss Cisse's head and he probably took the hardest chance, because it came quickly.
"He guided it past the goalkeeper, and there's nobody more pleased for him than me. Cisse's not going missing, he's not hiding and sometimes you can when you are lacking in confidence.
"Cisse is a confidence-type player and you know what strikers are like, if they get one goal, sometimes they get two, three, four goals, so hopefully he can go on a run."
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis:
"The players have done really well and to be beaten by the last kick of the game was disappointing.
"I think we created some good chances. We had good opportunities in the first half and in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
"The fixtures have not been very kind with a game at Sunderland and then Newcastle a week later but the performances the lads have put in have been absolutely fantastic."
Visit the BBC Sport Facebook page for a gallery of the best pictures from Saturday's Premier League matches.
- 7SissokoSubstituted forMarveauxat 88'minutes
- 18de JongSubstituted forBen Arfaat 59'minutes
- 11GouffranSubstituted forAmeobiat 76'minutes
- 10Ben Arfa
- 27DelaneyBooked at 85mins
- 13PuncheonSubstituted forGuédiouraat 80'minutes
- 30JeromeSubstituted forMurrayat 76'minutes
- 7BolasieSubstituted forBannanat 67'minutes
- Lee Probert
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 1, Crystal Palace 0.
Goal! Newcastle United 1, Crystal Palace 0. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Hatem Ben Arfa with a through ball.
Attempt missed. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) right footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Attempt blocked. Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sylvain Marveaux.
Foul by Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United).
Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Cheick Tioté following a corner.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Sylvain Marveaux replaces Moussa Sissoko.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Joe Ledley.
Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt missed. Adlène Guédioura (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Barry Bannan.
Attempt missed. Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Adlène Guédioura replaces Jason Puncheon.
Michael Williamson (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace).
Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace).
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Fabricio Coloccini.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Shola Ameobi replaces Yoan Gouffran.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Glenn Murray replaces Cameron Jerome.
Attempt missed. Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Paul Dummett.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Damien Delaney.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Scott Dann.
Attempt blocked. Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hatem Ben Arfa.
Attempt missed. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Hatem Ben Arfa with a cross.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Barry Bannan replaces Yannick Bolasie.
Attempt saved. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a through ball.
Attempt saved. Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Papiss Demba Cissé (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a cross.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Adrian Mariappa.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Kagisho Dikgacoi.
Attempt blocked. Yoan Gouffran (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Hatem Ben Arfa replaces Luuk de Jong.
Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace).
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Damien Delaney.
Offside, Newcastle United. Vurnon Anita tries a through ball, but Papiss Demba Cissé is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jason Puncheon.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon tries a through ball, but Adrian Mariappa is caught offside.