Newcastle maintained their 100% record for the month of November by beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at St James’ Park yesterday.
Goals from Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko either side of an equaliser by Chris Brunt proved to be enough to give United the points in what was a game of few real chances.
The victory moved us into fifth position in the table ahead of the matches on Sunday where results will likely see us drop a couple of places. Not that it really matters at this stage of the season as it’s all about getting points on the board and we’ve done that in an impressive fashion since the defeat to Sunderland by going on a run that has eased the pressure on Alan Pardew who now must surely be in with a chance of winning the Manager of the Month award.
Tim Krul had to be on hand to tip a long range effort from Chris Brunt round the post but West Brom hardly troubled Krul or our defence for the majority of the first period. Mind you the same could be said for Newcastle who could only muster a headed effort from Loic Remy which deflected wide before taking the lead in the 36th minute.
Yohan Cabaye sent a corner in from the left which Boaz Myhill failed to clear. The ball bounced high into the air in the centre of goal allowing Yoan Gouffran to rise highest and head home from just a couple of yards out. 1-0.
Added time in the first period brought a note of controversy as Yohan Cabaye played Loic Remy through on goal only for the striker to be seemingly pulled back by Jonas Olsson which would have surely resulted in a red card for the West Brom defender had Phil Dowd deemed it to be a foul but he waved play on.
Half-time: Newcastle 1-0 West Brom
The opening exchanges of the second period saw more controversy after Chris Brunt’s robust challenge on Yohan Cabaye went unpunished with many feeling that a second yellow should have been waved in his direction. If he was off the pitch he wouldn’t have been on hand to level the scores in the 53rd minute, finishing powerfully past Tim Krul at the far post after getting on the end of Morgan Amalfitano’s cross.
Parity only lasted four minutes however as Newcastle broke forward. A sequence of neat play saw Loic Remy head to Moussa Sissoko who let the ball roll across him before firing an unstoppable right-footed shot past Boaz Myhill and into the top corner of the Gallowgate net.
A late rally from the visitors failed to conjure up a second equaliser for Steve Clarke’s side who bombarded our penalty area with crosses only to find the United defence, and Mike Williamson in particular, equal to most of them with the one exception I can think of being a header for Victor Anichebe which went wide.
At the other end United had a couple of handball decisions turned away, most tellingly when Yohan Cabaye’s effort bounced of both hands of Billy Jones before being cleared.
Full-time: Newcastle 2-1 West Brom
Not a fantastic win but another three points all the same. It’s reminiscent of the 2011/2012 season where we ground out wins for the majority of the season, not that I’m fussed by that of course. Away trips to Swansea in midweek before a Saturday lunchtime date at Old Trafford await us now. Tough games where positive results are hard to come by.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Moussa Sissoko, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Yoan Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy
Subs: Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita, Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse
West Bromwich Albion: Boaz Myhill, Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell, James Morrison, Youssouf Mulumbu, Morgan Amalfitano, Stephane Sessegnon, Chris Brunt, Shane Long
Subs: Luke Daniels, Goran Popov, Victor Anichebe, Saido Berahino, Diego Lugano, Zoltan Gera, Claudio Yacob