Newcastle 2-1 West Brom: Moment of quality earns ugly NUFC another massive win

A big win for Newcastle United after the turbulent two weeks we’ve just endured, with an early strike from Almiron and late Gayle goal getting us over the line in a scrappy affair at St James’ Park.

It wasn’t easy on the eye and we got away with it at times against a battling Baggies side, but that’s now back to back wins, sending us 11 clear of the drop zone and up to 11th.

The team was always going to be interesting after the recent Covid outbreak, but it was stronger than some expected.

Steve Bruce made THREE changes from the side that won 2-0 at Crystal Palace two weeks ago, with Hayden coming in for the absent Fernandez at centre-back, Krafth replacing Manquillo and Ritchie earning a recall in place of Hendrick.

U-23 stopper Dan Langley was named on the bench, but there was no sight of Saint-Maximin, Lascelles, Schar, Fernandez, Gillespie or Fraser – giving us an idea who may be stuck in self-isolation!

For once, I was expecting goals, with no Premier League goalkeeper making more saves so far this season than the two on display today – and that’s what we got inside the first 20 seconds!

Wilson was too strong for Ivanovic and released Joelinton, who slipped a superb past in behind to put Almiron through on goal. The Paraguayan then did the rest with a composed curled finish into the bottom corner. Barely 30 seconds played and we were 1-0 up!

Although it was a very different opponent, we made the mistake of sitting deep and protecting our lead the last time we scored early at home. That was in the 1-4 defeat to Man Utd, but there could be no excuse for the same sort of approach here. They are second bottom, have the PL’s worst defence and are fresh from a 1-5 hammering last weekend.

We had to push for another now we had them on the ropes, and although they did settle down and enjoy a bit of the ball, it was us who had the only clear openings in the next half an hour, with Almiron bursting through and had a low shot saved and Joelinton also seeing his shot blocked by Johnstone after his chop inside completely fooled Ivanovic.

As we approached half-time, we looked relatively comfortable, the team more likely to do damage on the break and had limited them to just one shot on target – which was a tame effort from range that Darlow gathered with ease – but we were too deep and beginning to rest on our laurels, inviting this pretty awful West Brom side back into the game.

They lacked cutting edge, but the Baggies were undoubtedly the better side in the final five minutes and gave us a few warning signs heading into the second half. The game was here for us to win, with Bilic’s side visibly poor at both ends, but they weren’t going to go down without a fight.

The second half kicked off and they’ve made a few changes, bringing on experienced Premier League duo Charlie Auston and Kieran Gibbs. It was clear before the break that they were growing in confidence and edging closer to an equaliser, and that’s exactly what they got that five minutes into the restart.

Phillips burst past Krafth, hung up a floated ball into the box and Furlong met it perfectly to lash across goal and into the bottom corner. A brilliant finish, but poor defending all round – especially from Jamal Lewis, who was guilty of ball watching and got nowhere near his man.

It seems convenient to say this after his error, but Lewis was poor today. Booked for some needless handbags early on, at fault for the goal, timid going forward, suspect defensively and hooked off by Bruce with 20 minutes to play as a result!

It shouldn’t have taken an avoidable West Brom goal to do this, but we needed to get up the pitch, put this poor Baggies side on the back foot and get a grip of a game we’d gradually let slip away from us after that early opener.

Something needed to change if we wanted win this, and the man Bruce brought on very nearly gave us a 2-1 lead, with a corner met by Dwight Gayle headed off the line to deny him an immediate goal on his first appearance of the season.

Talking of players making an immediate impact, Jacob Murphy replaced Krafth and produced the moment of the match, picking out Gayle with a stunning cross from the right.

The former Baggies loanee still had plenty to do, but made no mistake, crashing his header off the bar and in to give us the lead with 10 minutes to play!

We’d generally been getting worse as the game went on, seeming poor value for our late lead, yet it the quality of the goal was brilliant – seeing two of Bruce’s substitutes combine to sink a spirited Baggies side who had been pushing for the winner Bilic badly needed.

Yedlin made a rare appearance late on as we looked to protect our lead and we did exactly that, surviving six minutes of stoppage time to secure back to back wins.

Isaac Hayden was my MOTM today. There weren’t many standout performers in what was a scrappy affair, but he put in some great blocks, timely interceptions and towering headers. We needed him to step up with Fernandez, Lascelles and Schar all missing & he did exactly that!

I said it after the Crystal Palace win and I’ll say it again here – it wasn’t pretty, but it’s another big three points and one that we’d like to dedicate to Martin Lorimer following his tragic passing this week.

Next up another two games against newly promoted sides, with us travelling to Leeds on Wednesday and hosting Fulham at St James’ Park a week today.


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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

64 thoughts on “Newcastle 2-1 West Brom: Moment of quality earns ugly NUFC another massive win

  1. Ryder gave Joelinton a 7.

    How can this sad sack of **** be a sportswriter? Did he watch the same game I did? He was a 3 at best. Should have been subbed.


  2. Eric – I don’t think Joe was bad today like. The only stand out poor performance for me was Lewis.
    I thought everyone else did ok to be fair, based on the type of game it was.


  3. Sharpy17:
    Eric – I don’t think Joe was bad today like.The only stand out poor performance for me was Lewis.
    I thought everyone else did ok to be fair, based on the type of game it was.

    He was OK by his standard and his standard is a 3.


  4. Eric Sykes: He was OK by his standard and his standard is a 3.

    Olly give him a 7 as well. I’d agree with that (the 9 last time out must have been hitting the wrong button I reckon).

    After the carry on we’ve have with COVID and the unsettled training and preparation, today was just about securing the 3 points we’d expect at home to WBA.

    I thought both our goals were very good for different reason. It was really good to see Gayle back and getting on the score sheet early.
    It’s a big second half of the season for him – he’s either playing for a new contract or a move – which is great for us as it gives him motivation to play well & score.

    The game as a whole was just a bit of a battle – gritty & lacking in any real quality. There was no need for tactics today. Just get your foot in and win your battles & other than Lewis, I think most did for the majority of the game.

    3 points, move on ??


  5. I have finally figured Pickford out. He is the Mike Dean of goalkeepers. Everything is about him and he makes a lot of mistakes. His kicking has been awful in the Chelsea game and that is supposed to be his strong suit.

    Darlow for England.


  6. We didnt play totally **** today. There were 5 minutes before 1/2 time and 15 after when we went into 9-0-1. But it wasnt all bad. I will give Brucie a B plus on this one because of all of the Covid stuff he had to deal with as well as the missing players. Good subs. And he actually realised Lewis was having a nightmare.

    Would have liked Joelinton to be subbed in the 2nd minute but that is a minor quarrel.


  7. Still think it is a total joke that the NUFC/KGB would not say who was positive for Covid as it is obvious who it is now – just read Olly’s report above. Privacy!!! just fck off will you.


  8. Tomorrow is a massive relegation playoff. West Brom are done now and will be bottom 4 at best. But, also…

    Fulham v Liverpool

    S’ton v Sheffield

    **** v Burnley

    Losses for any of these makes the bottom 4 with WBrom assured and us safe.


  9. Bruce has admitted that some players were “too fatigued to walk to the end of the street” and 2 or three were “very poorly”. This was not just a few positive tests with no symptoms. This was/is a very big deal. They had major symptoms.


  10. 2 very good goals but dear me it was hard work again. Lewis and Joe had us playing with 9 men.
    Lewis lacks conviction at both ends. He may come good but I’d bring Jetro back in a heartbeat.
    As for Joe that’s his standard – a 2 from me.
    Shelvey was OK but a little off the pace while Hayden was our best player.


  11. Eric, i see the FDA have now approved Pfizer’s covid vaccine for emergency use across the states now then. 😀


  12. SB on Isaac Hayden:

    “Isaac has revealed now that he was one [that tested positive for Covid-19] and was in bed for ten days. Inevitably I was checking those players who had the virus. Yes, you can test negative but the fatigue people are having is the big thing.”

    And then he puts in a performance like that ! wow


  13. I checked the relegation odds and we are 7 to 1. I thought it would be more like 20’s. There is no way we are getting relegated. Our squad was always too good if Bruce let us play. I understand packing the defense against say Man City, I really do, but you have to have a threat on the counter and when we have played the 9-0-1 we simply do not have that. Even yesterday when we went into our shell for periods Wilson was totally isolated.

    Still, have to be happy with 17 points and a few decent games. On balance we have been better than last year so Bruce deserves a bit of credit. But not the fawning praise from the likes of Sutton, Savage and Mills.

    I am trying not to dwell on the bad games and appreciate when we have played well this season. Leeds should be interesting. We can definitely hit them on the break if we set up properly and dont gift them an early goal.


  14. kimtoon:
    Eric, i see the FDA have now approved Pfizer’s covidvaccine for emergency use across the states now then.

    Aye Kimtoon: it will be months before I get the vaccine but happy that the most at risk will get it. I dont know what it is like in the UK but there all sorts of conspiracy theories over here and a lot of people refusing the vaccine. They are mainly Trumpers which is extremely strange since he is trying to take credit. Even with Pfizer who received no Govt funding.


  15. I give in now!!!! Watching Palace and 73 year old Mr. Roy doesnt have a mask but their physio does when he came on to treat Zaha. They have already had Wilf Zaha out with Covid and have they not seen what happened at Newcastle where it spread like wildfire and decimated our squad? This makes no sense to me.

    I thought I might have gone a bit OTT last week with Covid but from what Bruce has said I dont think I did.


  16. Again, the Ref doesnt need a mask but the 4th official does? I know I am dwelling, but the rules dont make any sense, especially when you have just had a mass outbreak at a PL club – NUFC.


  17. Eric, agree re mask, i can only assume managers not wearing one is so it’s easier to bark instructions to players ?


  18. Fulham playing well against Liverpool. Just shows that if you have a go at some of these top teams you can get results. Of course it’s not over, but so far so good for Fulham.


  19. Even if Liverpool come back here it looks almost certain now that it is Burnley, West Brom and Sheffield for relegation.

    Good for us as the takeover might actually go through.


  20. How good would that be? That we get mega-bucks from the Saudis and stuff Liverpool and Spurs’s b0llocks up their ar$eholes.


  21. Eric Sykes:
    How good would that be? That we get mega-bucks from the Saudis and stuff Liverpool and Spurs’s b0llocks up their ar$eholes.

    I think i could manage to live with that 😆


  22. What is VAR? That was a straight red for Lookman!!!!!

    I actually want Fulham to win but he should be off.


  23. Back to Covid. I know I am obsessing. But it is not really about Covid as such it is about NUFC/KGB. Fernandez says he was struck down, Bruce says Hayden was in bed for 10 days. Why all of the secrecy? It will all come out anyway.

    Again. This is not about medical privacy. This is about NUFC secrecy for the sake of secrecy.

    Every other club is open about it. We are open about other types of injuries.

    I know… I have ranted about this for a week now.


  24. Sharpy mate: If Arsenal lose this it will be hilarious on Arsenal Fan TV. They hate Xhaka anyway, now it will get out of control.


  25. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy mate: If Arsenal lose this it will be hilarious on Arsenal Fan TV. They hate Xhaka anyway, now it will get out of control.

    ? i came on to say exactly the same thing. They will want Arteta gone now!!
    It’s the only part of the UK where Boris isn’t the most hated fella ?


  26. I watched some of the AFTV and it was really funny. They hate Xhaka and Bellerin. Elneny should have seen red as well.

    Burnley last beat Arsenal in 1974.

    Arsenal last lost 4 league home games in a row in 1959.


  27. It has been a weird season. The teams with the entitled fans are doing OK but not running away with it like the last few years – City and Liverpool. I said a couple of weeks ago that this is the worst Arsenal team I have ever seen in the PL and AFTV just makes it funny. I lived in Islington but could never bring myself to support the ****, even though it was a working class area 30 odd years ago when I was there. I dont know how many times I was warned about getting mugged at Angel Islington Tube.

    Then there is Man U. I just love to see their fans squirm. Just love it, as Kev would say 🙂 They have good players but you never know if they will turn up.

    The Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal games today show that we should not just turn up, defend and expect a low scoring loss. Most of the top teams have gone backwards and we have a much better squad than last year. City miss Aguero and Liverpool miss Van Dijk. They are good, but no longer invincible.

    Remember who we play at Xmas which is why I am bringing this up.


  28. Arsenal fans forgetting Arteta is a rookie manager. He might not make it. Good as Peps sounding board but manager?

    Fernandez back now . . . I think Hayden is our best RB, move him there. The other 3 aren’t good enough!


  29. How about left back georgio? With Dummett out we have no cover for Lewis. I am not sure Clark is mobile enough to play there.

    Hard to judge Lewis. He could have been one of those with the virus but we will never know unless he tells us. He seemed to lose concentration a bit, but he is young. He had a couple of good games when St Max was played on the wing. And that’s another issue. St Max should not be allowed to play wherever he wants. He should be on the wings and allowed to swap, but he doesnt seem like he understands the number 10 role.


  30. Leeds’ weakness is set-pieces but how do we exploit that? Definitely play Clark, but who takes them? You would think Shelvey would be our Ward-Prowse but he just floats corners in and direct free kicks mainly sail over the bar. He usually doesnt get a save out of the keeper. Longstaff finds it difficult to clear the first man and Ritchie isnt that much better. These players are actually quite good at crossing so I dont know how they cannot hit a dead ball.

    I think we will only see a couple of changes for Leeds because Gayle will not be risked and we will change the centre half. Probably Fernandez. Maquillo for Krafth as well.

    St Max is the toughest call. I would bring him in for Joe but I am not Steve Bruce. He could win us some free kicks. Joelinton just falls over and never gets the foul.


  31. So who should take corners? I would give St Max a go. Sometimes his end product isnt the best so a bit of extra time in training concentrating on crosses might be good for him. Plus, he gives you that other dimension for a short corner of beating his man on a return pass. Maybe Jacob Murphy if he is on the field?

    We can all admit we have been **** at set plays so I wouldnt let Shelvey, Ritchie or Longstaff anywhere near them. I dont care if it puts their noses out of joint, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and they have failed at what should be an easy task with their ability.


  32. Eric – Jetro back in 3 weeks would be my shout.
    Ritchie can do a cover job . . .
    Miggy’s better on the left so I’d play ASM on the right. Agree Manqillo back. Krap is awful!


  33. I agree with Brucie about Darlow and Dubravka.

    Apart from a couple of dropped balls against Burnley, Darlow has been absolutely brilliant. Probably the best keeper in the league. Ahead of Allison and certainly Lloris (dont bring up Pickford 🙂 ).

    Darlow has surpassed my wildest expectations of him because last time around he always had a mistake in him. Now he commands the box, makes the reaction saves he always did, and seems to have great judgement for when to come out of his area and clear it.

    I am shocked, but in a good way.

    Darlow for England.


  34. Stewie was right. London to enter tier 3!

    I had been saying it was madness that London allowed fans into grounds when the place is massive and has so many different districts you could not possibly keep up with where covid was rampant and where it was not. I lived there for 3 years and there are like 20 different cities in 1. I played cricket every weekend in every district from Tottenham to Wimbledon. I watched so much live music from Brixton to Hammersmith to Camden. It was all different in terms of ethnicity, class, crowds. All of it.

    The Govt dont know what they are doing if they class London as one place.


  35. Eric, I’ve just spent the weekend in London and to be honest it wasn’t much different to normal just not as busy. But you just needed to buy a sausage roll or a scotch egg to get a drink.

    Imagine if we didn’t get a vaccine?! We would have been living like this for twenty years.

    Although I don’t see why Newcastle stays in tier 3 as it’s cases are only about 115/100,000


  36. Watched the West Ham/Leeds game that I had recorded. The media have built Leeds up to be something they are not. Yes, they are high intensity but their final ball is usually ****. If Bamford has a bad game we can easily beat them. West Ham outplayed them for a lot of the time and if Haller wasnt their version of Joelinton they easily could have won by more.

    Leeds have 4 points from their last 6 games.

    We just have to not be scared by the high press and be ready to hit them on the break. No 9-0-1 please Brucie.

    Also, the Leeds ‘keeper is ****.


  37. So London move to tier 3 and a new strain thought to be responsible for rapid rise in cases, aye yeah, nowt to do with the photos of people packed like sardines in Regent street then. 🙄

    And over the pond they are recording record infections and deaths from covid in a sharp increase thought to be due to thanksgiving get together’s . Well blow me over, who’d of thought .

    Can’t wait for our February lockdown after the Christmas celebrations 🙄


  38. Why has our game been moved to tomorrow, we play again on saturday night but Leeds don’t play until Sunday. Seems a bit unfair .


  39. ERIC our friend Grealish loves running into in his range rover sport he tried to back up in a car park after three attempts and hitting three different cars he drove off (he was breaking covid rules) by the way,he was then caught driving all over the motorway at 90mph,he has been fined just over eighty two thousand pounds and banned 😆 😆


  40. I reckon we have a shot against Leeds but we cannot just sit back. I am OK with 40% possession but we really do have to set up for the counter because we know they will press high and that is how to defeat that. Even though St Max is out we still have some pace in Miggy and Wilson. Joelinton supposedly has pace but I havent really noticed. Then there is Gayle off the bench.

    As I already said Leeds only have 4 points from their last 6 games. They usually try to steamroller teams which is why we just cannot camp out on our 18 yard line. They create a lot of chances and also miss a lot of chances. Bamford is their top scorer with 8 but we know he will go off the boil. He may already have.

    We face these high press teams almost every week now so should know how to cope by now. Bielsa was hailed as a tactical genius but everybody is doing what he does now. The difference is that Leeds dont have the quality of player that Liverpool do, or even Southampton for that matter.

    Still, we will probably need Darlow to have a great game again,


  41. Kimtoon: half the country still believe corona virus is a hoax. Trump and his band of loonies along with internet conspiracy theorists has them not believing in science and not taking basic precautions. There are also millions upon millions of vaccine deniers. I dont know how they think polio or measles was controlled? A lot think it is all a Govt plot. Yeah… the Govt really have it in for a taxi driver in Kansas!!!!!

    The Govt have been complicit in some bad stuff healthwise in the past. Mainly against blacks and soldiers during and soon after WWII. But hardly anybody had a telly back then and the internet didnt exist. It is a lot more open now. I think that is the logic behind not taking the vaccine but Trump just stirs people up as well.


  42. The TV are saying that black people are particularly wary of the vaccine. Cannot really blame them as it is being touted by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). This is the same people who conducted the Tuskegee “experiment”. Between 1932 and 1972 250 black men who signed up for the army were diagnosed with syphilis. They were separated from the rest of the soldiers and told they were being provided with health care. Instead they were treated as human guinea pigs and the disease was allowed to run its course so the CDC could observe the results.


  43. Why would black people react differently to the vaccine than white people, Eric? Having a higher case amongs BAME’s can be explained by their different cultures but not having a reaction to a vaccine. Tha’s biological.

    If we win tonight 7 nil we could go 6th.


  44. Can someone explain to me what is not to understand about the Christmas situation that the government have put in place? Why are the media and opposition making it so difficult?

    Have the government made it compulsory for three households to meet up? I’m sure it’s only a maximum limit and not a legal minimum requirement.

    Any chance of people taking personal responsibility? If someone is worried, don’t go and meet your family. How hard is it too understand?


  45. I’m also really staggered that we haven’t thought about cancelling Christmas previously. There are less deaths currently at this time of year than there has been in previous years yet Christmas wasn’t under threat.

    All a bit odd


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