Newcastle United were undone by a foolish challenge by a defender and a late penalty as West Bromwich Albion latched onto a crucial three points to give them a little bit of a breathing room.
The Baggies have climbed to 14th, even on points with Swansea, after Saido Berahino converted a penalty kick in the 87th minute. The Magpies will remain in 8th place, six points ahead of a Southampton side who also lost.
The 62nd minute saw a red card for Mathieu Debuchy, perhaps karmic fair play for the Stoke match. Debuchy left his feet and went two-footed into the ball, an offense Lee Probert easily deemed red-worthy.
Alan Pardew brought Mapou Ybanga-Mbiwa for injured skipper Fabricio Coloccini, adding much consternation to a Debuchy-less back line in the 65th minute.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul’s sliding attempt in the 85th minute gave West Brom their penalty and chance at sealing three points for the first time in a long while, and Berahino fired hard, low and right past Krul. The keeper guessed right but wasn’t rewarded.
The game’s first 20 minutes didn’t feature much, though Loic Remy used his big frame and nimble feet to win a corner, providing all-around trouble for the struggling Baggies. Newcastle was clearly aiming its attack toward the Frenchman, and his 21st minute deflection was unsuccessful off a strong run.
Another deflected shot from Remy had Yoan Gouffran chasing the rebound into the West Brom box and lead to a major collision between Baggies keeper Ben Foster and defender Billy Jones. Jones spent a great deal of time being tended to on the turf.
Mike Williamson headed a ball down to Yohan Cabaye after 26 minutes, but the on-form Frenchman sent it wide of the right post.
West Brom earned a corner soon after and, though it was unsuccessful, seemed to find some momentum from it. The Baggies put on some pressure and nearly found a headed goal from Jonas Olsson.
Shola Ameobi bodied up to win a free kick in the 41st minute, and Cabaye looked poised to deliver from 23 yards before blasting one into the wall.
In the 54th minute, it was a distance attempt from Cheick Tiote that had Foster diving to his right for a bounding ball. He made the save and the game remained scoreless.
Remy’s curling shot in the 58th minute just missed the bar. It felt like fate was going to involve Remy in the conclusion.
Cabaye was handed the captain’s armband and nearly scored before succumbing to a diving tackle from Morgan Amalfitano which would’ve looked horrible if not for Debuchy’s earlier lunge. No caution was given.
Cabaye had a last-ditch effort that Foster collected to firm up the three points.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Jones (Berahino, 46), McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Amalfitano, Sessegnon (Vydra, 77), Brunt, Anelka (Gera, 88)
Goal: Berahino (PK, 87)
Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini (Yanga-Mbiwa, 65), Williamson, Santon; Cabaye, Tiote, Sissoko; Remy, Shola Ameobi (Haidara 76), Gouffran (Ben Arfa, 46).
Red card: Debuchy (62)