Newcastle – West Brom was as tight and tense as you would have expected it to be, as both teams had spells where they were on top but the Magpies took their chances to grind out yet another win.
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Miguel Almiron gave Newcastle the lead after 19 seconds, and they missed several chances before Darnell Furlong equalized. Late on Dwight Gayle scored the winner after jumping off the bench.
Steve Bruce’s side brushed off their enforced break due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the squad, as Newcastle won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season to move onto 17 points. West Brom remain second from bottom.
Three things we learned from Newcastle – West Brom
1. Newcastle’s positive subs pay off: The fact Steve Bruce wasn’t happy with a point at home against West Brom was credit to him, especially after a tough few weeks as a COVID-19 outbreak shut down the training ground and forced the squad into self-isolation. Missing several key players, Newcastle chucked on Jacob Murphy and Gayle and that duo combined for the winner as Bruce was rewarded for his bravery. He gets a lot of stick for his conservative approach, but Newcastle are level on points with Everton and Wolves. Not bad.
2. West Brom overcomplicate things: The Baggies looked much better in the second half after bringing on Austin and Gibbs at half time and had more balance to them. Slaven Bilic is said to be under pressure and the West Brom boss appeared to overcomplicate things from the start as he went with an extremely attacking lineup and Newcastle caught them on the counter time and time again. West Brom did the same when it went to 1-1 and a point would have been fine. Now Bilic is under even more pressure.
3. Wilson the x-factor: Sure, it was Almiron and Gayle who got the goals but it was Wilson who dragged West Brom’s defense all over the place. He has been in great form since his arrival from Bournemouth and the hunger he has shown every time he steps onto the pitch is fuelling the Newcastle players around him. Wilson is feeding off scraps for most of the game but he made key attacks count and the way he set up the chance for the opener after 19 seconds set the tone for this Newcastle display.
Man of the Match: Miguel Almiron – Took his goal really well after 19 seconds and was a constant threat, along with Wilson, as Newcastle scythed through the West Brom defense on the counter.
19 seconds were on the clock when Almiron swept home to put Newcastle ahead. 19 seconds.
Callum Wilson bulldoozed a path down the left flank and crossed for Joelinton who perfectly found the Paraguayan forward to slot home and put Newcastle in dreamland.
Almiron raced clear soon after but Sam Johnstone saved his show well as Newcastle were a real threat on the counter. Joelinton then broke free after a quick free kick and turned his man but was denied at the near post, despite having options to play in.
West Brom improved just before the break as Newcastle couldn’t clear a cross an Conor Gallagher flashed his effort just wide.
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West Brom brought on Charlie Austin and Kieran Gibbs at half time and within a few minutes of the restart it was 1-1.
A cross from the left from Matt Phillips found the onrushing Darnell Furlong and the young right back smashed home an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
Newcastle sub Dwight Gayle had a header cleared off the line as he almost scored moments after coming on against the club he was on loan at for 2018-19.
Gayle then hammered home a header as substitute Murphy whipped in a delightful cross which the striker finished off superbly.