Rock bottom West Brom travelled to St James Park in hope of continuing their inspired run under caretaker manager, Darren Moore.
The boss said how he would refuse to contemplate what might have been for his side this season, as the his team clung on to their Premier League status after yet another recent victory. Their result in par with the Swansea’s demise could set them up to achieve the impossible, depending on their rivals stumbling and the Baggies winning their final two games, it could really happen.Embed from Getty Images
Newcastle have seemed to have switched off since securing their Premier League status, which was achieved in their victory against Arsenal. Defeat to the Baggies and the result against Everton is the first time that Benitez’s side have suffered back-to-back losses in 2018.
The game started with a surprisingly low tempo, considering one of the teams had to win to avoid relegation. The first chances were forged by the away team, James McClean and Salomon Rondon’s efforts both being placed wide, before the ever impressive Jonjo Shelvey unleashed a shot from the edge of the box, which sailed high and wide.
Moments later Albion seized the first goal in the 29th minute. A simple goal, but a great finish. It was Livermore who created the goal, stabbing the long ball over Newcastle’s back line to Matt Philips who set himself and crashed home past Dubravka. Once again the Baggies were looking well drilled and organised as they seized the initiative over 10th placed Newcastle. Minutes later Albion could have been pegged back.
A swift move from from Newcastle ended with the Brazilian Kennedy nicking the outside of the post, forged through a gorgeous one-two with Perez on the edge of the box. A let off for the Baggies. After a lacklustre start the half ended with action. First Dwight Gayle’s header was saved onto the crossbar, forcing yet another great save from Forster, before Newcastle players protested for a penalty.
Immediately after all this Rodriguez, who had been quiet, was up at the other end and tested Dubravka, who saved well. The half ended with the visitors in front, just Philip’s header separating the two sides.
The second half followed similarly to the first, dominated by half chances and poor quality. With both teams squandering numerous chances. Matt Richie quickly chipped Shelvey in on goal but he sliced tamely wide. After 61 minutes Rondon picked up on a loose ball but he also squandered the chance, lashing the ball over bar while leaning back. Beniteiz’s second substitution was Slimani for Dwight Gayle, an interesting one, as Rafa tried to change the dynamic of the game. The biggest chance of them all fell to Joselu. Newcastle swung the ball in and Joselu, completely unmarked had a free header but he put it wide. Had to score.Embed from Getty Images
The game ends with the baggies claiming another victory. Darren Moore has now picked up as many points in four games as Alan Pardew managed in 18.West Brom keep their ultra thin survival hopes alive with yet another well organised performance.
What the managers said:
West Brom caretaker boss Darren Moore:
“We did everything that was asked of us. We came to a tough arena, against a good team, and we needed to perform well to come away with a result.
“I was pleased with the result, it was a good, solid performance. We could have scored more goals, we had plenty of chances, and after we scored our defence was resolute too.
“We’re just continuing to look forward to the next game now, we’ll enjoy today, and look forward.”
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez
“We wanted to get more points to finish higher in the table, but we didn’t do well today, we made a lot of mistakes, and we weren’t good enough
“The target was to stay up, but if we can finish ninth we want to do that.”
Written by Will Chattell.