Newcastle v WBA Report 25th March 2012 KO 4pm (A) Sky
By Dean Farley
Tuesday 27 Mar 2012 09:08:00
Browse all Dean Farley articles

West Brom 1-3 Newcastle

Attendance - 25,049

Referee - Chris Foy



Nwcastle played some 'champagne' football as they stormed away with three points down at the Hawthorns. Number 9, Cisse, grabbed two goals with Hatem Ben Arfa grabbing the other as the Magpies ran riot at West Brom.

    All points at this stage in the season are vital to all teams, however, these three points saw Newcastle race ahead of Liverpool and see themselves level with Chelsea! With Liverpool blundering against struggling Wigan, Pardew's men created an 8 point gap between the two sides. It goes without saying that Newcastle are still ahead of Sunderland; 10 points ahead in fact!

    West Brom had the chance to take the lead after only 40 seconds. Youssouf Mulumbu fired a powerful shot towards goal, but the Albion man was unable to keep his shot down.

    Up the other end it was Ben Foster who was called into action first. Cisse broke through the Baggie's defence and whipped a ball into the far post. Roy Hodgon's side managed to clear the ball, but only as far as Demba Ba who saw his tricky volley tipped over by the West Brom stopper. A decent attempt for Newcastle's leading scorer.

    From the resulting corner Newcastle broke the deadlock. West Brom cleared the ball only as far as Jonas Gutierrez who fed a neat ball into Hatem Ben Arfa. Ben Arfa took the ball into his stride and played a superb ball across the six yard box into the path of three Newcastle players. The ball landed to Papiss Cisse who slotted the ball in the bottom corner. It was an absolute brilliant move by Newcastle that once again shows that they mean business in the final stages of the season.

    The hosts looked rattled by the quality of Newcastle's play. And this was shown once again when Ben Arfa doubled the Toon's average after only 12 minutes. A good counter attack from a West Brom corner saw Ben Arfa playing a neat one-two with Cabaye, before the Frenchman raced from his own half into the West Brom half. Ben Arfa played the ball into Cisse, who strode forward and in the three against two situation played it back to Ben Arfa. He then rushed into the box, cut in on his deadly left foot and fired the ball into the bottom corner. As the Geordie crowd went crazy, Ben Arfa celebrated with West Brom looking stunned.

    James Morisson wasted a rare West Brom chance when he hit the ball flush on the half-volley from outside of the box. However Morisson failed to test Tim Krul as the ball flashed just past the post.

    Just as West Brom looked to be growing into the game, Newcastle made it three after 34 minutes. Who else but that man Cisse again? Ba played a lovely back heel into the path of the on-running Ben Arfa who cut the ball back across the box where Cisse was waiting to pounce on the penalty spot. Cisse waited and fired his first time left foot shot into the bottom corner of the net. Again, another brilliant move from Newcastle who are really firing on all cylenders at the moment.

    Half time soon followed and after signaling that he could not continue any longer, captain Coloccini had to come off for Santon at the break. Coloccini suffered a tight hamstring that should not see him out for too long. Maybe a couple of days rest on his sofa should do it.

    The make-shift defence consisted of Williamson and Perch at centre back, and Santon and Simpson playing left back and right back. And they were put to the test almost immediately after the restart. Morisson blazed a shot off target before Williamson had to block Mulumbu's shot out for a corner.

    However Newcastle were always dangerous on the break, and Cisse should have bagged his forst hat trick in Newcastle colours. Cabaye set Cisse free one on one with Ben Foster. Cisse ran through and dinked his shot straight at Foster who parried away. I suppose we can forgive the man who 'scores when he wants' after he has already see his tally in Black and White rise to five!

    Half time substitute Shane Long was the player who reduced the deficit 7 minutes after the break. Marc-Antoine Fortune lofted a hopeful ball over the top which seemed quite safe. Williamson looked like he was guiding the ball back to Tim Krul who was coming to claim it. For some reason Williamson headed the ball back into the box and away from keeper Krul where the waiting shane Long was waiting to volley into the empty net. God knows what the big defender was doing in that situation, and my nerves were certainly on the edge as I had flashbacks to the last game of last season where we threw away a three goal half time lead to the same opposition. The West Brom also remembered this singing, although toung in cheek, 'we've done it before, we'll do it again'.

    Still Newcastle looked threatening and were creating the majority of the chances. Ben Arfa made a trademark run from the half way line to the opposition's box. As he aced forward, he saw his shot saved well by Foster. Ben Arfa is definately making a big name for himself up here on Tyneside.

    As the game came to an end, Yohan Cabaye curled a free kick over the bar and Ba fired into the palms of Foster.

    Newcastle held on to see the game out with another three points in the push for that Europa League spot. We now have to believe that we can do it as there is no reason why we can't being level on points with Chelsea. Next Sunday's game against Liverpool will prove to be a very tasty affair, with the result being very important in our season.


Dean Farley

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