Newcastle United 2 West Bromwich Albion 1
- Darren England
Two former West Brom loanees combined for the winning goal as Newcastle saw off the struggling Baggies to record back-to-back Premier League wins.
The Magpies had drawn first blood at St. James’ Park with the fastest goal of the Premier League season to date, Miguel Almirón gathering Joelinton’s pass before producing a calm finish from deep inside the penalty area.
United failed to build on that early advantage, though, and allowed West Brom a route back into the game. After ending the first half on top, they equalised through Darnell Furlong shortly after the interval.
However, the introduction of former Albion pair Dwight Gayle and Jacob Murphy would ultimately swing the pendulum back the Magpies’ way. With time starting to run out, Murphy swung in a delightful cross with his first meaningful involvement of the afternoon, and Gayle provided the finish with a thumping header.
Much earlier on, United got off to the dream start. There were just 20 seconds on the clock when Almirón made the net bulge, the Paraguayan registering the Magpies’ second quickest goal of the Premier League era. Joelinton – fresh from his encouraging display at Crystal Palace – provided the assist, putting the ball on a plate for Almirón after Callum Wilson barged his way past Branislav Ivanovic.
After a quiet period, Joelinton nearly doubled United’s advantage himself shortly after the half-hour mark. Matt Ritchie set the Brazilian away with a quickly-taken free kick, and he cut back from the byline after Ivanovic dived in. At that point, he had both Wilson and Sean Longstaff crying out for the ball, but opted to take aim himself. The forward tried to beat Sam Johnstone at the ‘keeper’s near post, but couldn’t get the better of the Baggies’ number one.
The closing stages of the opening half belonged to the visitors, though. Slaven Bilic’s side started to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, and Matt Phillips – who’d struck in each of his last two games against the Magpies – fired a warning shot with a curling effort at Karl Darlow. The lively Conor Gallagher then found himself handily placed after United failed to clear their lines, but side-footed wide of the target with Darlow seemingly beaten.
The break looked to have come at a good time for Newcastle, but Steve Bruce’s side failed to heed the warning which had come their way and West Brom duly levelled within five minutes of the restart. Phillips crossed from the left and Furlong took full advantage of Jamal Lewis’ moment of hesitancy to volley the ball into the far corner of the net.
After Gallagher threatened again, Gayle – making his first appearance in a black and white shirt since July’s season-closer against Liverpool – was introduced for United. His impact was nearly immediate, the striker getting up to meet Ritchie’s corner before seeing a goalbound header cleared off the line.
With just over ten minutes to play, Murphy came on for Emil Krafth – a substitution which left United with only one recognised defender on the pitch. It was a move which was to pay dividends, though, as Murphy’s pinpoint cross from deep in the 82nd minute was met by Gayle, who produced a bullet header to beat Johnstone and clinch another valuable victory for the home side.