West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 : Who’s Happy Now?
It’s great going to away matches.
Even better at night, when there are loads of Toon fans and even better when we win.
Even better in the FA Cup, a competition that has lost a lot of its status over the last twenty years but one that as Newcastle fans, is tattooed on our hearts. So much so that you’d think we would be allowed to win it every now and again, a reward for loving it so much.
Given all of that, I can imagine that seeing NUFC lose 1-0 at Burnley in December isn’t a whole lot of fun, but this was.
United defended a boisterous away end in the first half and the game started with NUFC dominating possession. Maxi took a couple of kicks and didn’t look interested early on, even though it was “Total Nonsense” that he had fallen out with manager Steve Bruce over tactics. Just the rest of us then.
The main attacking threat came down Newcastle’s right, Manquillo in particular looked to enjoy having Lazaro in front of him and took full advantage of the space allowed. The bright Oranges broke through regularly onto the Albion back line, only some sloppy passing meant a lack of good chances created. WBA weren’t without chances, exploiting space between our midfield and defence to test Darlow a couple of times, shots he was more than equal too.
Midway through the first half ASM came to life and rattled one against the post from 25 yards. This seemed to give the whole team a lift and for the rest of the half NUFC could have scored as many goals as they wanted. Two was what they got, Almiron scored both, officially lovely strikes. “How was the bacon did you say?” Well, Steve, sizzling.
‘You’re sizzling son’
The second half started with Maxi still on the pitch, a surprise to most of us given he had a liking to limp for most of the first half at The Hawthorns but less than a minute later he had set up a debut strike from Lazaro. That’s if you can strike a ball with your belly, Albion’s keeper spilling ASM’s cross onto the on-running Austrian.
So 3-0 up after 46 minutes, the bloke beside us having gone for a pint a minute before half-time and arriving a minute after half-time and missing two goals. That’s like a month’s worth of goals mate!
The game drifted for a while with United now happy that the game was won and the Baggies feeling sorry for themselves, only when Bilic brought on the impressive Krovinovic in midfield did WBA take control of the game. That may have been helped by our knowledgeable head coach removing our best attacking players at the same time but it might have been purely coincidental, like it was in the last round. And the one before that.
‘Let’s stand here and see if the rest of them know what to do’
The Baggies scored a consolation, missed about another hundred chances and generally tore our defence apart as their gander rose. Most of that happened up the other end so my view of it was limited but I know it happened because I couldn’t see Newcastle attack anymore. “How was the bacon did you say?” Well a bit soggy now Steve.
United occasionally broke upfield with the speed and determination of a slug motoring across a kitchen floor. One such foray saw Gayle, Shelvey and Lejeune fail to create a goalscoring opportunity from a three-on-two and that was quite a regular occurrence in the game: different personnel, same outcome. Still, at least we can’t point the finger at Steve Bruce for not coaching them how to attack three-on-two, we’ve never had three players in the opposition’s half until Tuesday night.
Albion scored another consolation, again. Everyone fretted for a couple of minutes which included some Baggies striker chucking himself on the ground looking for a penalty. We knew it wasn’t going to happen, even Newcastle couldn’t chuck that one away. The referee finally decided that enough was enough and we could all sing our songs all the way home.
Overall it was a great game to be at for more reasons than winning an entertaining game. The Newcastle fans had the sort of singsong away trip which was the norm twenty five years ago. On the pitch, the club have now learned that if they go down and keep this side together, they will at least come straight back up again. If every team in the Championship plays a reserve team anyway.
There were excellent performances from Miggy and ASM, improved performances from Longstaff, Joelinton, Lazaro and Manquillo, who looked particularly comfortable embracing the right side and steady jobs done by the others. Even Danny Rose scraped a five out of ten.
‘Every Rose has a Thorn’
After the game Slaven Bilic said:
“We started the game by giving them way too much respect, especially their midfield players. With the pace and quality they have up front, those midfield players had too much time to feed the three or four up front.”
See Steve, no one knows what formation you are playing even if it is their job. If you have to have a press release to explain what formation your players are playing you should either a) not do it because it makes you look stupid or b) not do it because you are helping the opposition to play against it. Either way, just stop saying stupid things like that. And like this:
“It wouldn’t be Newcastle if we didn’t make a drama out of it! It must be something in our DNA. For an hour, I was very pleased. But, then that horrible mentality of when you think it’s too easy.”
Yes we do drama very well at NUFC but the rest has nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with thinking the game was over. You can do something about that. If you know so much about Newcastle then you know it is never too easy until Kenny Wharton sits on the ball. Still, no point in denying that this was anything other than a great day out, an entertaining game, a win and passage to the FA Cup Sixth Round.
“How was the bacon did you say?” Sweeeeet.
Stats from BBC Sport:
West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 – Tuesday 3 March 2020 8pm
Phillips 74, Zohore 90+3
Almiron 33, 45+1, Lazaro 47
Possession was WBA 48% Newcastle 52%
Total shots were WBA 18 Newcastle 15
Shots on target were WBA 7 Newcastle 7
Corners were WBA 6 Newcastle 2
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Darlow, Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Rose, Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb, Lazaro (Lejeune 90+1), Almiron (Shelvey 71), Joelinton, Saint-Maximim (Gayle 80)
Elliot, Yedlin, Ritchie, Matty Longstaff
Crowd: (NUFC 5,050)
(Mike Ashley signing autographs and abused by Newcastle United fans outside Hawthorns – Video – Watch HERE)
(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 – Read HERE)
(After playing reserve side and losing to Newcastle United, Slaven Bilic says ‘The league is the priority’ – Read HERE)
(West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 – Watch official match highlights in 5 goal thriller and plenty other chances – Watch HERE)
(Steve Bruce reacts to West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 – “It must be something in our DNA” – Read HERE)
(Brilliant video footage as ‘Ridiculous support’ of 5,000+ Newcastle fans celebrate goal and Miggy chant – Watch HERE)
(West Brom 2 Newcastle 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Tuesday’s FA Cup 5th round win – Read HERE)
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