Baggies secure comfortable win as Magpies are dispatched at the Hawthorns.
A Peter Odemwingie double gave West Bromwich Albion a comfortable win over Newcastle United and lifted the Baggies into the top half of the Premier League table.
West Brom have been known for their intricate, passing football so far this season and it didn’t take them long to get into their usual pattern of play against Newcastle. Within the first few minutes the home side’s extra man in midfield saw them maintain possession quite comfortably in the middle of the park and on the edge of the Newcastle, but without really showing any cutting edge.
It wasn’t until the 12th minute that West Brom managed to produce a shot at Time Krul’s goal when Paul Scharner turned up unmarked at the back post from a Chris Brunt corner, but his first time volley went way over the bar.
Newcastle were showing good discipline with their back four and Guthrie and Tiote in front of them restricting the home side to long-range efforts from the likes of Brunt and Graham Dorrens.
Newcastle’s inability to gain or maintain possession was demonstrated by Jonas Gutierrez who picked up the first yellow card of the game for tugging back Jara as he broke away from him in the 20th minute.
It was amazing that Jerome Thomas didn’t get the second booking just a minute later as Mike Dean reprimanded him for diving, but failed to produce a card.
Sol Campbell hadn’t been looking entirely comfortable in the Newcastle defense, and this was shown when his attempted clearance rebounded into the path of Peter Odemwingie who burst through on goal, but the pressure from the other Magpies defenders saw him put his shot wide.
The away team finally came into the game after 25 minutes when they won two corners in quick succession. The first leading to a Steven Taylor attempt on the volley that was cleared, the second was met by Ameobi who headed over, wasting a good chance.
Just as Newcastle were coming back into the game, West Brom struck through Tchoyi. It was more delicate passing on the edge of the Newcastle box, but after Brunt played it into the Tchoyi, he moved the ball onto his left foot and not believing his luck that he remained unchallenged, curled the ball past Krul into the far corner. It was a really great finish.
Tchoyi again threatened minutes later after a lovely move on the right flank saw Jara slide the ball into the goal-scorer in the box. The midfielder produced a lovely turn and blasted a shot at the near post which Krul did well to block.
Danny Guthrie summed up Newcastle’s first half performance just before the break as he swung in a free-kick from the left looking for Carroll and Ameobi, but it was hopelessly over hit and it went harmlessly out for a goal-kick.
Newcastle looked to address the imbalance in the middle of the park by bringing Peter Lovenkrands on for Ameobi at half-time to play just behind Andy Carroll, and it was the away side who created the first chance of the second half. It came from a Routledge cross from the right seemingly destined for Andy Carroll, however the England striker left it for Taylor behind him, who forced a fantastic save from Scott Carson as he headed the ball goalwards.
Scharner again had a chance from a corner, as Brunt’s cross was completely missed by Krul, but the former Wigan man again blazed his attempt over the bar.
Tchoyi was looking continuously dangerous on the right hand side, and Jose Enrique was struggling to contain him. The Spaniard resorted to tugging his opponent back in the 57th minute resulting in a yellow card.
Newcastle came as close as they had done all day through Jonas Gutierrez on 59 minutes as Sol Campbell threaded a lovely ball to the Argentine down the left. He burst into the box and got his shot off from a tight angle, deflecting off Scharner and over Carson, but Cech was there to clear off the line.
Guthrie became the third Newcastle player to be booked as his wild lunge on Thomas in the 62nd minute left Mike Dean with no other option.
The visitors were pushing for the equalizer as the game entered its final half hour, and only a desperate punch from Carson kept the ball from Lovenkrands’ head which would have surely been a goal without his interference.
Lovenkrands was again involved minutes later as a right sided free kick was swung in, but Campbell and the Dane seemed to get in each others way.
The visitor’s hopes were dashed on 71 minutes though as Odemwingie made it two nil to the Baggies. Danny Guthrie slipped whilst in possession just inside his own half which the Nigerian pounced on. He still had Taylor and Campbell to contend with, and it certainly looked like a square pass was the best option, Odemwingie felt otherwise though and managed to avoid both center-backs’ challenges and slot the ball into the corner with his left foot.
It turned out that Guthrie hadn’t just given a goal away, but had suffered a severe looking injury as he was stretchered off in the aftermath of the goal. Alan Smith was his replacement, and Nile Ranger replaced Wayne Routledge.
Smith immediately announced his arrival with a reckless challenge on Thomas which earned him a yellow card. Campbell also received a booking as he blocked off Giles Barnes who had just come on for Thomas.
The game was made completely safe for the Baggies in the 89th minute, as they proved they can mix their play up effectively. Marek Cech spotted the run of Odemwingie straight through the center of the pitch and played a long diagonal ball to the forward. The Nigerian was in behind Sol Campbell and he calmly rounded Krul and slotted home to put his side 3-0 up.
Newcastle did rescue some dignity in the dying minutes as they grabbed a consolation through Peter Lovenkrands. A cross swung in from the right was brought down by Carroll possibly with his arm, and he should have scored himself but fired straight at Carson. Lovenkrands was on hand, however, to score from the rebound and register his first league goal of the season.
This wasn’t the start of a glorious come back though, as West Brom comfortably saw out the last couple of minutes and picked up a resounding win for Di Matteo’s side.
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