Newcastle vs. West Brom: Lessons Learned from the Toons' 2-1 Win
A pulsating Premier League encounter at St James' Park saw The Magpies edge back into the top half with a 94th-minute winner against high-flying West Brom.
After a great volley by Demba Ba to open the scoring, lady luck certainly played her part as Sammy Ameobi's last-minute shot was deflected past the stranded Ben Foster off the backside of striker Papiss Cissé.
Newcastle Manager Alan Pardew was of the opinion that his squad's valiant efforts on two fronts, The Europa League, as well as The Premier League, had earned them a deserved break.
He told the BBC,
"...our work rate was great and in the end we got a break. To be honest we haven't had too many breaks this season. We've had a lot of injuries and haven't moaned about it."
"This Thursday to Sunday run is proving difficult. We got tired because of our efforts this week. We make a lot of changes but it is still has an effect emotionally."
A very satisfying end to a great week for Newcastle United.
Tim Krul Could Be the New Peter Schmeichel
Both one-on-one chances were very dangerous and were dealt with brilliantly by the commanding Dutch goalkeeper, who made himself big in the box like the Danish master GK in his prime.
After a club-record-breaking 15 clean sheets last season in The Premier League, and at his current rate of progress with Newcastle and Holland, Krul is emerging as a keeper to rival the world’s best.
James Perch Is an Able Deputy for Tiote
After impressing in a defensive central midfield berth against Chelsea as a second-half sub, and again at Sunderland last week when Shola was sacrificed following Tiote’s red card, Perch made his first start of the season at anchor man vs. WBA.
Naturally combative, the former Nottingham Forest Captain steadied the ship again in Newcastle’s midfield with another disciplined performance to the delight of ‘Perchinio’ fans among the Newcastle faithful.
Sammy Ameobi Is the Real Deal
Unlike the excitable Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi takes the Premier League in his stride.
Both impressed in Newcastle’s Europa League win against Bruges mid-week, yet while the 23-year-old French winger has a tendency to panic with the ball in The Premier League, Sammy has taken to the big league like a duck to water, playing with the natural composure of brother Shola.
This confident attitude, combined with a willingness to take players on and have a go, proved a real asset as his last-minute “shank,” as he confessed his shot was to his Twitter followers, was the difference between two well-matched teams.
It's Better to Be Lucky Than Good
It was trick, not treat, when a bold West Brom team knocked on the St James' Park door at Halloween.
After Ba's 35th-minute opener, it was all WBA, who equalized through Lukaku in the 55'.
Papiss Cissé kept his mask on right until the 94th-minute, before reminding people he is a goalscorer.
As Man City proved last week against The Baggies, the top teams know how to win ugly—and late.
Fortune Favours the Brave
This was the third time Newcastle have faced WBA at home under Pardew.
After a galling 3-3 draw, having led 3-0 at halftime, two seasons ago and seeing a point evaporate in the final few minutes last season, Newcastle finally claimed all three points.
While it certainly was "third time's a charm" with the final goal, the adventurous attacking trio of subs Obertan, Cissé & Ameobi Jr. represented a willingness to change the system and were the keynotes of this victory.
Early home domination led to an early Route One heavyweight blow from Ba, before a tired Newcastle employed Rope-A-Dope for much of the second half as WBA pressed.
A Sammy Ameobi-Cissé sucker punch at the death saw Newcastle demonstrate their true stature.
Change the Clocks: It's Cissé Scoring Time
Last season, Cissé had The Midas Touch, where everything he touched turned to goals.
After a slow start to this season's scoring, he finally has his first League goal, and fluke or not, it could be the start of another goal glut as Alan Pardew acknowledged:
They always say that if you’re on a barren run you get one off your bum or shin, then it gets you going. Hopefully that will because it is nice to have a striker scoring, Demba Ba scored today but then got injured so we are going to look to Papiss now.
Outrageous 30-yard strikes with the outside of his boot, deadly chips and an array of lethal finishes, when Cissé is on form, there’s no better finisher in the Premier League.
British Summer time has ended, Cissé Scoring Time has begun.
The Best Is Yet To Come From NUFC
Finally, Newcastle enjoyed back-to-back wins for the first time this season and have a real chance to build some serious momentum.
With Liverpool away next, Alan Pardew will approach the match with real confidence, having defeated Liverpool 2-0 and their new manager Brendan Rodgers' Swansea 2-0 away in April.
With Ba and Cissé on the same Newcastle scoresheet for the first time since February vs. Aston Villa, brighter times lie ahead for The Magpies, who showed last season that when they hit form, they could go on a real run and emerge as serious contenders for the top spots.