Newcastle held by West Brom

Date published: Saturday 9th May 2015 4:05

Ayoze Perez scored Newcastle’s equalising goal in the 41st minute after Victor Anichebe had headed West Brom in front just past the half hour.

The home side pushed hard for a winner in the second half but lacked any real cutting edge as Tony Pulis’ men held on and almost snatched a winner themselves through Chris Brunt’s late effort.

For a game of such importance it was a rather low-key opening to the first half with neither side really asserting themselves.

Newcastle were the side who finally attempted to take control of the game but it was West Brom who came closest to an early breakthrough. Craig Gardner swung in a corner from the left and Craig Dawson jumped highest to glance it goalwards, only to see it come back off the post.

From that point they rarely ventured into Newcastle territory until they took the lead just past the half hour. Gardner put a free-kick in from the right and Anichebe nodded it past Tim Krul at the near post.

It came barely a minute after Moussa Sissoko had seen his shot cleared off the line after Fabricio Coloccini had headed a free-kick back across goal. The midfielder got a bit of luck as he broke through a challenge before beating Myhill, only to see Joleon Lescott clear it off the line.

The equaliser also came from a free-kick. Ryan Taylor crossed low from the left and Ayoze Perez controlled it well before firing left-footed into the bottom corner.

Newcastle started the second period brighter but struggled to create any chances of note as West Brom continued to invite them forward.

Remy Cabella, who had looked the most likely to make something happen for Newcastle before the break, became a more peripheral figure.

The game became more stretched and tempers were frayed with John Carver venting his frustration at the match officials after a throw-in went against his side.

He was up in arms a few moments later when substitute Papiss Cisse was adjudged to have fouled Lescott. His mood could have darkened further had West Brom taken their chances from the resulting free-kick.

Lescott played it long towards Anichebe before the bouncing ball fell to Dawson, he lifted it to the far post where Brunt met it with a firm header.

A despairing block on the line from Paul Dummett kept it out but the ball looped up and a combination of Brunt and Saido Berahino tried to force it over the line, succeeding only in sending it against the post under pressure from Krul.

Berahino got through on goal soon afterwards but was denied by Krul. Newcastle were restricted to speculative efforts in the closing stages with Cabella shooting just off target from 20 yards and Sammy Ameobi’s overhead kick going narrowly over the crossbar as time ran out.

Having been in the top half as recently as January, Newcastle now find themselves just two points above the drop zone with just two games remaining. They face a trip to QPR next weekend before hosting West Ham on the final day.

Soccer Saturday analysis – Phil Thompson

“Newcastle didn’t have too many chances. Myhill made one good save but most of the fans were clapping so it shows that they’ve given as much as they could but they’re lacking that little bit of class in and around the box. Perez is very good, Riviere is ok – he worked very hard – but there just wasn’t enough quality there to look as though they were going to trouble this West Brom defence.

“Newcastle’s back four did alright and it was difficult because Anichebe kept going on to Dummett and making it really difficult. I think a draw was a fair result.”

Player Ratings

Newcastle: Krul (6); Anita (6), Coloccini (6), Dummett (6), Gutierrez (6); Taylor (6), Colback (7), Sissoko (6), Cabella (7); Ayoze Perez (7), Riviere (5).

Subs: Cisse (5), Ameobi (6), Abeid (N/A).

West Brom: Myhill (6); Dawson (5), McAuley (6), Olsson (6), Lescott (7); Gardner (6), Fletcher (6), Yacob (6), Mulumbu (6), Brunt (7), Anichebe (7).

Subs: Morrison (5), Berahino (6), McManaman (5).

Man of the Match: Remy Cabella

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