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Point A Piece

Newcastle are back in what was a crucial game at the Hawthornes. Many saw this as a must win for the Magpies, and with Fulham losing 1-0 against Spurs and up against Liverpool later today, or Sunday depending on when you're reading this (at the time of writing Liverpool vs Fulham has yet to kick off). Given the recent injury crisis at United Steve Bruce has had to change the side around choosing to keep the 4-3-1-2 formation with Dubravka between the sticks. Krafth is at the right back position alongside the two regular centre halves Lascelles and Clark. Paul Dummet made a rare start in the line up at Left Back. Hendrick, Shelvey and Hayden make up the trio in Midfield with Willock just ahead assuming the role from Miguel Almiron. Joelinton and Ryan Fraser start up front, but as we have seen in the past few matches, Joelinton and Fraser could play further wide and bring in the likes of Almiron, or in this case Willock as a sort of False nine.

 

First half gets underway and its The Baggies who kick off, and it's United with the first chance when Maitland-Niles loses possession to Shelvey who knocks the ball long for Fraser, Fraser tried to find Joelinton in the middle but the ball takes a nick off of Bartley, Willock picks up the loose ball and played it to Joelinton who back tracked to the edge of the area, but his shot on his weaker foot is tame and blocked again by Bartley. Two minutes later United were back in with Krafth picking up the ball on the edge of the area, Krafth had a go from 25 yards but that man Bartley was once again in the way with his head, with the ball still heading towards goal, Johnstone the keeper had to get down to palm it away. It was a good first quarter of an hour for the Mags when Willock picked up the ball from deep, Willock fed the ball through to Joelinton who beat Townsend for pace and strength, Joelinton, rather than take on the shot, decided to play the ball to Fraser who was sitting Square inside of the area, but unfortunately darnel Furlong came back and defended brilliantly, sliding in to prevent the cross reaching the Scotsman, and out for a corner. The resulting corner was cleared and sent West Brom on the counter with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but his final ball to Gallagher was cut out by Dummett.



In the 22nd Minute West Brom went on the attack with Townsend who sends the ball into the box, the ball was met by the foot of Pereira who struck it straight at Dubravka. And just six minutes later The Bagies were in again from long throw by Furlong into the box Bartley held off the defence and flicked it onto Diange who had the power but not the accuracy as the ball went wide.


On the Half hour mark Fraser played a short corner to Krafth who played it short into the box for Shelvey, Shelvey hit the ball first time but the keeper was equal to it, palming the ball out for a corner which resulted to nothing. But eight minutes later it was West Brom who were back in again when Townsend put a good cross into the box which was met by Diange's head, with the ball trickling towards goal Dubravka managed to sprawl to the other side of his net to prevent the goal. Underwhelming first half for the Toon. Half Time 0-0.



 

Newcastle kick off in the second half, and Joelinton went on the attack in the 50th minute, sprinting down the left hand side, he pulled the ball back for Fraser who put the ball into the box but there was no man there in yellow to get on the end of it resulting in a punch from the Goalkeeper. Five minutes later saw the best chance so far with Townsend on the left, who has put in a good attacking display today, Townsend sends in a low ball to find Phillips who blazed the ball over the bar, perhaps the pressure from Lascelles put Phillips off.



On the hour mark Gayle broke away through the middle, Gayle played the ball to Willock who was closed down by the defence limiting his options, Willock took the shot and tested Johnstone who responded well, parrying the ball behind for a corner. Fraser took the corner and Clark headed the ball over the bar. Three minutes later Diange had another chance that went begging from another good cross by Connor Townsend, Clark got trapped under the ball but the cross comes off Diange shoulder and out for a goal kick.



in the 72nd minute Newcastle went forward with Willock making his way into the box, Willock pulled the ball back for Joelinton who took the shot on his left foot but the shot severely lacked any power and was too easy for Johnstone. Nine minutes later we almost saw one goal directly from a corner by Pereira who whipped the ball in but Dubravka clawed the ball away, out for another corner which misses everyone and goes out for a goal kick. The last section of the game usually picks up and we see the best football, end-to-end with both teams battling for a point. Not in this game unfortunately. West Brom were putting in crosses left, right and centre but they either went high, wide or headed away. Final Score. West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Newcastle United.

 

If you're a neutral fan and you managed to hear the final whistle then credit to you. But as a Newcastle fan that was extremely disheartening to watch. The tactics were all wrong going into the second half. Connor Townsend was brilliant in attack but he left a lot of space in defence, which we should have attacked, Joelinton did ok attacking but he lacks the Strikers instinct to score goals. This was a game for Andy Carroll to attack the centre and Jacob Murphy to attack the right wing with Fraser on the left. It was clear to see that pace on the right was needed. Bringing on Carroll with Forty seconds to go was an insult to Carroll and us fans who could see that his presence was needed fifteen minutes before. I'd say bring on Aston Villa next but I'm really not sure that I'm looking forward to it. Dismal result. Maybe a P45 is needed.


By Sam West

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