West Brom fight on after win at Newcastle

West Brom gave themselves the faintest of hope in their relegation battle as they recorded a surprise win at Newcastle.

A point for Swansea against Chelsea (17:30 BST) would end the Baggies’ eight-year stay in the top-flight, but at least this latest impressive display gave the fans another reason to smile after what has been an awful campaign.

Victory made it eight points from four games for caretaker boss Darren Moore, and this was another effervescent performance from his men.

They took the lead in the 29th minute when Jake Livermore’s sidefoot pass found Matt Phillips, who smashed in from 10 yards.

James McClean and Jay Rodriguez also went close for the Baggies, while their keeper Ben Foster made a sensational save to keep out Dwight Gayle’s header.

The Magpies were also denied by the post after Kenedy had beaten Foster with a poked shot.

West Brom remain in 20th place, five points behind Swansea with two games remaining.

Although miracles are possible – remember Leicester’s title win in 2015-16? – the Baggies remain favourite to go down.

At least Moore – loved by the fans and, seemingly, the players – has injected some belief into the players which was missing under the stewardship of former managers Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew.

At St James’ Park, the Baggies showed the sort of gutsy performance their opponents had shown in recent weeks. However, with safety assured, Newcastle’s levels have dropped and the Baggies took advantage.

They went ahead just before the half-hour mark as Phillips, who was brilliant on the wing, rifled the ball past Martin Dubravka.

Had striker Salomon Rondonbeing at his sharpest then West Brom might have added to their lead, while Rodriguez forced a good low save from the Newcastle keeper.

The Baggies defence were barely tested, with Newcastle’s attack lacking bite.

West Brom caretaker boss Darren Moore said: “We did everything that was asked of us today. We came to a tough arena, against a good team, and we needed to perform well to come away with a result.

“I was pleased with the result, it was a good, solid performance. We could have even scored more goals, we had plenty of chances, and after we scored our defence was resolute too.

“We’re just continuing to look forward to the next game now, we’ll enjoy today, and look forward.”
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez on BBC’s MOTD also said: “We tried to do it, but I’m not happy with our performance on the ball, without the ball, everything we did in the last few games, we didn’t do.

“We wanted to get more points to finish higher in the table, but we didn’t do well today, we made a lot of mistakes, and we weren’t good enough.

“We didn’t think the job was done, but it’s a pity because we’ve had a good season, but we want to finish better, too. I congratulate the players for a good season, but we need to be better than today.

“The target was to stay up, but if we can finish ninth we want to do that.”

Source: BBC


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