West Brom 0, Newcastle 2
NUFC notched their fifth straight victory and have leaped over several teams to eighth in the Premier League table. It was a second straight comfortable win, following last week's shutout of Liverpool at home. When their well-organized 4-3-3 formation put pressure on the Baggies, the opposition virtually lost its ability to mount an attack. Aside for a 7 minute stretch halfway through the first half, West Brom didn't threaten Newcastle for any sustained period.
Their goal differential has improved to -2. Tim Krul got his third clean sheet of the season (and his second straight).
The players of the match were at the front and back. At the front, young Spanish striker, Ayoze Perez, scoring first again for the Magpies with a morale-crushing, sublime, back-heel re-direction at the end of the first half. At the back, defenders Janmaat, Coloccini, and Dummett provided the tackles and a much improved aerial attack. The crossing and corners by Newcastle in this match were the best they had executed in months, perhaps years. Janmaat's cross to Coloccini's header put Newcastle ahead 2-0 early in the second half. West Brom nearly stopped playing, and the visiting Geordie fans made The Hawthorns sound like St. James' Park with their chants and singing. Newcastle need to continue to improve their air attack and set plays if they want to keep climbing the table.
The man of the match had to be Janmaat with both assists.
I think Newcastle must defeat QPR back home on November 22. Then they will regroup for a trip to West Ham November 29. They are two matches away from an undefeated November. This second international break of the season will be a lot less stressful than the first.
Last year, an unbeaten November and a guy named Remy saved the season. This year, an unbeaten November could help punch a ticket back to Europa.