Newcastle tore West Brom apart in the first half this afternoon, and scored three magical breakaway goals, two through number 9 Papiss Cisse, and one from the mercurial Ben Arfa.
The goals came from Ciise after 5 minutes, Ben Arfa after 11 minutes and Cisse again after 33 minutes to make that five goals in just 6 appearances for the Senegal striker.
It seemed that the West Brom defense just couldn’t hold the free flowing Newcastle counter attacks from a slick passing Newcastle outfit, with Ben Arfa in mercurial form.
Ben Arfa ran at the West Brom continually and in this form the lad is a complete joy to watch and that left foot of his is golden.
This was an excellent win and a much better display than last week, that manager Pardew had promised before the game, and indeed Newcastle looked a good side today.
Newcastle lost Coloccini at half time to some injury and James Perch moved over to the middle, with Davide Santon coming in at left back.
But to start the second half off, Newcastle gave away a terrible goal after 51 minutes.
There seemed to be some misunderstanding between Tim Krul and Mike Williamson, and Irish striker Shane Long, who had come off the bench in the second half, nipped in to put the ball home.
But Newcastle held out well and it was a great 3 points for Newcatsle, who are now on 50 points, level with Chelsea – and a full 8 points ahead of Liverpool, who we meet next Sunday ar St. James’ Park.
A worry for Newcastle fans was that Cisse was stretchered off after 75 minutes, but we have to hope it was only cramp, and it appeared to be some thigh muscle problem.
It was a good display from Newcastle today, a very good display with many positives, and here is report of the game as we saw it.
Newcastle started the game with their orange shirts white shorts and black socks on a sunny day at West Brom.
Newcastle were starting to put some good passes together early on until Danny Guthrie hit a wayward cross-field pass that went for a throw in.
But Newcastle were 1-0 up after only six minutes, and it was that man Papiss Cisse agin with his 4th gaol for Newcastle in six appearances.
Newcastle broke quickly from defense and they stretched the West Brom rearguard, and then a perfect left wing cross from Ben Arfa, and Cisse had the ball in the back of the net in an instant with his right foot.
On TV replays Cisse looked even a shade offside, but the goal stood.
West Brom came back and started to pepper the Newcastle goal, but the Magpies defense seemed well organized and held steady, and then would you believe it but Newcastle were 2-0 up after 12 minutes, and it was another brilliant goal by Ben Arfa.
It was another fast break and Ben Arfa got the ball into the penalty from the right, and he moved to his left and then rifled the ball past the goalkeeper, giving Foster no chance.
Ben Arfa had been involved in the first goal and now he scored his 5th goal of the season and looked to be in top form.
West Brom again tried to come back into the game, but again Newcastle held firm and then after 33 minutes Newcastle produced another lightning break, and the ball came across to Cisse who again rifled into the goal first time – this lad seems made to score goals.
Half time came and then had been a little injury scare with Coloccini, but he played out the first 45 minutes.
While Newcastle were 3-0 up the game wasn’t over, as we remember well that we held the same score-line in May, with just 30 minutes to go, and yet we only drew that game 3-3.
Davide Santon came on in the second half for Fabricio Coloccini, who couldn’t continue, and he went to left back and James Perch switched to center-back.
After 53 minutes Newcastle gifted a goal to West Brom.
It was a long high through ball that came into the box, and there seemed hesitation between Krul and Williamson and Shane Long nipped in to score.
So no clean sheet today, and that was poor defending from the Newcastle side, and it gave West Brom some hope, which was even worse at this stage of the game.
Some minutes later Ben Arfa shuffled through the West Brom defense again, and hit a left foot shot that Forster did well to save down to his left. Ben Arfa was having a great game, and he was unlucky not to score more than one today.
On 75 minutes, Shola Ameobi replaced Ben Arfa, who got a great ovation fom the traveleling Geordies.
And then on 78 minutes Papiss Cisse went down injured with what looked to be a muscle injury in his thigh, maybe it was just cramp, but he was taken off on a stretcher and young Shane Ferguson came on.
We have to hope Cisse is not hurt too badly, but Newcastle lost Coloccini and Cissee through injury today, and there will be some concern until we know the extent of those injuries.
Newcastle were still playing solidly although West Brom came into the game more in the second half – and there was massive 7 minutes added on for stoppage time, because of the injuries, not only to Cisse, but to a couple of West Brom players too.
It was an excellent win by Newcastle and our goal difference is now +2 and we are a massive 8 points above Liverpool.
But the worry is that we lost captain Coloccini and Papiss Cisse, and we have to hope they are not serious injuries.
The next game is against Liverpool at St. James’ Park nest Sunday afternoon and Newcastle will go into that game full of confidence after ripping West Brom apart in thatfirst half today.
It was the second great result in a row for the Magpies and a much better performance than last week against Norwich.
Well done to the lads today – they were great!
West Brom: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Odemwingie, Mulumbu (Scharner 73), Morrison, Andrews (Long 46), Thomas (Brunt 46); Fortune
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini (Santon 46), Williamson, Perch, Jonas, Guthrie, Cabaye, Ben Arfa (Ameobi 75), Ba, Cisse (Ferguson 78).
Subs: Ferguson, Abeid, Gosling, Elliot, Vuckic,
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).