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Pointless at the Hawthorns, but a chance to pull clear missed.

WBA 0-0 Newcastle United

A decent first half from Newcastle United, where both Fraser and Joelinton should have done better in feeding their counterparts when well placed. But a resilient West Brom, a packed defence, and a complete lack of quality from both teams meant the game finished goalless.


Steve Bruce, without his first choice front three would start with Joelinton and Fraser as a front two with Willock just in behind. See the foot of this page for match stats and teamsheets.

And the pairing would cause some early issues for West Brom.

The fist big chance would come from a long ball over the top to Fraser who should have found an unmarked Joelinton on the right of the box but the cross was behind his counterpart and the chance was gone.

Krafth would be next to try to get his team ahead, but his shot would be easily saved.

On 11 minutes Newcastle should have been ahead. Joelinton outpacing his marker and racing into the box. With a choice of shooting or crossing to a totally unmarked Fraser he chose the latter. The cross was cut out to deny what would have been a tap in. A enormous chance gone in the blink of an eye.

The best of West Brom's chances would fall to Diagne. A long throw flicked on to the Baggies front man but his shot was lashed over the bar.

Next it would be Shelvey who would get the chance to force the issue. A well worked free kick pulled back to Shelvey who's hit was deflected favourably for Johnstone to save easily.

For West Brom it was a typical 'Big Sam' performance. a packed defence, closing space in their own half, men behind the ball. Frustrating for any side to play against, and more so when your main attacking players are all on the treatment table. A goal for the home side would only serve to increase their resolve. United had to score first.

A first half were both defences largely cancel each other out.

Pereira would find some space early in the first half but some good covering from Clark in particular allowing the rest of the team to regroup eventually nullified the threat. From the resultant corner though West Brom should certainly have taken the lead. Phillips this time getting free of his man before belting the ball over the bar from 6 yards out. A big let off for the Magpies.

United would then get a break of their own. Willock eventually keeping Johnstone's palms warm, although beating the keeper from a distance at his near post was always going to be difficult.

Some great work form Willock to break free of the West Brom midfield would eventually see him find Joelinton inside the box, but whilst his first touch was quality to make space for the shot, the hit itself was poor.

Bruce would have one tactical masterstroke up his sleeve however. With 15 seconds on the clock he would throw on Carroll. Yes, we're being sarcastic. Just why!

A point then. But against a poor side like that, it really was two points dropped.





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