It had all the earmarks of a match that would have an unpleasant end result for Newcastle United. In spite of a putrid beginning to the season, the club had managed a 3 match league winning streak to rocket up the league which set up the sneaking suspicion that we might see some more of the former performances than the latter as the most recent international break loomed. In fact, that's exactly what we saw. The opening 44 minutes were as poor and unfocused as we've seen for quite a while. Not that West Brom were exactly covering themselves in glory either... at 44:00 the match had all the hallmarks of the worst of the styles of 0-0 draw that you could see. Then, out of nothing came a moment of transcendent beauty. Daryl Janmaat had been probably the best player on the pitch for the Toon in the opening minutes so it was fitting that he would be the driving factor for Newcastle's opener from man of the moment Ayoze Perez:
The Spaniard's goal will almost certainly be one that we see over and over again as the season passes (too early Goal of the Season shout?) and seemed to be the tonic the club needed to lift themselves out of the collective malaise in which they had found themselves.
Coming out from halftime, it was a familiar narrative - 45 poor minutes, 45 very good minutes - and the match would play out exactly that way. Possession was kept, runs were made and decent play was had all around although there wasn't an over-abundance of chances on goal to be had. Fittingly, it would be another moment of brilliance from Janmaat that would provide Newcastle another goal and a comfortable 2-0 scoreline. Off of a Newcastle corner from the opposite side, the ball was half-cleared by West Brom then patiently worked to the Dutchman who exhibited brilliant patience to turn his defender before crossing brilliantly just outside the 6-yard box where Fabricio Coloccini met it and put away one of the most textbook headers that you'll see in a long time.
Typically, one half of play was as high in quality as the other was poor, but it has worked out again and Newcastle are now on a run of 4 league wins on the trot and 5 in all competitions.
- Paul Dummett had a very solid day at CB. Can't fault anything he did really.
- The more Ayoze Perez plays, the better he gets. Although a veritable non-factor until the goal, after that point (when the team started, you know, looking to get him the ball), he was terriffic.
- Moussa Sissoko Is a beast, and this club can be as good as he wants it (and himself) to be.
- Daryl Janmaat is really really good.