West Brom 2-2 Newcastle: Visitors fight back to end poor recent run
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 29/11/17 6:19am
Newcastle fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a point against West Brom at The Hawthorns to end a run of four straight Premier League defeats on Tuesday night
West Brom opened the scoring in first-half injury time when Hal Robson-Kanu headed in Kieran Gibbs' left-wing centre, before doubling their lead when Sam Field volleyed home 11 minutes after half-time.
However, if caretaker West Brom manager Gary Megson - who is expected to give way to Alan Pardew on Wednesday - thought his side were set for their first league win since August, he was mistaken as the visitors responded immediately through Ciaran Clark's header.
West Brom: Foster (8), Nyom (6), Gibbs (7), Evans (8), Hegazi (7), Livermore (6), Phillips (9), Barry (7), Field (8), Robson-Kanu (8), Rondon (7)
Subs: Yacob (7), McClean (7), Krychowiak (6)
Newcastle: Darlow (7), Clark (6), Mbemba (6), Lejeune (6), Yedlin (6), Murphy (6), Ritchie (8), Hayden (6), Merino (6), Perez (6), Joselu (5)
Subs: Shelvey (8), Aarons (7), Mitrovic (7)
Man of the match: Matt Phillips
And Newcastle completed their unlikely comeback when with seven minutes to go Jonny Evans deflected Matt Ritchie's free-kick past a helpless Ben Foster at his near post.
As a result, Rafa Benitez's team have moved up to 12th in the table, while the Baggies are now two points from safety in 16th.
Both teams went into the game horribly out of form and in desperate need of a win, and that was reflected in what was a disjointed and largely uneventful first half.
Salomon Rondon came closest to breaking the deadlock after letting fly from distance, but the Venezuela international's effort beat Karl Darlow, making his first Premier League start of the season, only to clip the top of the bar.
However, with the first period entering stoppage time, West Brom took the lead following the best move of the half as Evans' gorgeous cross-field pass picked out Gibbs' run down the left touchline.
The left-back then strode forward to the byline, before crossing accurately for Robson-Kanu - in for Jay Rodriguez up front - to head past Darlow from six yards out.
Gary Megson made one change from the draw at Spurs, with Hal Robson-Kanu replacing Jay Rodriguez.
Newcastle made five alterations from their 3-0 loss to Watford, with Karl Darlow, Chancel Mbemba, Ayoze Perez, Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino all recalled.
And West Brom soon found themselves in dreamland as from Matt Phillips's inch-perfect cross from the right, Field, 19, connected at the far post for his first-ever senior goal.
But within three minutes Newcastle had reduced the deficit as Clark headed home Ritchie's right-wing corner, before completing a remarkable turnaround when Evans inadvertently diverted the Newcastle midfielder's driven free-kick past his own goalkeeper.
- West Brom have won two of their last three home league games against Newcastle, as many as in their previous 12 matches combined
- Newcastle won their last Premier League meeting with the Baggies back in February 2016 - they last won consecutive PL games against them in October 2012 under Alan Pardew
- West Brom have scored just seven goals in their last nine Premier League games against Newcastle and have never scored more than once in a match in this run
- Newcastle have secured just one win and six points in their last 17 Premier League games away from home (W1 D3 L13)
Gary Megson: "The disappointing thing was the manner of their goals - we have scored two good, well-worked goals, and we supposed to be a big side that is good at crosses. And we conceded from that and they were awful goals for us to give away.
"And you can imagine the level of disappointment that is now in there, but we have to pick ourselves up and go again on Thursday morning when they come back in.
"The huge disappointment for me and everybody is that is eight points we have now given away from winning positions and not when we were handing on, games we should win. And we would now be sitting on 20 points, rather than the 12 we have got."
Rafa Benitez: "A very good reaction by the team and as I said before, these players care. They were giving everything and trying to get back in the game.
"We conceded a goal late in the first half that was avoidable, but the reaction of the team was very good.
"We were in control for a while, they had a couple of crosses and we conceded the first goal which was disappointing. You have to make sure you are more focused in the last minute of the half.
"The reaction of the team was good, but then another cross and we had another lack of concentration, but still I could see the team fighting."
Man of the Match - Matt Phillips
The West Brom midfielder was a bundle of energy throughout with his buccaneering runs down the right flank, causing the Magpies no end of problems.
And the Scotland international's best moment came 11 minutes into the second half when he wrapped his right foot around a cross from the touchline to create a chance that Sam Field gratefully accepted at the far post.
The pundit - Tony Cottee
"Alan Pardew would be pleased with West Brom going forward while the goals they conceded, one from a corner and one from a free kick, you can work on things like that. It was a poor first half and it didn't look like either team was capable of scoring a goal until the stroke of half-time. Towards the end, Newcastle looked like the only side who were going to win the game."
West Brom host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, while Newcastle travel to champions Chelsea earlier in the day in a match you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League.