Newcastle 2-1 West Brom: Player Ratings as Dwight Gayle Secures Win Against Former Club

Mitchell Wilks
Dec 12, 2020, 5:10 PM GMT
Newcastle now sit level on 17 points with Everton, although the Toffees are yet to play this weekend
Newcastle now sit level on 17 points with Everton, although the Toffees are yet to play this weekend | OWEN HUMPHREYS/Getty Images
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Newcastle returned to action with a 2-1 victory at home to West Brom on Saturday afternoon, despite having to deal with a number of absentees as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak that saw them close their training ground until earlier this week.

The Magpies couldn't have gotten off to a better start, opening the scoring after just 19 seconds, with Joelinton capitalising on a poor clearance from Branislav Ivanovic and finding Miguel Almiron, who slotted home with ease.

Despite dominating proceedings Newcastle were caught napping and were punished when Darnell Furlong fired home an equaliser at the start of the second half.

Substitutes from both dugouts provided the energy around the hour mark, but it was Steve Bruce's who made the difference. Jacob Murphy found Dwight Gayle who headed home in the 82nd minute against his former club.

NEWCASTLE

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Isaac Hayden looked comfortable leading the defence for Newcastle
Isaac Hayden looked comfortable leading the defence for Newcastle | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Karl Darlow (GK) - 6/10 - Little to do in the first half for 30-year-old Darlow, but commanded his area well and could do nothing about Furlong's stunning strike.

Emil Krafth (RB) - 6/10 - Composed opening 45 minutes from Krafth, but his attacking output could've been more consistent when putting in crosses on the overlap.

Isaac Hayden (CB) - 7/10 - Mature performance from Hayden who was first to anticipate any potential danger and deal with it.

Ciaran Clark (CB) - 6/10 - Clark dealt with West Brom's attackers with ease, with the opposition front two offering little in the final third as a result.

Jamal Lewis (LB) - 5/10 - Enjoyed a bright first half, but was at fault for the equaliser on 50 minutes and was shot for confidence after that.

2. Midfielders

Miguel Almiron (RM) - 8/10 - Incredible composure and concentration to finish after just 19 seconds, and was a constant threat as West Brom failed to track his movement.

Sean Longstaff (CM) - 5/10 - Quiet first half for the 23-year-old with most of Newcastle's midfield dominance stemming from Shelvey, but made some clean challenges and was more important as the game went on.

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) - 7/10 - Leading the charge from midfield. Shelvey made the most of the time he was afforded on the ball by a lacklustre West Brom and made some crisp vertical passes.

Matt Ritchie (LM) - 6/10 - Typical Matt Ritchie performance, straight from the textbook. Nothing flashy, but the 31-year-old was tireless in attack and defence and key to outworking the opponent.

3. Forwards

Joelinton must assert himself more regularly
Joelinton must assert himself more regularly | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Callum Wilson (ST) - 6/10 - Wilson endured a quiet first half but never stopped probing the defence and grew into the game as it opened up.

Joelinton (ST) - 6/10 - Great anticipation to see a potential defensive error and found Almiron with a perfectly threaded pass, but went quiet after that.

4. Substitutes

Gayle's header secured three points for Newcastle
Gayle's header secured three points for Newcastle | Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dwight Gayle - 9/10 - Immediately proved the difference for Newcastle from the minute he entered the field and bagged a bullet header on his return to action.

Jacob Murphy - 8/10 - Thrown on by Bruce to provide more of an attacking punch than Emil Krafth and assisted Dwight Gayle's header with a peach of a cross.

DeAndre Yedlin - 5/10

WEST BROM

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Ivanovic showed his age throughout
Ivanovic showed his age throughout | OWEN HUMPHREYS/Getty Images

Sam Johnstone (GK) - 5/10 - Johnstone could do nothing about the two goals and did well throughout considering his defence was far from convincing.

Semi Ajayi (CB) - 4/10 - Nowhere to be seen from kick off which immediately put pressure on his two defensive colleagues and resulted in the opener.

Branislav Ivanovic (CB) - 4/10 - Completely flapped at the long ball from Lewis from kick off which ultimately resulted in the quickfire opener.

Dara O'Shea (CB) - 5/10 - Outnumbered alongside Ivanovic and never looked all that convincing when having to deal with the likes of Almiron and Wilson, but grew into the second half as Newcastle ran out of steam.

6. Wing Backs & Midfielders

Darnell Furlong (RWB) - 7/10 - Furlong was mostly a passenger throughout the first half, but popped up after the break with a phenomenal equaliser from a deep cross.

Conor Gallagher (CM) - 7/10 - The Baggies' brightest spark and the only one to cause Newcastle any real problems. Linked up well with the front two in the closing moments of the first half and continued to be a threat in the second half, until he was substituted.

Filip Krovinovic (AM) - 6/10 - A frustrating first half from the Croatian saw him look lost when out of possession. Picked it up a level after the break, though, and proved his worth when linking up with Gallagher.

Romaine Sawyers (CM) - 5/10 - Consistent passing performance but unconvincing in defensive areas throughout the first half.

Matthew Phillips (LWB) - 6/10 - Phillips struggled as the wing back throughout the first half and was continually exploited by Almiron, but immediately proved more effective alongside Charlie Austin after the break.

7. Forwards

Charlie Austin was introduced upon the start of the second half
Charlie Austin was introduced upon the start of the second half | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Karlan Grant (ST) - 6/10 - Dropping in to receive the ball helped out the likes of Gallagher and Krovinovic but Grant was largely kept quiet throughout the first half.

Callum Robinson (ST) - 5/10 - Similar story for Robinson who had to stay in the box to keep pressure on the Magpies, but was starved of service and barely impacted the game.

8. Substitutes

Charlie Austin - 6/10

Kieran Gibbs - 6/10

Kamil Grosicki - 5/10

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