Premier League
West BromWest Bromwich Albion0NewcastleNewcastle United0

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle: Baggies held to goalless draw by Magpies

By Thomas MallowsBBC Sport
Okay Yokuslu and Joe Willock battling for the ball
Newcastle are now four points clear of the relegation zone after their draw at the Hawthorns

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce praised his side for claiming an "important" point in Sunday's goalless draw at West Brom after a week dominated by off-field rows and a mounting injury list.

Magpies midfielder Matt Ritchie apologised to Bruce in midweek following a training ground bust-up between the pair.

Bruce, during a fractious news conference on Friday, then denied reports the players were unhappy with the team's training schedule and pledged to find the person responsible for leaking details about the club to the press.

He also went to the Hawthorns without his three first-choice attacking players, but saw his side earn a battling point that lifts them above Brighton into 16th and briefly put them four points clear of the relegation zone, before Fulham's victory at Liverpool reduced the deficit to one.

"I was delighted with their attitude and spirit," Bruce told BBC Match of the Day. "We showed a real desire to get something out of the game. In terms of the problems we have had, in terms of injuries not rows, it was important."We have been hamstrung a bit with [injuries to] big players at the top end of the pitch. For their effort and attitude I could not ask for anything more."With Newcastle things seem to get blown out of proportion. Rows happen every other day at every other club up and down the country."

The Magpies had the better opportunities in a game lacking attacking fluency, but West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was alert to deny Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock either side of half-time.

Mbaye Diagne had the best chance for the Baggies when his header was tipped behind by Martin Dubravka, while Matt Phillips fired over when well placed early in the second half.The draw means West Brom stay 19th and are now eight points from safety. ​

Magpies edging towards safety

Bruce may have been happy to claim a point but this was far from an inspiring performance.

His cause has not been helped by injuries to key players and the Magpies went to the Hawthorns without leading scorer Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin - a trio responsible for 16 of their 27 league goals so far.

In their absence Bruce sent out a makeshift forward line of Ryan Fraser, Joelinton and Willock, who have scored two goals between them this campaign.

Joelinton did have an early sight of goal when he was played in by Willock down the right, but he opted to pass instead of shoot and his square ball towards Fraser was cut out.

Bruce introduced Dwight Gayle, who scored 23 goals for West Brom in the Championship two seasons ago, early in the second half to try and boost his side's attacking threat.

And he made an impact within minutes of coming on, with his run and layoff teeing up Willock, whose drive from a tight angle was pushed behind by Johnstone.

Joelinton also saw a timid effort comfortably saved by the Baggies goalkeeper as Newcastle's attacking threat slowly fizzled out.

"That little bit of quality at times we lacked a bit, but that is what you pay money for," said Bruce. "Where we have invested over the last few months, unfortunately they are all injured."

Bruce has regularly talked about 'accumulation of points' when plotting Newcastle's survival and this draw helps that cause.

But with seven of the current top 10 lying in wait in their final 11 matches they will likely need to offer a greater attacking threat than they showed here if they are to avoid a nervous end to the season.

Baggies let down by lack of cutting edge

Sam Allardyce has succeeded in making West Brom tougher to beat, but like Sunday's opponents, goalscoring is becoming a problem.

The Baggies have kept three clean sheets and earned six points in their past five games, one more than they earned in Allardyce's first 10 matches in charge, but have only scored two goals in that time.

They would have moved to within six points of Newcastle with a win and while a draw is not a disastrous result, they are running out of games if they are to bridge the now eight-point gap between themselves and safety.

Full-back Conor Townsend was their biggest attacking threat as they looked to build patiently down the left, with the five chances he created more than any West Brom player has managed from open play for seven years.

However, the Baggies failed to truly test Dubravka in the Newcastle goal, with Matheus Pereira scuffing an early opportunity straight at the Slovak.

A long throw then produced a chance for Diagne when Kyle Bartley flicked the ball into his path, but he could only fire over while off-balance.

Their best opportunity fell to Phillips early in the second half when Pereira worked the ball low into the box, but the winger's effort was indicative of the match in general as it flew wildly over the bar.

'So close yet so far' - what they said

Only thing missing for West Brom now are goals - Allardyce

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce, speaking to BBC Sport: "[The result is] not enough obviously but we have to carry on trying to win games of football when they come round.

"The players need to keep their chins up and play like they are playing. The only thing missing is converting the chances we create - we have got the defensive side of it spot on now.

"We certainly had enough chances to accumulate 12 points in the last few games and not just four.

"We have been so close yet so far. That is the story of everything."

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, speaking to BBC Sport: "We are disappointed that we didn't win, whether we did enough to win it, who knows?

"Eleven games to go, we've done OK. The last five or six games there's only been Chelsea and Manchester United that have beaten us. We will take a point and move on."

'It wasn't a classic' - Newcastle boss Bruce on goalless draw

Newcastle still cannot win without Wilson - the stats

  • West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005 (3 draws in a row).
  • Only Southampton (7) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than West Brom (10) and Newcastle (8).
  • West Brom have amassed six points in their last five Premier League games (W1 D3 L1), keeping three clean sheets, more points than they gained (5) in their first 10 such games under Sam Alladyce (W1 D2 L7).
  • Newcastle have won only one of their past nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.
  • West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).
  • Conor Townsend created five chances in the match, the most from open play by a West Brom player in the Premier League since April 2014 (Morgan Amalfitano vs West Ham - 5).
  • Newcastle have failed to win any of their past four Premier League games since Callum Wilson was injured during their win over Southampton in February (D2 L2). Since the start of last season, the Magpies are winless in their four Premier League matches when both Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin have failed to feature (D1 L3).

What's next?

Newcastle are at home to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Friday (20:00 GMT), while West Brom travel to another of Sam Allardyce's former clubs Crystal Palace the following day (15:00).

Player of the match

DubravkaMartin Dubravka

with an average of 6.05

West Bromwich Albion

  1. Squad number18Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    5.60

  2. Squad number30Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating

    5.58

  3. Squad number1Player nameJohnstone
    Average rating

    5.46

  4. Squad number35Player nameYokuslu
    Average rating

    5.32

  5. Squad number2Player nameFurlong
    Average rating

    5.22

  6. Squad number5Player nameBartley
    Average rating

    5.17

  7. Squad number14Player nameTownsend
    Average rating

    5.13

  8. Squad number27Player nameO'Shea
    Average rating

    5.07

  9. Squad number10Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    5.01

  10. Squad number17Player nameDiagne
    Average rating

    4.90

  11. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Pereira
    Average rating

    4.84

  12. Squad number29Player nameGrant
    Average rating

    4.58

  13. Squad number4Player nameRobson-Kanu
    Average rating

    4.43

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number1Player nameDubravka
    Average rating

    6.05

  2. Squad number2Player nameClark
    Average rating

    5.72

  3. Squad number28Player nameWillock
    Average rating

    5.65

  4. Squad number6Player nameLascelles
    Average rating

    5.40

  5. Squad number14Player nameHayden
    Average rating

    5.37

  6. Squad number3Player nameDummett
    Average rating

    5.26

  7. Squad number21Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    5.16

  8. Squad number8Player nameShelvey
    Average rating

    5.09

  9. Squad number9Player nameJoelinton
    Average rating

    4.77

  10. Squad number17Player nameKrafth
    Average rating

    4.75

  11. Squad number12Player nameGayle
    Average rating

    4.44

  12. Squad number7Player nameCarroll
    Average rating

    4.12

  13. Squad number16Player nameHendrick
    Average rating

    3.97

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Furlong
  • 27O'Shea
  • 5Bartley
  • 14Townsend
  • 35Yokuslu
  • 12Costa Pereira
  • 18Gallagher
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forGrantat 83'minutes
  • 17DiagneSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 6Ajayi
  • 7Robinson
  • 8Livermore
  • 19Sawyers
  • 22Peltier
  • 23Snodgrass
  • 25Button
  • 29Grant

Newcastle

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Dubravka
  • 17Krafth
  • 6Lascelles
  • 2Clark
  • 3Dummett
  • 16HendrickSubstituted forGayleat 57'minutes
  • 8Shelvey
  • 28Willock
  • 14Hayden
  • 9Joelinton
  • 21FraserSubstituted forCarrollat 90+3'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Carroll
  • 11Ritchie
  • 12Gayle
  • 15Lewis
  • 18Fernández
  • 19Manquillo
  • 23Murphy
  • 26Darlow
  • 36S Longstaff
Referee:
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home13
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Newcastle United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 0, Newcastle United 0.

  3. Post update

    Okay Yokuslu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Andy Carroll (Newcastle United).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Andy Carroll replaces Ryan Fraser.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Okay Yokuslu (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  7. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ryan Fraser.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion).

  9. Post update

    Emil Krafth (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joelinton (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Conor Townsend (West Bromwich Albion).

  12. Post update

    Joelinton (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Mbaye Diagne.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Karlan Grant replaces Matt Phillips.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kyle Bartley (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Matheus Pereira with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mbaye Diagne (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range misses to the right following a corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

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