Newcastle United’s slump continues as the Magpies fell to their fourth defeat in their past six matches. Not even a brace from on-fire hitman Demba Ba could rescue the hosts at the Sports Direct Arena as West Bromwich Albion took full advantage of a weak defensive display.
Peter Odemwingie got things underway after 20 minutes, with Chris Brunt playing the Nigerian in after Chiek Tiote lost possession in midfield. After going past Fabricio Coloccini, Odemwingie sidefooted past Tim Krul to give Albion the lead. Newcastle, however, have the second most in form striker of 2011, and Demba Ba equalised with a brilliant free kick into the top corner of Paul Robinson’s net. That’s now 12 goals for Ba, on top of the 12 he scored for West Ham United, and his loss during the African Cup of Nations will be as big for Newcastle as the loss of Steven Taylor has been.
West Brom, however, took advantage of Taylor’s absence, as Gareth McCauley headed home from the excellent Chris Brunt’s free kick, just before half time. Newcastle, though, responded well, and Haris Vuckic hit the bar with a long range effort. Alan Pardew brought Hatem Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi for Leon Best and Gabriel Obertan as he chased for an equaliser, an equaliser he finally got when Ba exchanged passes with Ben Arfa before firing home. Minutes later, though, West Brom were ahead for the final time, with Paul Scharner finishing after Odemwingie knocked down Long’s cross. Newcastle lose at home for only the second time, and now have 2 points from their last 15 as they begin to fall back down the table.