Newcastle eye European slot after win over West Brom

West Brom 1 Newcastle 3

Newcastle stepped up their claims for a European spot after an inspired first-half display from Hatem Ben Arfa helped seal victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Ben Arfa scored once himself and set up two more goals for Papiss Cisse during an opening 45 minutes dominated by Alan Pardew's side.

Albion could only manage a solitary second-half reply from substitute Shane Long as Newcastle moved level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea and gained revenge for the 3-2 home defeat to Albion earlier in the season.

The Magpies have also opened up an eight-point gap over seventh-placed Liverpool, but suffered a worrying moment 10 minutes from time when Cisse was carried off on a stretcher with an apparent leg injury.

Newcastle dominated the first half and gave the home side a lesson in expert counter-attacking and clinical finishing.

Ben Arfa caused constant problems with his runs and probing passes, while Cisse has now netted five times in six games for his new club.

Albion seldom fired on all cylinders and looked like a side already virtually assured of Premier League survival.

They improved after the break but have collected just one point from their last three games.

Newcastle were soon into their stride and Demba Ba forced Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster to turn his downward volley over the bar before Cisse put them ahead after six minutes.

Ben Arfa supplied the telling low ball across the six-yard box and Cisse was left with a simple task to sidefoot home.

Newcastle were seeing plenty of the ball and Ben Arfa doubled their lead after 12 minutes in a lightning counter-attack.

Cisse supplied the telling pass but Ben Arfa still had plenty of work to do as he cut in from the left and beat the dive of Foster with a fierce drive into the far corner.

Albion tried to retaliate and James Morrison drilled a half volley wide after being teed up by Keith Andrews.

Marc-Antoine Fortune threatened for the first time when he met a cross from Liam Ridgewell but his header was a couple of yards wide of the mark.

Peter Odemwingie had the ball in the net after 32 minutes but Fortune had strayed marginally offside.

Then two minutes later Cisse struck again after another swift counter-attack by the visitors.

Demba Ba backheeled the ball into the path of the overlapping Ben Arfa and his cross picked out Cisse, who made no mistake with a left-footed finish.

Albion needed to strike quickly to have any hope of rescuing the game and Morrison sliced his shot wide when well placed after Youssouf Mulumbu had created the opening.

Michael Williamson then deflected a fierce drive from Mulumbu over his own crossbar before Cisse was denied his hat-trick by the alert Foster after Yohan Cabaye's deflected pass had sent him clear of the Baggies

After 52 minutes a mix-up between Williamson and goalkeeper Tim Krul allowed Long to nip in and turn the ball into an empty net.

Foster then produced an excellent save to turn aside a low shot from Ben Arfa after a powerful run before Williamson became the first player to be booked after an aerial challenge on Long.

Albion were looking more dangerous and Ridgewell sliced a shot wide when well placed.

The home side, having already used their three substitutes, ended the game with 10 men when Morrison hobbled off after a challenge with Demba Ba with 10 minutes remaining.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game