Almiron and Gayle fire Newcastle past West Brom

Newcastle - Aston Villa snatch a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers

By AFP / Reuters

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Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron scores their first goal against West Bromwich Albion. — Reuters
Newcastle United's Miguel Almiron scores their first goal against West Bromwich Albion. — Reuters

Published: Sat 12 Dec 2020, 10:57 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Dec 2020, 11:14 PM

Newcastle United’s midfielder Miguel Almiron shoots past West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnston to score in the minute of the Premier League match on Saturday. — AFP

Newcastle United shook off the effects of a Covid-19 outbreak at the club when Miguel Almiron netted the fastest Premier League goal of the season and Dwight Gayle scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Victory moved Newcastle up to 11th in the standings as Steve Bruce’s side played their first match in two weeks after their fixture against Aston Villa was postponed when several squad members and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Almiron fired Newcastle ahead after 20 seconds when a mistake by Branislav Ivanovic allowed the hosts to counter-attack and Joelinton found the Paraguayan midfielder unmarked in the box as West Brom scrambled to recover.

The visitors equalised five minutes after the restart when Matt Phillips’s cross was met by Darnell Furlong who stretched to place a sweet, low volley into the bottom corner.

Substitute Gayle nearly made it 2-1 a minute after coming on in the 70th minute — his first appearance of the season — when he out-muscled his marker to head on a corner kick towards the goal, only to see Phillips clear it off the line.

However, Gayle restored Newcastle’s lead against his former club in the 82nd minute when he connected with fellow substitute Jacob Murphy’s cross and his bullet header into the top corner hit the underside of the bar on its way into the net.

The result left West Brom in the relegation zone at 19th with six points from 12 games, increasing pressure on manager Slaven Bilic who is in danger of being sacked during the busy December schedule.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa snatched a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers after substitute Anwar El Ghazi drilled in a stoppage-time penalty as both sides finished the game with 10 men.

Villa had Douglas Luiz sent off in the 85th minute and Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho was dismissed shortly after the visitors scored against the run of play to register their fourth away win of the season.

The result lifted Villa up to eighth on 18 points from 10 games while Wolves, again sorely missing injured striker Raul Jimenez, stayed 11th on 17 points from 12 games.

El Ghazi said he felt relaxed about taking the penalty.

“I practise penalties a lot, even if I am not playing,” the Dutch midfielder told the BBC.

“I did not feel a lot of pressure to be honest. I appreciate Jack Grealish gave it to me, but he knows my capabilities.”

The home side looked more likely to grab the winner in a dour clash, with their 18-year old striker Fabio Silva hitting the post midway through the second half as he made his first start for the club.

Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez pulled off several fine saves, taming a stinging low shot from Daniel Podence before he somehow kept out a fierce Leander Dendoncker volley 10 minutes from time.

When the match seemed to be heading for a draw, Nelson Semedo hauled down John McGinn in the penalty area and El Ghazi made no mistake with the spot-kick as he blasted the ball past keeper Rui Patricio.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said he wanted his team to be more ruthless.

“In the first half it was an intense game and both teams were tight,” he said.

“In the second we controlled the game and had clear chances. We try to keep growing on these aspects and be more clinical. Silva worked hard. The idea to make a player grow is to help him and give him competition.”


Premier League

Wolves 0 Aston Villa 1

Newcastle 2 West Brom 1

La Liga

Valencia 2 Athletic 2

Getafe 0 Sevilla 1


Dortmund 1 Stuttgart 5

Leipzig 2 Werder 0

Gladbach 1 Hertha 1

Freiburg 2 Bielefeld 0

Mainz 05 0 Cologne 1

Serie A

Crotone 4 Spezia 1

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