Newcastle are truly entering uncharted territory with their cup run so far this season, as they challenged West Brom for a place in the Quarter Finals, the first time under Mike Ashley they have been anywhere near the latter stages of a cup competition. Despite ongoing struggles, particularly in front of goal, in the Premier League, Steve Bruce’s men knew a win at The Hawthorns would position the Magpies incredibly just a single game away from a trip to Wembley.
As such, there was outright pandemonium in the away end as Newcastle came out the gates swinging in the match.
Allan Saint-Maximin lay down a clear warning when he cracked a vicious shot from distance against Jonathan Bond’s woodwork.
The French livewire was then involved in the opening goal when he showed good strength to bounce a tackle on the turn, before driving forward on a trademark run from his own half at the West Brom defence. With a beautiful weight of pass, he fed in Miguel Almiron and the Paraguay international showed no signs of his earlier goal struggles as he clinically dispatched past Bond after just a single touch.
Newcastle were dominant on the attack, bossing the contest and demonstrating exactly why they are a Premier League side. Before kick off, home boss Slaven Bilic had said in the matchday programme that this match would show the difference in quality between the bottom half of the Premier League and the top of the Championship.
Based on the first half display Newcastle put in, there is a vast chasm of difference in quality, with the Magpies just seeming to have that extra pass and yard of running about their game.
Almiron had a second just before half time as Newcastle fashioned another great chance. Valentino Lazaro demonstrated his attacking qualities, driving to the byline before the Austrian full back got fortunate as his cut back bobbled through West Brom legs into the path of Joelinton. With a cultured back heel simply into the danger zone by the big Brazilian, Almiron was alert to race onto it and smash home his brace.
Just after the interval, Newcastle had a third. A great swinging ball by Almiron found the feet of Saint-Maximin, who played a ball across which Bond could only bundle up against Lazaro to give the Inter Milan loanee his first Magpies goal.
With the away end going wild, West Brom brought the changes, most notably the introduction of Filip Krovinovic in midfield who shifted the entire balance of the match.
The home side pushed on, pulling one back from Matt Phillips after chaos in the box and Newcastle making a mess of clearing the ball.
Nerves were then frayed in the Newcastle end, as with little time left on the clock Kenneth Zohore prodded home a second after great work by Kyle Edwards. Thankfully for the Geordie faithful, it was too little too late.