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PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle have little difficulty in disposing of West Brom

Newcastle moved move level on points with fifth-place Chelsea after an assured 3-1 success away at West Bromwich Albion. West Brom were looking for their second league double of the campaign after winning in the North East earlier in the season, but all such ambitions were extinguished in the first 34 minutes when Newcastle raced into a three goal lead.

Papiss Cisse opened the Magpies account after only six minutes with strike partner Hatem Ben Arfa supplying the assist. Shortly afterwards and the roles were reversed as, following a quick break by the visitor's, Cisse found Ben Arfa who finished clinically.

Albion tried to rally before the break but for all their possession found it difficult to break down the Newcastle rearguard and eleven minutes before half-time Toon scored a third.

Again it followed a swift counter attack and Cisse claimed his second of the afternoon getting on the end of a James Perch cross.

Newcastle gave the home side a glimmer of hope early in the second half when an horrendous defensive mix up between keeper Tim Krul and Mike Williamson presented with Shane Long an open goal to reduce the deficit.

But the Toon easily held on as West Brom ran out of ideas and Newcastle look set to compete for a top four finish while the home side have the consolation of knowing they have all but assured their top flight status for another season.

Referee: Chris Foy

Venue: The Hawthorns

Attendance: 25,049

West Brom scorers: Long 52 Newcastle scorers: Cisse 6, 34, Ben Arfa 12

TRIBAL ASKS: On this performance are Newcastle credible challengers for a Champions League finish? Yellow cards: Williamson (NEW)

 Click here to reach the No1 destination for hard news and exciting gossip on West Bromwich Albion

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Dave Williams

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