NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3

Damba Ba still manages to get in a shot as he falls to the ground. Picture by FRANK REID
Damba Ba still manages to get in a shot as he falls to the ground. Picture by FRANK REID

NEWCASTLE United can’t buy a win at the minute.

And the question on every supporter’s mind is whether the club is ready to buy its way out of a worrying slump.

Christmas came early for West Bromwich Albion, 3-2 winners at St James’s Park last night.

The club’s success this season has been built on defensive resilience, but a previously rock solid defence has been rocking recent weeks.

And at least one defender is a must in next month’s transfer window, not to mention a striker.

Alan Pardew’s side were in unusually charitable mood on an unseasonably mild night - and West Bromwich Albion were only too happy to unwrap their gifts.

The influence of Yohan Cabaye, always capable of a telling pass, and more than willing to put his foot in, was missed in a few scrappy exchanges, while Roy Hodgson’s side, and Peter Odemwingie in particular, were dangerous on the break.

Read Miles Starforth’s match report, plus more match reaction, in today’s Sportmail.