West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United player ratings: Sam Johnstone 7, Mbaye Diagne 5; Jeff Hendrick 4, Joelinton 6

Tense goalless draw not enough for either team in battle to avoid relegation

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West Bromwich Albion slipped further towards the Premier League trapdoor after a tense draw with relegation rivals Newcastle United.

The Baggies are eight points from safety following Sunday's 0-0 stalemate.

Mbaye Diagne missed Albion's best chances while Sam Johnstone denied Joe Willock to leave the Magpies four points above the bottom three, although Fulham could could that gap in later game against Liverpool.

Albion manager Sam Allardyce had labelled the game as must-win but the Baggies did not do enough against their fellow strugglers and, with 10 games left, are surely destined for an instant return to the Championship.

The Newcastle soap opera arrived at The Hawthorns for its latest episode after Matt Ritchie's midweek bust-up with manager Steve Bruce.

With the foundations of the squad again tested the Magpies needed to hold their nerve and they at least stopped Albion gaining ground in the race for survival and climbed to 16th, a point above Brighton.

A point is unlikely to take much heat off Bruce and the Magpies, who have won just twice in their last 15 games, continue to lack inspiration without the injured Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson.

Bruce said: “It certainly wasn’t a classic was it? We are disappointed we haven’t come here and won but we always knew it was going to be difficult considering the circumstances.

"We’ve had a difficult week and I don’t want to regurgitate it but the players have showed they are on the same hymn sheet as everyone else.

"With the problems we have had not just during the week but with injuries I thought they did as well as they could."

Allardyce said: “I can’t blame the lads for the quality of the effort they showed with playing on Thursday night but unfortunately that final piece of the jigsaw isn’t there at the moment.

"So the task now is almost every game has to be a win to get out of the trouble we are in."