West Ham And Newcastle Share The Points In An Intense Early Kick-Off

Two teams with it all to play for had to settle for a draw in a spirited clash
14:26, 19 Feb 2022

Honours were even in a battle of two teams with lots to play for, as West Ham United played out a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at the London Stadium. A win for the Hammers would have seen them go fourth, while a Newcastle victory would have seen them leapfrog Everton and Leeds United into 15th. As it was though, neither side could take full advantage of a potentially season-making game.

The match started at a cracking pace, with Newcaslte exerting a great deal of early pressure. An early ball squirmed past Ryan Feredericks for Joelinton at the back post, and the Brazilian saw his shot deflected behind for a corner. Jacob Murphy also had a shot deflected over during a strong opening ten minutes for the Magpies.

It took until the eleventh minute for the Hammers to launch their first proper attack. As is so often the case, this chance arrived through Michail Antonio. The Jamaica international broke through and had a shot blocked by a last-ditch Matt Targett challenge.

The game was incredibly open and entertaining, and West Ham took advantage of the opportunities they were afforded. The in-form Jarrod Bowen struck the bar and you got the sense Moyes’ men were on the brink of taking the lead.

The goal arrived through Craig Dawson, who powered home an unchallenged header from a curling Aaron Cresswell free kick. The defender now has two goals in two games for the Hammers, proving a valuable contributor in both boxes.

Eddie Howe’s side gave themselves a much-needed boost on the stroke of half time. West Ham failed to clear their lines as a game of head tennis broke out in the box. The ball fell to Joe Willock at the back post, who squeezed an improvised finish past Lukasz Fabianski. The ball hit the post and rolled agonisingly across the line, before briefly crossing it. The goalkeeper then clawed it out but in the age of goal line technology, Newcastle got the goal they deserved.

The second half matched the first for pace, but lacked the attacking quality displayed in the opening 45 minutes. Cresswell hit a shot into a crowded box that was deflected away, before Bowen had a cross towards Antonio headed away at the back post. Both teams continued going full throttle, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by.

Said Benrahma was replaced by Nikola Vlasic, as West Ham shuffled their deck in attack. Words were exchanged between Benrahma and Moyes, with the player appearing frustrated at being replaced. Newcastle made their own late change, with the already-popular Bruno Guimaraes introduced by Eddie Howe.

These late additions could not give either United a vital victory. A point is a disaster for neither, but the spoils of victory could have been pivotal to their ambitions of Europe in West Ham’s case, and survival for Newcastle.

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