Kudus strikes late to save Hammers

Brian Jeeves

West Ham United v Newcastle United – Premier League – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 2-2 Newcastle United

Second-half substitute Mohammed Kudus smashed home a late equaliser to salvage West Ham United a share of the Premier League spoils from a pulsating clash with Newcastle United at the London Stadium.

The Hammers faced a Newcastle side that had impressively thrashed a star-studded PSG outfit in a one-sided Champions League tie during the week at St James Park. Nevertheless, a return to winning ways against Sheffield United and SC Freiburg suggested that David Moyes’ men were back on track after suffering successive setbacks at the hands of Manchester City and Liverpool.

“I think when you go into football management you are never always going to get it rosey because it is just the nature of it,” Moyes explained. 

“You need to be very lucky as a manager to have a period where you don’t have bad spells.

“But at the moment, I feel as though we are in a good run of form, and I think we have picked up some good results. 

“We would have liked to have won a couple more games, but I am really pleased with how we are doing.”

Indeed, it was a terrific start from the home side who were fueled by a raucous atmosphere. Emerson tip-toed around Nick Pope after Michail Antonio had played him in before squaring to Tomas Soucek, who found the net from close range.

West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring his side’s first goal against Newcastle United at the London Stadium (Rob Newell CameraSport)

West Ham lacked shape. Pope awkwardly clawed out a viciously inswinging corner from James Ward-Prowse as the home side continued to provide a threat. Meanwhile, Miguel Almiron tried his luck from twenty yards, and Dan Burn nodded narrowly wide as Newcastle emerged from their cumbersome start.

Immediately after the interval, Jarrod Bowen almost found room to shoot following a sweet move involving Ward-Prowse, Vladimir Coufal and Lucas Paqueta, while Edson Alvarez was a whisker away after meeting the resulting flag-kick from Ward-Prowse with a flying header.

Alphonse Areola had been a spectator for much of the contest. However, the French stopper was on his metal to keep out Elliot Anderson’s header from Alexander Isak’s centre. 

But the Hammers’ lead was slender. Newcastle sensed an opportunity. Isak appeared off-side after firing high beyond Areola. However, VAR intervened. The goal was given. The home crowd was distinctly unimpressed! 

With the wind in their sails, Newcastle swiftly forged ahead. Trippier centred for Isak, who volleyed home his second of the afternoon from close range.

The mood had altered drastically, with referee, Peter Bankes coming in for plenty of flack from the majority of the unimpressed audience. It almost darkened further when Isak missed an opportunity to claim the match ball after hitting the outside of an upright from an acute angle.

Bidding to salvage something from the game, Moyes replaced Antonio and Soucek with Said Benrahma and Kudus. But chances for the home side had become few and far between. A dead-ball attempt from Ward-Prowse was too high. Their neat, cultured approach bore little fruit in the final third.

But with time running out, Kudus crashed a low, left-footed strike beyond Pope from twenty yards, the Ghanaian frontman lifting the roof off in the process.

West Ham United remain in seventh place as a result, one point above Newcastle. They return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 22 when they face Aston Villa at Villa Park (4:30pm).

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma (Capt), Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Souček (Kudus 76′), Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Bowen, Antonio (Benrahma 75′) Subs not used: Anang (GK), Kehrer, Ogbonna, Fornals, Cornet, Ings, Mubama

Booked: Emerson (dissent), Antonio (foul), Paquetá (foul)

Goals: Souceck 8′, Kudus 89′

Newcastle United: Pope, Trippier, Schär, Lascelles (Capt), Burn, Tonali, Longstaff, Guimarāes, Almirón (Murphy 82′), Anderson (Targett 90+3′), Isak (Wilson 85′) Subs not used: Dúbravka (GK), Dummett, Livramento, Hall, Manquillo, Ritchie

Booked: Bruno Guimaraes (foul), Almirón (foul)

Goals: Isak 57′, 62′

Referee: Peter Bankes

Assistants: Eddie Smart and Nick Greenhalgh

Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury

VAR: Andy Madley

Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Attendance: 62,473


Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk