West Ham suffered an all too familiar fate as Newcastle scored twice to condemn the Hammers to yet another season-opening defeat.
West Ham Team News
David Moyes named his first team of the season which was very recognizable as there was only one change from the side that finished last season. Jack Wilshere, Josh Cullen, Robert Snodgrass and Arthur Masuaku all missed out and were not even on the bench.
The starting XI consisted of a back four made up of Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell. The midfield did have internationals Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek took up their regular positions behind Mark Noble. Michail Antonio spearheaded the attack, with Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen supporting out wide.
The Magpies started the better of the two sides and created the first chance of the match. Summer signing Jamaal Lewis whipped a cross into the Hammer’s box for fellow new signing Callum Wilson. The former Bournemouth man’s header flashed past the Lukasz Fabianski‘s post.
West Ham bounced back after early pressure and could have found themselves in the lead after two Newcastle players brought down, last seasons top scorer, Antonio. Noble lobbed thee resulting free-kick into the box and connected with Ogbonna’s head. The Italians effort looped over Karl Darlow and bounced off the crossbar.
The Wilson and Lewis link-up continued to create problems for the Hammers. The left-back this time Lewis fired in a low cross for the English striker. Wilson, however, still could not find the target and put his shot wide again.
Newcastle started to dominate the ball, but it was West Ham that created the next significant opportunity. Soucek won the ball and set Antonio his way. The make-shift forward powered towards goal but his shot was not powerful enough to challenge Darlow.
Soucek then went close a couple of minutes later. A lovely cross from Fredericks picked out the Czech. Soucek made a good connection with the ball, but his header floated wide of Darlow’s post.
West Ham continued to create and struck the crossbar for a second time. Some good passing between Bowen, Soucek and Fredericks saw the right-back drive a low cross into the box. The ball fell to Fornals whose shot was deflected against the crossbar by Jamaal Lascelles.
Fredericks was really showing his attacking ability. Rice threaded a perfect pass for the defender to run onto and cut-back into a dangerous area. The ball fell for Bowen, but the January signing could only blast his effort high and wide.
Want your voice heard? Join the Green Street Hammers team!Write for us!
The second half lacked the tempo of the first, Newcastle were doing most of the pressing. The West Ham players, on the other hand, were finding it difficult to build any momentum going forward.
The Magpies pressing paid off. Jeff Hendrick headed on a deflected cross from Javier Manquillo. Fabianski came to punch the ball clear, but Wilson was able to get his boot to the ball first and prod home. That was Wilsons 8th goal in nine games against the Hammers.
Moyes decided to ring the changes after the Newcastle goal. Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko were the men to come on. The two attackers replaced Fornals and Noble were the men to make way as the Hammers looked for an equalizer.
The substations almost made an immediate impact, Haller had a diving shot blocked by Hendrick. The Hammers were in arms as they believed it struck his arm. VAR was on hand to rule out the handball and deny a penalty for West Ham
Newcastle pushed the Hammers back and looked likely to score a second. Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey both had efforts stopped by the Hammers defence. At the other end, Yarmolenko was getting about the Magpies defence and saw a volley drag wide.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, Newcastle looked content with their one-goal lead and were playing to shut-out West Ham’s attackers. The home side were trying to put pressure on the Magpies but were finding it challenging to create a clear opportunity on goal.
Despite being the defensive side, it was Newcastle to score the next goal. In the 87th minute Miguel Almiron, who had only just come on to the field, squared a pass to Hendrick who slammed a shot into the top corner of the West Ham goal.
Felipe Anderson was sent on to by Moyes in the hope of salvaging something for the Hammers. The change almost led to a goal, Anderson broke through the Newcastle midfield and managed to get the ball to Yarmolenko via Antonio. The Ukrainians effort was well hit, but Darlow was equal to it.
West Ham were not able to find anything for themselves against Newcastle as they lost their forth opening day fixture without scoring in a row. The Hammers next opponents are Charlton in the League Cup on Tuesday, whereas Newcastle host Blackburn Rovers.