Newcastle News: Injury hit Magpies dig in for well deserved draw in London
With three of our best players out injured and us facing a top-four challenger away from home, Newcastle United is in a terrific spot.
We dominated the first half, reacted to Dawson’s goal – which came against the flow of play – with a well-deserved goal from Joe Willock, and then defended admirably in the second half to earn a point that keeps us undefeated in our previous SIX games.
When the squads were revealed, it was concerning to see Saint-Maximin absent due to injury, and it was a terrible to watch the indefatigable Fraser walk out, but it is really heartening to see how we played without so many crucial players.
We had more possession of the ball, more shots, more corners, and more scoring opportunities. That means we may be disappointed we didn’t get all three points against a flat Hammers side that never really got going, but under the circumstances, this is still a respectable point and a performance that shows we’ll have more than enough to keep our place in the Premier League.
Matt Targett was excellent at left-back, keeping Bowen quiet throughout the day, Dan Burn was a man mountain once again, and Joe Willock was back to his form, not only scoring but also making multiple bursts forward with the ball that we saw so often last season.
As things stand, the result puts us five points clear of the relegation zone, though that might change today as Norwich hosts Liverpool, Watford visits Aston Villa, and Burnley hosts Brighton at The Amex.
Eddie Howe made three changes for this game, replacing injured trio Kieran Trippier, Javier Manquillo, and Allan Saint-Maximin with Emil Krafth, Matt Targett, and Jacob Murphy.
The Frenchman’s absence was a late surprise and a major pre-match blow, with the news coming only hours before kickoff that he hadn’t flown and may be out for a few weeks. However, while speaking to BT Sport ahead of the game, Howe seemed unconcerned, implying that it was only a knock — the result of a few too many kicks against Villa – and not a long-term ailment.
It would be an exaggeration to claim we didn’t give West Ham a kick in the opening ten minutes. We were passing the ball with assurance, keeping our calm, winning second balls, and playing with the kind of confidence you’d expect from a team that had won three games in a row.
After a lapse from Rice, Joelinton had a close range shot blocked, Willock had a goal-bound attempt deflected over, and an unmarked Fraser pulled an open volley into his own player in what was an excellent start from our standpoint – just lacking that all-important finish!
West Ham’s first chance came when a lapse in concentration by Krafth enabled a pass to reach Antonio, whose shot was superbly saved by Targett just minutes before Bowen hit the crossbar from a close angle.
Dubravka got a glove on it, but it served as a reminder that West Ham possessed superior players in the final third who might exploit the opportunities we were passing up if we let them a sniff.
Willock, on the other hand, was in a good mood, carrying the ball at breakneck speed as he did last season and booking Fredericks after a superb run down the left flank.
Soon after, Wood tormented Zouma, who was being booed by the travelling Toon Army every time he touched the ball, and produced a fantastic pass into the box… No one in a Newcastle jersey, though, took a chance.
Unfortunately, our failure to capitalize on our strong start was penalized. Cresswell’s vicious delivery was headed in by an unmarked Dawson after Krafth’s blatant block on Antonio.
It was a terrible goal to allow, and it was a tremendous body punch given how we’d been playing up until this point, but we dug in and scored the goal we deserved in first-half extra time.
Willock, who had been the finest player on the pitch in the first half, scored only 60 seconds before halftime, reacting quickly to Rice’s error and putting an improvised finish past Fabianksi and in off the post!
His first goal of the season, a well-deserved equalizer, and one that his recent displays have more than justified. Now it was time to build on this in the final 45 – as this was clearly a game that was there to be won.
After the restart, the Hammers came out of the blocks swiftly and could’ve retaken the lead if it hadn’t been for a terrific block from Dan Burn, who got in the way of a powerful Dawson strike that seemed to be coming in.
From an offensive standpoint, we ran out of steam in the second half. We weren’t trapped in our own half and content with a draw, but we didn’t create enough issues for the West Ham defense in the second half, instead depending on a massive midfield effort and a back four that didn’t let us down.
Krafth was clearly the weak link and was to blame for their goal, but Schar was again strong, Burn was magnificent – instilling confidence in our previously jittery back line – and Targett was outstanding in his handling of Jarrod Bowen.
In the second half, Dubravka didn’t have to make a save, and we clung on for a draw, with Almiron and Guimaraes coming in late for Fraser and Willock, two players who had run themselves into the ground yet again.
After the game, Howe had the following to say:
Next up, a trip to Brentford next weekend!
STARTING 11: Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett – Shelvey, Willock, Joelinton – Fraser, Wood, Murphy.
SUBS: Darlow, Dummett, Lascelles, Fernandez, De Bolle, Almiron, Longstaff, Bruno G, Gayle
Let know your thought about this options above and give a comment below. This is one of the trending latest Newcastle United News update and we are hear to deliver the best to you!!