West Ham recover from bad start and earn battle point at Newcastle

Lucas Paqueta dented Newcastle’s Premier League attack as West Ham came from behind to draw at St James’ Park.

A summer target for the Magpies, the 25-year-old Brazilian took a 1-1 draw with a 32nd-minute equalizer after Callum Wilson ended his 10-game goal drought with an early attack.

A point was no more than the Hammers deserved after recovering from a terrible start in front of a crowd of 52,256 to deny Eddie Howe victory in his 600th game as manager.

The Carabao Cup finalists were sorely missing out on the suspended Bruno Guimaraes, and not even the £45m introduction in January signing Anthony Gordon for his debut failed to win them over.

If Howe had feared a hangover from Tuesday night’s semi-final success, he needn’t have worried – at least at first – as his squad raced out of the blocks.

Joe Willock had already seen an attack disallowed by VAR in the first minute after the ball went out of play during the build-up as Wilson latched on to Sean Longstaff’s defensive pass to confidently blast past Lukasz Fabianski, scoring his first goal in 11 appearances in all competitions.

The shocked visitors found themselves deep in their own territory as Longstaff, Kieran Trippier and Willock worked to feed Miguel Almiron and the returning Allan Saint-Maximin at regular intervals.

However, as they grew into the game, the Hammers began to threaten at half time and Sven Botman had to make an important block after Michail Antonio pushed his way into a promising position on the edge of the box.

To their credit, the visitors, who had to pay for their catastrophic defence, looked much more compact as the half progressed and, although Newcastle still had plenty of possession, they lacked any real penetration.

West Ham might have been level in the 28th minute if Said Benrahma hadn’t spooned his shot high over Nick Pope’s crossbar after the Magpies surrendered possession in their own half. wide, with the home side guilty of sloppiness.

However, the South American could not be denied and hit the far post after the Newcastle defense failed to tackle Declan Rice’s excellent corner kick.

Benrahma dragged a try wide after cutting in Fabian Schar with David Moyes’ men gaining the upper hand, leading to a concerted response from the hosts with Joelinton and Longstaff making their presence felt in an increasingly physical battle on the pitch midfield.

The Hammers largely picked up where they left off after the restart, defender Nayef Aguerd firing a header high and wide from Benrahma’s cross in the 50th minute after a sustained period of pressure.

Vladimir Coufal made an important block from Saint-Maximin’s volley four minutes later as Newcastle hit back, but for all their efforts real chances proved elusive, prompting Howe to bowl Gordon with 21 minutes remaining.

Wilson could have doubled his tally perhaps twice as time went on, Aguerd’s superbly timed challenge and Fabianski’s safe hands rebuffed him in quick succession, and his side eventually had to settle for a point.

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