West Ham took home full three points in a ding dong battle away at Newcastle to start their Premier League campaign on a positive note, registering a 4-2 victory on Sunday in front of a packed St James’ Park.
Callum Wilson put the home side Newcastle ahead within just five minutes of the kickoff but by the time the final whistle arrived, the crowd saw West Ham scoring three unanswered goals in 14 second-half minutes to get the win.
Aaron Cresswell scored the visitors’ first equalizer in the 18th minute when his teasing low ball drifted beyond the outstretched leg of Tomas Soucek and into the net. The assistant referee initially flagged the goal for offside but it stood eventually as the replay showed that the ball had already crossed the line before Jarrod Bowen tapped it.
Newcastle did not sit back and retook the lead five minutes before the end of an entertaining first half with Jacob Murphy heading the ball home after Matt Ritchie’s cross from the byline had just evaded the leaping Wilson.
West Ham hit back again eight minutes after halftime, with Said Benrahma getting between two defenders to head in at the back post following a cross from Michail Antonio, who did well to control a difficult pass on the left.
Also read: Premier League: Salah inspires Liverpool to comfortable victory over Norwich
Antonio then saw a bullet header cannon off the bar and ricochet into Murphy, who was adjudged to have brought down Pablo Fornals in the area in an attempt to claim the loose ball. Goalkeeper Freddie Woodman guessed right to save Antonio’s penalty low to his left, but Soucek was first to the rebound and bundled in after 63 minutes.
It took only another three minutes for West Ham to seize complete control as Antonio finally got on the scoresheet on the counter, getting the ball onto his right foot and drilling low into the corner beyond Woodman.
It made for a promising start for David Moyes‘ West Ham, which finished a surprising sixth last season.
There were plenty of boos toward the end from the 50,000 fans at St. James’ Park, but Newcastle manager Steve Bruce criticized what he said was a “harsh” penalty decision that proved decisive.
“It’s the big turning point in the game. Once we went chasing the game we made it very difficult for ourselves. But defensively, unfortunately, we gave away too many soft goals. It’s getting that balance right. As soon as we chase the game then we left ourselves exposed and open, we simply can’t afford to do that at this level,” Bruce was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.