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Barnes and Isak secure three points for Newcastle

West Ham 3-4 Newcastle 

by Roger Domeneghetti

 

 

HARVEY BARNES, the forgotten summer signing, who has spent four months out injured, came off the bench to grab a brace. In the process, he secured all three points for Newcastle and kept their season alive. Just.

As West Ham surged into a two-goal lead just after the break, a win for Eddie Howe’s team had seemed extremely unlikely, their European ambitions in tatters.

“At 3-1 down it looked a really difficult point in our season,” said Howe, “but the players remained calm. They’re incredible professionals and that’s an incredible win for us.”

It all seemed very different when they took the lead after just six minutes thanks to Alexander Isak’s confident penalty. 

Then their injury curse struck again as their captain Jamal Lascelles limped off. The forced reorganisation to the Magpies’ already depleted defence, unsettled their rhythm.

West Ham exploited the disruption. Lucas Paqueta’s pass from deep caught Newcastle’s defence flat-footed. Michail Antonio beat the offside trap and slotted past Martin Dubravka.

Before the break, the visitors had the lead after Mohammed Kudus sent a rising drive past Dubravka following Paqueta’s quickly taken free-kick.

Two minutes after the break, Newcastle were found wanting yet again. Kudus surged forward and found Jarod Bowen in acres of space. He made no mistake.

And yet, like a punch-drunk boxer, Howe’s side dug deep and fought back. Isak scored his second from the spot to make it 3-2 after the luckless Kalvin Phillips was adjudged to have fouled Anthony Gordon. 

Barnes then entered stage right, nutmegging substitute keeper Lukas Fabianski for his first, before beating him with a swerving shot for his second.

Howe was delighted with the brief cameo. “Harvey’s a goal scorer. He’s been struck by injuries and had a really difficult start to his Newcastle career, but the quality is undoubtedly there, and he scored two brilliant goals.”

His counterpart David Moyes was downbeat. “I’m gutted; this feels like a bad defeat,” he said. “We did a lot of good things and were a threat, but we didn’t defend well enough.”

As the clock ticked down, the only thing the game was missing was a red card. Gordon duly delivered, earning a second yellow for petulantly kicking the ball away. He’ll miss tomorrow’s game against Everton. With both Tino Livramento and Miguel Almiron having joined Lascelles on the injury list, it was irresponsible.

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