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Chronicle Live
Lee Ryder

Newcastle United 1-1 West Ham: Callum Wilson ends drought but Hammers dig in for a point

Reaching the 40-point mark used to be cause for celebration for Newcastle United but it was the visitors from the East End who were delighted with the outcome of this top-flight clash at St James' Park.

The Magpies went into the game on the back of that euphoric night in the Carabao Cup after beating Southampton at St James' Park on Tuesday to reach their first major cup final since 1999. Howe had been forced to rest concussion victim Alexander Isak with Allan Saint-Maximin coming into the side as part of a reshuffle caused by Bruno Guimaraes' ban.

There was an explosive start to proceedings as Newcastle twice had the ball in the Gallowgate End net in the first two minutes. First, Miguel Almiron pulled the ball back for Joe Willock who fired home on the right-hand side only for the goal to be chalked off by VAR as the ball strayed out of play.

READ MORE: Newcastle United vs West Ham LIVE: Updates from St James' Park

That would have had Newcastle ahead after just 48 seconds, but the Magpies had to refocus and search again for the opener. But that pursuit of the first goal didn't take long as Fabian Schar won the ball from a goal kick, Sean Longstaff threaded Callum Wilson through and he calmly slotted the ball past Lukasz Fabianski with a cool finish in the third minute.

It was Wilson's first goal in 13 matches for club and country with his last strikes coming before the World Cup when he bagged a double in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa. After the frantic start West Ham tried to settle the game down but Kieran Trippier's ball found Almiron on 12 minutes before his tame shot was gathered by Fabianski.

On 20 minutes there were shouts for a Newcastle penalty as Angelo Ogbonna appeared to handle the ball but Peter Bankes waved away the brief protests. The Hammers - well backed by good numbers from the East End - had a glimpse of goal on 28 minutes when Joelinton gifted them possession but Said Benrahma but his effort was deflected over the bar at the Leazes End.

Howe will have been disappointed with the marking after West Ham levelled the game up on 32 minutes and United finally conceded a Premier League goal for the first time since November. A corner from Declan Rice was whipped to the back post, over Joelinton and Dan Burn, and after Newcastle failed to clear, Lucas Paqueta slotted home at the back post before celebrating with a backflip.

TV replays showed how Paqueta had wrestled free from the grip of Trippier near the upright but had the cross been cleared he wouldn't have been given the chance to readjust and apply the finish. Benrahma was then allowed to run at the Toon defence again four minutes later but his shot skidded wide of Nick Pope's left-hand post.

The two teams went in level at the break with Newcastle conceding their first goal in the opening 45 minutes for the first time since August. The Hammers made a change during the interval as England Under-21 international Ben Johnson replaced injured German star Thilo Kehrer.

Saint-Maximin provided the first meaningful attack of the second half for United on 54 minutes. The Frenchman had barely been in the game when he controlled the ball at the back post before his shot was blocked by Vladimir Coufal and gathered by Fabianski.

With 57 minutes gone, Joelinton threw himself to the ground and collected a yellow card for diving after a challenge from Nayef Aguerd. The attempt to win a spot-kick infuriated the West Ham players before Bankes reached for the yellow card.

On 61 minutes Trippier's cross found Willock at the back post but he could only connect with the woodwork and went down in a heap. Newcastle introduced the £45million new boy Anthony Gordon with 22 minutes left as he replaced Saint-Maximin.

Gordon was roared on to the field for his debut and wearing the number eight shirt he took up place on the left-hand side of the three-pronged attack. West Ham made a couple of changes of their own with 16 minutes left on the clock as Pablo Fornals and Tomas Soucek replaced Lucas and Benrahma.

Wilson was sent through on 76 minutes by Gordon after a superb pass but a last ditch and well-timed tackle from Aguerd stopped him in his tracks. Howe switched things up again when he introduced Elliot Anderson and Jacob Murphy for Willock and Almiron.

In turn West Ham replaced Michail Antonio with Danny Ings for the final 10 minutes . With nine minutes to go Trippier's set-play was swirled in for Wilson but his header was straight at Fabianski.

Seconds later, Gordon's low drive was deflected away for a corner but Newcastle could not make the most of it as West Ham dug in. There was an additional three minutes of added time at St James' with West Ham going into defensive mode.

When the dust settles, the fact Newcastle have hit the 40-point mark with 17 matches to spare shows just how far the Magpies have come in a short space of time under Howe. United though are very much in the race for Europe rather than staving off the threat of the drop - and that's before you contemplate the League Cup final visit later this month.

Our 48-page Carabao Cup final special is available to pre-order now! Click HERE to get your copy as Newcastle United prepare for a historic day out at Wembley. Also available to purchase through local participating retailers from February 15th.


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