A missed chance to move into the top 10 for Newcastle, but another point which makes us unbeaten in our last 6 league games thanks to comeback goals from Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey.
Here’s an assessment of each player’s performance along with my mark out of 10:
Dubravka – 7 – A few decent punches to clear awkward balls into the box and made a crucial point-blank save to stop Bowen from making it 1-2 to the Hammers in the first half. Also did well to parry a viscous late strke from Yarmalenko.
Krafth – 7.5 – Another much improved display from the Swede. A few of his early balls into the box were wasteful, but he showed his quality with a brilliant low cross fizzed into the box to set up Almiron’s equaliser. Looked much more comfortable in a right-back role after previously looking lost as a wing-back, linking up nicely in attack, making several good supportive runs and sticking to his task well at the other end too.
Lascelles – 4 – I was singing his praises in midweek, and rightly so, but he made an awful error 3 minutes in to hand West Ham an early lead, totally fluffing a Bowen cross he should’ve cleared easily, which allowed Antonio to smash home inside the 6-yard box. He did settle down and respond well, making a few crucial headers to clear a dangerous West Ham balls into the box, however he was also partly responsible for their second, with Soucek getting away from him to score. A rare bad day for the usually reliable captain here!
Fernandez – 7 – Typically strong in the air and steady early on despite our shaky start. He was bailed out by Dubravka 32 minutes in after he allowed Bowen to ghost in ahead ahead of him and get a shot away from close range, however he generally read the game brilliantly and was rock solid, often mopping up the danger expertly.
Manquillo – 5 – Got done by Bowen in the build up to their early goal and looked a little half asleep in the opening stages as he continued at left-back ahead of Danny Rose. Usually reliable and switched on, but struggled against the former Hull City star all afternoon here.
Hayden – 6 – Did a typically solid job in the middle while he was on, battling for each ball and timing a few trademark sliding tackles to perfection. Sadly, however, he was forced off just before the break with a suspected hamstring injury.
Shelvey – 8 – Pulled the strings once again, moved the ball quickly and played a huge part in our equaliser, with him finishing calmly after a brilliant one-two with Dwight Gayle. Was given too much time to pick a pass early on and was always looking to release Dwight Gayle, a player he seems to link up brilliantly with from their time together in the Championship. That said, he didn’t struggle physically when the tempo increased, making some good runs and showing more energy than he has done in the past.
Saint-Maximin – 7 – Looked to commit West Ham players and make something happen as soon as he got the ball. His final product wasn’t always as good as it has been, seeing a few of us shots fail to test Fabianski, however his burst and ball out wide to Krafth did help set up Almiron’s equaliser. Not at his best today, but still influential, with it saying a lot that we struggled to get anything going from the moment he was taken off with 20 minutes to play.
Almiron – 8* – A brilliant performance from the Paraguayn, who was my MOTM today. He had been a little too anonymous and wasteful in his last two starts at St James’ Park, but he was all action in this one, not only scoring his 8th of the season but always looking for the ball, trying to create and never shirking his defensive responsibilities either. He’s always a bundle of energy, but he was at the heart of most good things today and showed his quality with back to back Premier League goals for the first time since signing!
Joelinton – 6 – He played a key part in the build up to both of ours goals, but didn’t look all that convincing when he picked it up in the final third. His general play in possession suggested he looks more comfortable linking up out wide – not leading the line up top – and there were a few signs that his confidence levels are slowly improving via some lovely one-two’s and his involve, but we need to see more from him as our most expensive signing ever!
Gayle – 7.5 – Looked very lively from the off, linking up the play well and proving difficult to pick up for the West Ham defence, with them never knowing if he was about to come short or run in behind. Held the ball up quite well at times and did well to win a few free kicks in decent areas too. Then played a key part in the equaliser with a lovely ball back into Jonjo Shelvey, capping off a quietly impressive all round display from the striker.
Bentaleb – 7 – An impressive outing from the on loan Algerian after Hayden was forced off just before the break. He showed some outstanding footwork to get away from his man, always looked to move the ball forward quickly and protected the back four pretty well. Not quite as energetic or strong defensively as Hayden, but looked a class act with the ball at his feet.
Lazaro – 6 – Always looks to get on the ball and release it quickly when he gets it and played a few sharp passes into the final third, but the game fizzled out from our perspective in the final stages, meaning he was often picking up the ball from deep or having to defend instead. Some sharp passes into the final third and was often quick to get back and help Krafth out at the other end, however he’ll be frustrated not to have started this one after his lively cameo at Bournemouth.
Ritchie – 5 – Didn’t manage to get much going down the left during his 25-minute cameo. Got back and helped Manquillo out defensively, but pretty quiet in the main.
Carroll – 5 – Nothing really came off for him during his late appearance against his former club. Struggled to get a hold of the ball, however we did go flat as a team and failed to get good service into him after ASM went off.