Report and free highlights as Mohammed Kudus rescues point for West Ham in 2-2 draw with Newcastle at London Stadium; Alexander Isak looked to have secured victory with second-half double after Tomas Soucek's first-half strike
Sunday 8 October 2023 23:35, UK
Mohammed Kudus' last-minute strike snatched a 2-2 draw for West Ham against Newcastle in a game of high controversy at the London Stadium.
The Ghana international rifled home from 20 yards to rescue a point with his first Premier League goal, denying Newcastle a victory that had seemed so certain after Alexander Isak's quick-fire double either side of the hour mark.
Tomas Soucek fired West Ham ahead inside eight minutes with their first and only shot of the first half from Emerson's square ball, after fine work from Lucas Paqueta.
But the main talking point of the opening 45 minutes was Peter Bankes' decision not to send off Bruno Guimaraes for a foul on James Ward-Prowse which appeared to be worth a clear second yellow card, and was labelled a "disgrace" by Jamie O'Hara on Sky Sports News.
There was more controversy about Isak's equaliser 12 minutes into the second period, finished off from close range after a free-kick award against Paqueta which looked to be extremely soft.
Isak's second, five minutes later, was a goal of pure quality, finishing off Kieran Trippier's first-time cross - and he should have sealed his hat-trick soon after but struck the post when played clean through.
The sense of ill-feeling around the London Stadium was growing until Kudus' late equaliser out of nothing, to keep West Ham above Newcastle by a point and end the visitors' three-game winning league streak.
West Ham: Areola (7), Coufal (7), Zouma (6), Aguerd (6), Emerson (7), Alvarez (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Soucek (7), Bowen (7), Antonio (7), Paqueta (8).
Subs: Benrahma (6), Kudus (7).
Newcastle: Pope (6), Trippier (7), Schar (7), Lascelles (6), Burn (6), Guimaraes (7), Longstaff (6), Tonali (7), Almiron (7), Isak (8), Anderson (6).
Subs: Murphy, Wilson, Targett (n/a).
Player of the match: Alexander Isak.
Perhaps it was Newcastle's European hangover which would end up costing them victory in East London, but West Ham showed no signs of their own to take a point from a losing position for the first time this season.
They had looked so comfortable for much of the game from the moment Paqueta's pinpoint through-ball found Emerson, who poked it around Nick Pope and found Soucek for a simple finish eight minutes in.
Newcastle had all the hallmarks of fatigue, lacking tempo to their play, struggling to win second balls and failing to hit the target before half-time at the London Stadium.
Their afternoon could have been tougher still had Guimaraes, booked moments earlier for a professional foul on Emerson, been dismissed after catching Ward-Prowse on the halfway line.
"He's got to go," said Darren Ambrose on Sky Sports News. "Bruno knows he's got away with one. He should be off."
Julian Alvarez's header wide from a corner was the only moment of note before Bankes again became the centre of attention for a soft free-kick 12 minutes after half-time.
Trippier's delivery was nodded across goal by Alvarez to leave Isak barely believing his luck to side-foot in a simple finish.
He made similarly light work of his second five minutes later, finishing off from close range after Sandro Tonali's raking pass was turned into the six-yard box by Trippier.
Isak should have taken home the hat-trick ball when he was played clean through as the gaps opened up in West Ham's increasingly attacking shape, but struck the base of the post from a tight angle after rounding Alphonse Areola.
His one hope was that the miss would not cost his side. But with seconds of normal time remaining, it did. Vladimir Coufal was given space to run down the Hammers' right before squaring for Kudus, whose powerful finish inside the near post earned a point.
It could have still got better for the hosts, with Jarrod Bowen denied by an injury-time stop by Pope - leaving both sides wondering what might have been.
West Ham manager David Moyes on the free-kick leading to Newcastle's equaliser:
"That was harsh on us, as was the decision earlier on which could've been a second yellow card [on Guimaraes]. You can decide on that, I'm not going to say anything which could get me into trouble.
"I'm happy with a point. We played well in the first half, playing against one of the best teams in Europe with the way they've been playing. It was tough, we played really well. There were difficult moments but we stuck at it.
"We could've gone 3-1 down but we also could've won it 3-2. It was a very close game."
On Jarrod Bowen's impending new deal: "Jarrod's signed a new deal, it'll be announced tonight. Great news for us at West Ham and the supporters.
"He's done amazing since he's been here, continues to improve, even today he thought he'd scored but Pope makes an unbelievable save with his hand, which could've changed the game at the end."
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe:
"Really tough first half for us, we weren't ourselves. Deservedly 1-0 down. Totally different second half, we deserved to lead and we were excellent.
"That stage before the second goal, it felt like the game was ours.
"We've needed a response since the last international break. We've done that and some, really. The character today, shows what the squad is made of."
West Ham face Aston Villa in the league after the international break on Sunday October 22, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm.
Newcastle host Crystal Palace in the league on Saturday October 21; kick-off 3pm.