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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Substitute Mohammed Kudus earns West Ham a point with late equaliser against Newcastle

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Mohammed Kudus climbed off the bench to score his first Premier League goal as West Ham snatched a 2-2 draw against Newcastle.

The Magpies looked set to follow up their memorable 4-1 Champions League win over Paris St Germain on Wednesday with a hard-earned three points on the road after Alexander Isak’s quickfire double cancelled out Tomas Soucek’s early opener.

But Ghana winger Kudus, the £38million summer signing from Ajax, struck a minute from full-time to earn the hosts a deserved point.

West Ham, who had their own continental exertions in the Europa League against Freiburg on Thursday, took the lead with the first attack of the match.

Lucas Paqueta was the architect with an exquisite chip which sent Emerson Palmieri racing through on goal. The full-back knocked the ball past Nick Pope before unselfishly squaring it for Soucek to tuck into an empty net.

Bruno Guimaraes, who signed a new contract at Newcastle this week, was lucky to escape an early red card when, seconds after being booked for fouling Emerson, he blatantly tripped James Ward-Prowse.

Newcastle, as many teams do at West Ham, dominated possession – they had 72 per cent in the first half – yet all they had to show for it was a Miguel Almiron shot from 25 yards which flew wide and Dan Burn glancing a header the wrong side of the post.

David Moyes revealed after Paqueta’s star turn in the 2-1 win in Freiburg that the Brazilian playmaker at times has him “tearing his hair out”.

One such maddening moment came in first-half stoppage time when he tried one trick too many and was dispossessed inside the West Ham half, but Newcastle were unable to take advantage as the hosts eventually cleared their lines.

After the break Edson Alvarez, West Ham’s Mexican midfield enforcer, was inches from his first goal for the club when he headed Ward-Prowse’s corner wide.

Newcastle finally tested Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola, who made an incredible save to keep out Burn’s header from Isak’s cross.

But moments later the visitors drew level, Isak reacting quickest after Alvarez inadvertently headed Kieran Trippier’s free-kick back across goal and firing home.

And within five minutes Newcastle were leading when Trippier’s superb cushioned volley-cross was tucked away from close range by Isak.

The Sweden striker went agonisingly close to claiming a hat-trick when he rounded Areola but, from a tight angle, could only hit the post.

It proved costly when Kudus collected Vladimir Coufal’s pass 20 yards out and lashed the equaliser past Pope.

The Hammers almost won it in stoppage time but Said Benrahma was just unable to convert Jarrod Bowen’s drive across goal.

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