Newcastle picked up another point against a struggling West Ham side, a point that ensured safety in the Premier League for another season. Newcastle made hard work of it in the opening minutes, Jamaal Lascelles got his feet tangled which allowed Michail Antonio to fire the visitors into an early lead.
Newcastle responded well to the shock of conceding early and started to control the game. The Magpies levelled it up with lovely build up play, Allan Saint-Maximin fed Emil Krafth who in turn produced a delightful ball to Miguel Almiron who could not miss.
You could tell that both teams had played a lot of games in such a short period of time, the players looked extremely leggy. Isaac Hayden suffered what looked to be a soft tissue injury, making way for loanee, Nabil Bentaleb.
The sides headed down the tunnel with match all square at half time. The second half saw Newcastle produce another defensive lapse. Jarrod Bowen’s corner found Declan Rice, who’s header smashed back off the crossbar, the Magpies switched off completely which allowed Tomas Soucek to lash home the rebound.
Newcastle leveled things up again instantly, Shelvey followed his ball into Dwight Gayle before coolly slotting past Lukas Fabianski to level things up again.
Both sides tried to muster up the energy to grab a late winner but to no avail. Newcastle’s lack of a plan B without Saint-Maximin is a concern, Valentino Lazaro was introduced in the second half but failed to find any joy. It would be surprising if Steve Bruce were to start Saint-Maximin again on Wednesday against Manchester City, in doing so the winger may just burn out entirely.
Safety should not be the main aim, it should be a minimum target for Newcastle. I was also caught up in the joy of safety being assured for another season, that’s how far expectations have fallen over the last 13 years. With Newcastle now knowing their fate, surely the Premier League have to wake up from their coma and approve the proposed takeover that continues to rumble on in the background.