West Ham earned a brilliant 4-2 victory over Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, in each side’s opening Premier League fixture of the season.
It took just five minutes for Newcastle to take the lead through Callum Wilson, who headed home from a tricky Allan Saint-Maximin cross. West Ham grew into the game and tied things up ten minutes later when Aaron Cresswell’s cross somehow found its way into the bottom corner, but it was Newcastle who took a lead into the break thanks to a Jacob Murphy header shortly before the interval.
West Ham took complete control after the break. Said Benrahma headed home an early equaliser, before Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio both fired home to give the Hammers a 4-2 lead by the 67th minute.
Newcastle looked deflated after that, allowing West Ham to see out the remaining 20 minutes with relative ease.
Freddie Woodman (GK) – 5/10 – A harsh scoreline. Made a good save from Bowen and saved Antonio’s penalty, but didn’t get nearly enough help from his defenders.
Jacob Murphy (RB) – 6/10 – Put his header away very nicely but undid his hard work by giving away the penalty. Looked pretty shaky at the back.
Emil Krafth (CB) – 4/10 – Found it very hard dealing with West Ham’s overload of talent on the left. Chasing shadows around Cresswell, Benrahma and Fornals.
Federico Fernandez (CB) – 6/10 – Showed nice leadership by barking orders for those around him, and really impressed with his range of passing. Surprisingly impactful.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – 5/10 – Involved more in attack than in defence. Could have scored once or twice but could then do nothing but watch West Ham rack up the goals.
Matt Ritchie (LB) – 6/10 – Put in some outstanding crosses and was a constant menace down the left, but should have done better for Benrahma’s equaliser.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 6/10 – Given a lot of freedom to get forward and certainly tried his hardest, although he looked terrified whenever he got near the final third. Probably not a box-to-box midfielder.
Jonjo Shelvey (CM) – 6/10 – Didn’t look like a player who missed a lot of pre-season. Put his body about to try and lead Newcastle’s press and pulled off more than a few nice passes. Tired after the break and left with 20 minutes to go.
Miguel Almiron (AM) – 7/10 – After an early clearance off the line, Almiron looked dangerous throughout. Hit the bar in the first half and buzzed around the pitch to link up with the forwards. Really impressive.
Callum Wilson (ST) – 7/10 – Newcastle’s new number nine bagged an excellent early header and continued to threaten West Ham’s back line.
Allan Saint-Maximin (ST) – 8/10 – How fun is this guy? Some ridiculous dribbling for the first goal and didn’t stop floating around with the ball at his feet. Looked a different class.
Ryan Fraser – 5/10
Joelinton – N/A
Sean Longstaff – N/A
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 5/10 – Probably could have done better for both goals. Not the kind of performance needed with Alphonse Areola waiting in the wings.
Vladimir Coufal (RB) – 4/10 – Completely off it. Caught ball-watching for the first goal and then couldn’t clear his lines for the second. Not good enough.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 5/10 – Clearly lacking match fitness. Didn’t want anything to do with Saint-Maximin and couldn’t keep up with Wilson.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 4/10 – Was in his own world as Wilson headed home and didn’t really recover. Had fans online begging to see him replaced by Issa Diop.
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 7/10 – A constant menace down the left. A slice of good fortune for his goal but was determined to rack up the assists with some really dangerous crosses.
Tomas Soucek (DM) – 6/10 – Wasn’t his normal self in the first half. Misplaced a few passes and didn’t look fit enough to keep bombing forward like he did last year. Did score the third goal though, so that’s nice.
Declan Rice (DM) – 6/10 – Was spun by Saint-Maximin for the opener but did win the ball back for West Ham’s second equaliser and grew into the game as the minutes passed. Dominant in the dying stages.
Jarrod Bowen (RM) – 7/10 – Could have had a banging solo goal in the first half and remained dangerous after that. Wanted the ball deep and enjoyed running at Newcastle’s back line.
Said Benrahma (AM) – 8/10 – After an excellent pre-season, Benrahma continued to shine in the ten role this time. He controlled his header well and helped pull the strings in attack, setting up the fourth with real class.
Pablo Fornals (LM) – 7/10 – Less impactful that the other attacking midfielders but dangerous nonetheless. Was literally spun by Saint-Maximin so hard he ended up hurting his ankle.
Michail Antonio (ST) – 8/10 – Played more as a deep-lying forward, dropping deep to allow Bowen and Benrahma to dance forwards. Did so well to keep the ball in for the second goal, missing the penalty for the third goal and then fired home a fourth. Busy day.
Ryan Fredericks – N/A
Andriy Yarmolenko – N/A
Ben Johnson – N/A