New boys on song as Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0

Newcastle United earned an excellent win over West Ham United to kick off the 2020/21 season in style as Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick scored debut goals.
On a balmy night in the capital, United competed hard against David Moyes side before showing their clinical side with two second half goals to deliver three important points.
There may have been no fans to see it, but those back home could only have been impressed with the way Steve Bruce led his troops to victory at the London Stadium.
The former Man United skipper got his tactics right and despite dropping Miguel Almiron to the bench, the decision would pay off in the latter stages.
Bruce opened up the season with an old school 4-4-2 formation at the London Stadium with Andy Carroll and debutant Wilson leading the line.
Fellow new boy Hendrick started wide on the right – a position he’d grown tired of at Burnley – while Jamal Lewis opened up as a traditional full-back.
In the opening exchanges, Carroll was perhaps lucky to escape with nothing but a “calm down” from ref Stuart Attwell after an ugly challenge on Tomáš Souček.
But United quickly found their way into the game in a football sense, and after Allan Saint-Maximin had teased the home defence, the ball fell for Jamal Lewis who clipped in a left-wing cross for Callum Wilson but his header went wide after five minutes.
A minute later, Jonjo Shelvey rolled the ball to Wilson down the right with the new striker forcing a corner.
Shelvey’s set-play was curled in for Federico Fernandez who headed at goal but Lukasz Fabianski punched clear.
On 13 minutes, Isaac Hayden conceded a free-kick and picked up a yellow card for a foul on Michail Antonio.
Mark Noble chipped the ball towards the penalty area and Angelo Ogbonna and the former Juventus man’s header clipped the crossbar after he beat Carroll in the air.
With 21 minutes on the clock, Saint-Maximin drove forward again to pick out Lewis once more.
The £15million man’s cross found Wilson again but he could not find a finish to match the quality of the ball into the box.
Newcastle won a free-kick from 30-yards mid-way through the first half.
Shelvey – who scored from a similar range at the same end in the fixture last season – stepped up but his effort was comfortably gathered by Fabianski.
The Magpies then won a corner on 25 minutes with Shelvey attempting to pick out Carroll but the big striker’s header looped over the top. But the home side tried to respond with chances from Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek with neither finding a way past Karl Darlow.
Carroll had another good chance after flicking the ball over his marker but a deflection prevented it being a near-perfect moment on his return to the London Stadium.
West Ham struck the bar once again through Pablo Fornals before a handball appeal required a VAR check, but the Magpies escaped the danger on 36 minutes.
Moments later, Saint-Maximin broke forward on the counter-attack after Fornals lost the ball but after demonstrating his electrifying pace he could not pick out Wilson and West Ham cleared the danger.
Four minutes before the break, Wilson showed great feet before curling an effort at goal but it flashed just wide again.
Newcastle went in for half-time after creating nine chances but failing to manage an effort on target.
They started the second half with another opportunity as Wilson picked out Carroll at the back post but West Ham cleared the danger and United wasted the resultant corner on 48 minutes.
Wilson made no mistake on 56 minutes though after great work from Javier Manquillo down the right.
The Spanish full-back dropped his shoulder before putting in a cross which Jeff Hendrick helped on for Wilson to apply a poacher’s finish and beat Fabianski and make it 1-0.
West Ham turned to Plan B on 66 minutes when they introduced Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko to boost their offensive options.
Tempers flared as Antonio and Magpies coach Steve Agnew clashed near the technical area as the West Ham man tried to retrieve a loose ball.
The 6ft 3in former Auxerre star almost made an instant impact when he fired in a shot from a tight angle within seconds but Hendrick’s block on the line prevented an equaliser.
West Ham stars surrounded the referee in the hope of a penalty but Newcastle escaped a close call.
Home players then squabbled with each other when Ogbonna rolled the ball out of play with Hayden in need of treatment.
A sumptuous pass down the right from Hendrick found Manquillo again on 74 minutes but Wilson was just beaten to the ball by Fabianski before Saint-Maximin lashed over the bar.
Bruce then made his first change when he took Saint-Maximin off for Brazilian striker Joelinton.
There were hearts in mouths on the United bench when Yarmolenko hit one wide with 11 minutes to go but a poor finish kept the Magpies ahead going into the closing stages.
On 83 minutes, Darlow needed to be at his brilliant best to clutch on to Haller effort at the back post but again he held firm.
United then made a second change when Wilson was replaced by Miguel Almiron for the last six minutes plus stoppage time.
Almiron didn’t take long to make an impact when he rolled a lovely ball to Hendrick across the penalty area.
The Ireland midfielder poised himself before hammering it past Fabianski to double the lead in the capital.
United could have added gloss late on when Almiron’s effort, after a good bursting run, was deflected wide. But the win not only started the season in style it ended a wretched run of opening day results with the first victory at this stage since 2012.

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