Newcastle United 1-1 West Ham United
Struggling West Ham produced a gritty performance to secure a rare away point and frustrate in-form Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Sean Longstaff followed up his two goals against Southampton on Tuesday, which booked the Magpies a place in the Carabao Cup final, by setting up Callum Wilson to fire the hosts ahead with a clinical finish.
Fabian Schar almost made it 2-0 following a free-kick before Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta equalised from inside the six-yard box – the first Premier League goal Newcastle have conceded since 6 November.
Eddie Howe’s side were far from their fluent best and the 69th-minute introduction of new signing Anthony Gordon as a substitute failed to inspire Newcastle as West Ham dug deep.
On a frustrating day for the Magpies, Joelinton was booked for a clear dive inside the West Ham box by referee Peter Bankes, while Allan Saint-Maximin had a goal-bound attempt blocked on his first Premier League start since 28 August.
Newcastle, who started the weekend in third spot in the Premier League, are now fourth on 40 points – four ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham who entertain Manchester City on Sunday (16:30 GMT).
West Ham remain 16th – one point above the relegation zone – after securing a sixth point on the road this season.
After securing a first cup final for 24 years, the atmosphere inside St James’ Park for West Ham’s visit was buoyant at kick-off.
Wembley songs filled the air after Wilson scored his first goal since 29 October following Longstaff’s carefully threaded pass inside three minutes.
By half-time, however, the celebratory mood had been replaced by an air of tension after Newcastle failed to deal with a corner, allowing Paqueta to pounce inside the six-yard box.
Despite scoring his seventh goal of the season, Wilson could have had a hat-trick.
He was denied by Nayef Aguerd’s fine challenge after a lovely pass by Gordon, who has arrived on Tyneside in a deal worth worth up to £45m from Everton.
Wilson had another chance to win it but his header, from Kieran Trippier’s free-kick, was straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
Newcastle have deservedly won praise after impressing this season. However, Howe and his players know there is still lots of work ahead if they are to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
After losing seven of their previous 10 Premier League away games, West Ham have not had much joy on the road this season.
The goals have also dried up with David Moyes’ side managing just 17 in 20 matches before facing Newcastle – eight fewer than Manchester City forward Erling Haaland has scored in 19 games in his debut season in the Premier League.
Yet this was an encouraging performance off the back of a home league victory over Everton and an FA Cup win at Derby.
West Ham showed a resolve and a belief that will give Moyes confidence his players can pull clear of trouble near the bottom of the table.
They had the chance to take the lead on the stroke of half-time but Aguerd’s header, following a free-kick, flew over the bar.