David Hautzig's Match Report

Tottenham 3, West Ham 3. When A Point Is More Than A Point.

NOTE FROM IAIN: Congratulations to MoanerMe who topped the Spurs Predictor League with 77 points. You can see the table "HERE"https://new.westhamtillidie.com/matches/spurs-2020-10-18. The Predictor League for Manchester City on Saturday is now open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 10am on Saturday.*

(Quick shout out to my best mate Jon who suggested the title of this report)

It’s ironic that the player I would have been most curious about going into today’s match at Spuds was unavailable because of a ridiculous deadline on registrations. Why on earth should any club not be allowed to use players that are registered to the club because of a five hour discrepancy? My newest pet peeve. Anyway, the announcement that Haller didn’t even make the bench due to a knock brought into question the decision not to get another striker. Yes, with Haller there it could have been an issue possibly relegating him to third choice. But Antonio’s hamstrings are always on a knife’s edge…metaphorically that is…and thus a worry. Overall, with Spuds on a roll and The Hammers coming off two very solid results, it had the potential to be a very interesting 90 minutes. It was waaaaay more than that.

The second Son got on the end of the long pass from Kane, a combination that has been fairly lethal this season so far for the home side, it looked bad. He flew by Balbuena, and as soon as he cut inside the goal literally looked like it was empty on TV. Might as well have been with Son’s quality. One minute in, one goal down.

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Tottenham 1
West Ham 0

Considering the shock of such an early goal conceded, West Ham looked to answer. They won a free kick that Cresswell sent wide, and then a corner that Antonio tried to direct behind Lloris but sent it wide as well. An equalizer would have been huge considering what happened moments later. Kane got on the ball near the top of the eighteen yard box in the 8th minute, nutmegged Rice, and then with Fabianski standing still drove a low shot past Ogbonna and into the net.

Tottenham 2
West Ham 0

It got uglier in the 16th minute when Son returned the favor to Kane with a terrific cross to Kane in the box. Kane out-jumped Cresswell….not that hard…and headed it past Fabianski to seemingly end the match by the time it was quarter of an hour old. That yard work I need to do was looking a decent alternative to this pretty early on. Nigel told me I couldn’t go outside and play, unfortunately I thought, so I was stuck. Thanks, Nigel.

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Tottenham 3
West Ham 0

It came close to 4-0 in the 35th minute when Aurier slid a pass into the box for the onrushing Son, but Fabianski slid out to meet the ball before the salt could be rubbed into the wound. Seconds later West Ham won another corner but couldn’t put a ball on target. Yet to the visitors credit, they did keep moving the ball forward and didn’t really look like a side that was being totally dominated. Even though they were where it counted because they have guys named Kane and Son and we don’t.

The final seconds of first half added time saw a scramble inside the Tottenham box, and it was the attacking Kane making a defensive stop against the defender Coufal to end the half.

Halftime
Tottenham 3
West Ham 0

Like some of the stretches in the opening half, West Ham looked to attack at the start of the second. They moved the ball around the Spurs end, and at times looked like they spent too much time on the ball instead of looking for a shot. Masuaku tried a volley that went high over the bar, and then Antonio crossed for Fornals but the Spaniard couldn’t put his header on target. From a quality of play perspective, again, West Ham didn’t look awful.

The Hammers won a corner in the 53rd minute when Masuaku and Cresswell combined on the left. The delivery found nothing in particular, but despite Spurs best efforts to clear West Ham drove it back and won another corner. Kane cleared the set piece, but Bowen brought it back and tried to find Soucek in the box but his cross was too high. In the first ten minutes of the second half, West Ham had five attempts to Spurs one, so if “how we looked” was something to consider, it was better than the scoreline dictated.

Spurs won their first corner of the day in the 62nd minute when Kane let go with a 30 yard shot that Fabianski had to dive low to his right to push around the post. West Ham dealt with the set piece, but Spurs won a second corner when Balbuena had to direct a Son cross over the bar. But the visitors back line did their job, something they had done well since the 17th minute.

The 70th minute saw another West Ham corner, and all it led to was another West Ham corner. A minute later Ogbonna was booked for a challenge on Aurier, giving Spurs a free kick 35 yards from goal. It also gave Spurs the opportunity to insert their newest loan signing, a guy named Bale, to take the free kick. Thankfully karma didn’t allow anything highly annoying to happen and the delivery bounced harmlessly to Fabianski.

Kane came an inch away from a hat trick in the 79th minute when Son cut to his right after a run near the West Ham eighteen yard box and rolled a pass to Kane, who one timed his shot off the post. Fabianski didn’t even bother to move.

Then, it started.

Three minutes after Kane almost put the dagger in us, Cresswell lined up to take a free kick and whipped in a very good ball that Balbuena rose high to meet and put it behind Lloris.

Tottenham 3
West Ham 1

Two minutes later, the entire narrative of the day changed when Coufal drove towards the box and sent a cross that Sanchez for some reason decided to try to head clear from close range. He headed it alright. Past Lloris and into the net.

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Tottenham 3
West Ham 2

Lanzini won a free kick in the 89th minute, and after taking it short Cresswell found Bowen in the box but his quick attempt was blocked. In the second minute of added time none other than Bale went in alone on Fabianski, but instead of finishing it off he sent his shot wide.

West Ham kept pressing for an unlikely equalizer deep into stoppage time, with Cresswell taking a free kick on the left. His delivery was cleared, but as West Ham had done all day they kept going. They kept pressing. When Spurs couldn’t clear, Lanzini showed that he still has something deep in his locker when he sent a 35 yard blast off the outside of his right foot and into the top corner past a stunned Lloris.

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Final Score
Tottenham 3
West Ham 3

At the final whistle, I had expected to write about my frustration on the day. We were the better side in the second half even before we scored, and roughly level with them from the 20th minute on. Instead, I thought back to another late equalizer at Spurs from 15 years or so ago when Anton Ferdinand headed home a corner to give West Ham a 1-1 draw. Only this one was even better.

To think.

The sight of a middle aged Scot dancing would be the highlight of my week.


David Hautzig's Match Report

Leicester City 0, West Ham 3. As Good As We've Seen In Ages.

7am kickoff’s suck. Especially when sleep is about as consistent as a Trump press conference or rally staying on script and remaining civil. I told Iain there was no way I was going to set an alarm. And regardless of when I did eventually turn the game on using my IPad, because it’s only streaming here, I would likely watch while doing other things and do the best I can to put something up here. When my eyes popped open at 7:20am, I instinctively grabbed my phone. I saw a message from Nigel Kahn to my WhatsApp group that complimented a cross from Cresswell, and thought that was a good enough reason to check the score.

Well done Cress and Ant. Lovely cross, excellent finish.

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Leicester City 0
West Ham 1

Because of my very superstitious nature, I asked permission of that WhatsApp group to turn the match on. I seriously feared that if I turned it on and things immediately went south it would be my fault. I’m not kidding. I admit I didn’t wait for the answer, although John Bucci of Moore Than Just A Podcast gave me the thumbs up right after another fantastic pass came off the boot of Cresswell, followed by an even better first touch from Fornals, followed by and even better finish from the Spaniard at a moment most of us feared he would bottle it. He did not.

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Leicester City 0
West Ham 2

The Hammers had a couple of other opportunities to increase their lead, including a cross from newcomer Coufal that almost found Antonio in the box and an attempted overhead kick by Antonio off a corner from Bowen. On the defensive end West Ham looked organized and disciplined. The side that put five past Manchester City had a very hard time asking even a simple question of Fabianski.

Halftime
Leicester City 0
West Ham 2

Early in the second half West Ham had a couple of chances to bag a third. The first was on a good cross from Coufal to Antonio in the box, but the Premier League goal machine’s header floated softly into the arms of Schmeichel. Moments later West Ham won a free kick 35 yards from goal. The delivery went straight to Balbuena in front of goal but his header went in a direction nowhere near the goal. A few minutes later, after a nasty challenge by Evans on Antonio, West Ham couldn’t finish a scramble inside the Leicester City eighteen yard box and the lead remained two. Moments after that Coufal sent a long pass over the top that Antonio ran down. He gathered the ball, waited for help which came in the form of Fornals, but Evans got in the way of Fornals shot and deflected it out for a corner.

West Ham should have scored a third in the 72nd minute when Rice went on what could be described as a hundred million pound run into the box. With Bowen in the middle, Rice went for power and slammed a shot off the bar.

Ya’ know, I thought Bobby Madley was the worst referee in the league before he left. Turns out it’s genetic. His brother is awful as well.

West Ham finished the job in the 82nd minute when Rice controlled the ball in the West Ham half and sprung Fornals on a counter. The new nailed on number ten for the Hammers timed a pass to Bowen with perfection running into the Leicester area. With precision and a killer instinct Bowen curled his shot around Schmeichel.

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Leicester City 0
West Ham 3

What do you think Haller was thinking when he came on in the 87th minute? It’s not like he can claim he is being treated unfairly. But at the same time, I still think he is a quality forward and I’m glad we have him. I’m not used to West Ham being in such a position.

Leicester City’s day could be summed up in the 89th minute when Balbuena switched off and allowed Vardy in behind him. The consolation goal looked a certainty. Instead, the shot rolled wide of the far post. It did not even count as a shot on target, which up to that point the home side hadn’t achieved. Their frustration was compounded in added time when Barnes finally broke through the West Ham defense and after some quick passing beat Fabianski.

And then VAR said they didn’t.

Final Score
Leicester City 0
West Ham 3

It’s weird, but my brain…which is barely functional at this point….harkened back to the grey days of BFS. We do love our capital letter nicknames at West Ham, don’t we? BFS, GSB. Anyway, I remember some neutrals scornfully asking me why I wanted him out. I tried to articulate that it was possible to be sound defensively while still at least trying to score. The point, I would tell them, was to score more goals than the opponent. Not to play for a nil-nil draw. I’ve always thought Moyes was a better version of that, while also not being an antagonistic enemy of the supporters.

Today that was on full display.

Despite almost 70% possession, Leicester did not manage a single shot on target. They only could muster two off target. And West Ham easily could have scored six, and should have had four with Rice’s blast off the woodwork. Cresswell, who has been chided mercilessly on social media, was a strong candidate for Man Of The Match, and my football app actually gave it to him. Heck, Coufal looked like he had been around for ages, making a superb overhead kick to simply deny Leicester a chance to counter late in the match. Balbuena was solid and will keep Diop on he bench for a bit it seems. Ogbonna was immense, and showed why he received the call from his country to put on the famous blue jersey again. Unless of course they wear the white one that day, but that’s besides the point. You know what I mean.

In such difficult times, to be handed some fun and unfettered joy by your football club is a gift.

Thanks West Ham. We appreciate it.


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 4, Wolves 0. Alternate Universe Football.

I’m sure some, if not many of you, have experienced what I am experiencing right now. Pure, unadulterated fatigue. I am tired of wearing a mask. I’m tired of feeling the need to take a shower after collecting the mail (I don’t, but it crosses my mind). I’m tired of seeing something online or at a shop, wondering if I’ll see it again in a week, and buying it out of panic. I’m tired of worrying about the election here. I’m tired of seeing the same fatigued and sometimes sad look on my kids.

I’m tired. Period.

The upside to that is I am not particularly worried about West Ham today, or even in general. It’s not that I have confidence things will get better. They might. They might not. Nor am I paying much attention to the takeover talk. It will happen one day is the assumption I work on. My lack of worry has currently been replaced by a lack of interest. We hadn’t beaten Wolves in quite a long time, I had no reason to think we would today, and there you have it. Just sit back and wait for the Traore induced horror show to commence. Around the 80th minute sounded familiar. Instead, quite literally an alternative reality commenced.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of crowd noise not being piped in during the broadcast here. As ridiculous as this seems, I prefer it to a cavernous echo. Depressing as hell.

One of the most common cliches in sport is that you cannot coach speed. Well, we know that is true because if it was possible I’d like to think we would have more of it. In the 13th minute Neto pushed the ball past Balbuena and then ran around him like my cat running through my legs to get to a toy. It ended up as a Wolves corner, and thankfully he were able to survive it unscathed.

A few minutes later, Antonio was fouled near the center circle. Atkinson allowed Fornals to take a quick free kick, and the Spaniard found Bowen breaking down the right. With three defenders in the box, a hopeful shot into a group of legs felt like the most reasonable outcome. Instead, Bowen curled a left footed shot past Patricio.

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West Ham 1
Wolves 0

The Hammers could have doubled their advantage moments later when Antonio marched into the Wolves eighteen yard box and tried his own version of a curler. But curl it didn’t, and Patricio made a simple save.

West Ham had another terrific counter attack in the 25th minute when Masuaku stormed forward on the left and ran onto a pass from Antonio. Masuaku sent a low cross into the box that Soucek was able to re-direct, and that forced Patricio to dive to his left to make the stop. A few minutes later Neto found some space near the top of the Hammers box and tried to find the top corner but it went wide. Then back down the other end West Ham asked yet another question when a quick throw launched Antonio into the box. He sent a high ball in front of Patricio that Soucek got his head to but the Wolves keeper made the save.

If Antonio works on his finishing, he could become a truly lethal force in the box. He could have had a hat trick in the first half today to be fair. In the 38th minute Masuaku got him the ball in the Wolves box, and the leading scorer in the EPL since restart turned on Coady and let a low shot go. He didn’t hit the target.

West Ham should have gotten a second….for like the fourth time…late in the opening half. Antonio drove a low shot from the right side that Patricio parried out right to Fornals. Yes, the ball was bouncing. But he’s a professional football player and to my way of thinking he should have been able to do a lot better than a shot way over the bar from ten yards out. A minute later Wolves had a superb chance to level just before halftime when Neves was teed up in the box but Fabianski moved to his left to make a fine save.

Halftime
West Ham 1
Wolves 0

Fredericks has taken a lot of stick, much of it warranted. But he looked good against Arsenal, and had a good opening half today. So when he went off with what looked like a hamstring injury in the 46th minute it had to be seen as bad news. Not at all helped by the recent meltdowns from young Ben Johnson.

West Ham won a free kick on the left side of the Wolves eighteen yard box when Coady took Antonio down. Needlessly it seemed because it looked unlikely that Antonio would have caught up to his first touch. Cresswell whipped a cross into the box that Ogbonna got on the end of, but his header went over the bar.

West Ham finally got the second goal they had worked hard for when Antonio came into the box on the left, and sent a pass across the box to Fornals. Unlike his earlier effort that found nothing useful, this one went off the post and came straight out to Bowen who tapped it in to the open net.

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West Ham 2
Wolves 0

At the moment, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say this last January transfer window might be the best one West Ham has had in some time. Bowen and Soucek have transformed our midfield. In the 66th minute, Masuaku won a corner, which happened to be the Hammer’s first of the evening. Cresswell took it and his outswinger found Soucek running to the near post. The Czech’s header took a deflection off of Jimenez and went through the arms of Patricio. It was eventually changed to an Own Goal, but I’m keeping it in Soucek’s account. Let the EPL fine me.

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West Ham 3
Wolves 0

Wolves tried to get back into the match, but whenever someone in gold got on the ball two in claret and blue harassed them without mercy. From a formation and tactical standpoint, Moyes and his staff simply shut down a Wolves attack that had looked comfortable against us ever since they came back into the top flight. In fact, the minute Espírito Santo took off Traore and replaced him with a 17 year old newbie named Fabio, I thought the chances of a Wolves fight back diminished considerably.

In the final seconds of added time, Masuaku sent yet another cross into the box after using his skills to create space. Haller met the cross standing still, and just powered a header past Patricio to take his overall tally this season to five. As the announcer said, if he had gotten that kind of service last season he may never have lost his starting spot.

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Final Score
West Ham 4
Wolves 0

The Newcastle result and effort was poor. Arsenal was far better. Today was very, very good. So on the whole, West Ham have looked more like the club that came out of lockdown than the inept train wreck we always fear will emerge. If we had even somewhat competent leadership at the top I’d be understanding of our lack of transfer activity. But we all know this board spends money haphazardly more often than they do intelligently.

I warned you at the beginning I wasn’t in a great mood.

This helped.


David Hautzig's Match Report

Arsenal 2, West Ham 1. Far, Far Better.

When my wife told me she had invited a few friends for a little front yard get together, I told her that was obviously fine. We hadn’t seen these people in six months due to, well, you know. But I told her that at 3pm I would be going inside to watch the match. To be fair, I don’t know why I made that choice. David Moyes had never managed a winning side at Arsenal, and based on what we saw against Newcastle there was very little reason to think he would end that snide. In fact I told our guests that if it got ugly early, I’d throw in the towel and come back out. It got ugly late enough that my guests had already left.

Masuaku is not a left back. That we know, it’s been confirmed, and needs no further discussion. But on the wing, he can offer something. He has very good ball control, and can get out of tight spaces. He won a corner in the 4th minute, Cresswell found Rice in the box with the delivery, and the young Captain Of The Day headed it back to Ogbonna alone in the box. The Italian international probably should have tried a volley, because he had to bend downward for a header and got very little pace on the ball. Leno handled it with ease.

The opening fifteen minutes were noteworthy in that West Ham seemed to be frustrating Arsenal, and Moyes decision to go with three at the back looked less insane than I had originally thought. Antonio broke down the right on a counter and got off a low shot that Leno saved without much effort, and Bowen intercepted a pass, broke into the box, and only a bad touch denied him a goal scoring opportunity.

A team with the quality of Arsenal doesn’t usually need a ton of chances to beat a side like ours. And one moment of skill can undo a lot of hard work by the opposition. That was the case in the 25th minute when Aubameyang floated a cross into the box from the left, and Lacazette was there to do what center forwards do and headed it home. VAR had a look, and while Aubameyang’s chest looked offside his feet did not. Maybe the offside rule changed? I don’t know and I don’t care anymore.

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Arsenal 1
West Ham 0

As the opening forty-five wound down, Arsenal probed and asked a few questions. The West Ham defense held their shape, with key blocks by Ogbonna and Soucek. In the 45th minute, a long clearance floated in the air like a balloon. Fornals looked like an NFL wide receiver, watching the ball come over his shoulder, and cradled it down with his feet. He then passed to Soucek, who put the ball wide to Bowen on he right. Fredericks overlapped, Bowen rolled it to him, and the much maligned right back crossed to Antonio. Moyes recently said Antonio’s future is as a striker. It’s certainly his present. He overpowered Holding to get to the ball, and the match was even.

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Halftime
Arsenal 1
West Ham 1

In the opening five minutes of the second half, the instructions Arteta gave his players was pretty evident. Go over the top. Two of those passes found Aubameyang on the left, and required good defending to thwart the attack. An offside flag came to West Ham’s rescue when Saka was flagged a minute later. Moments after that it was West Ham on the front foot when Masuaku sent a delightful cross into the box that Antonio couldn’t get any power onto. Leno stopped it right on the line, and a superb chance to take the lead ended an inch away.

West Ham won a corner in the 59th minute when Fredericks got around Saka. The delivery by Bowen was good, but Arsenal cleared the area. Minutes later Bowen and Soucek threatened in the Arsenal eighteen yard box, but Bowen slipped on his shot attempt. The ball bounced off Kolasinac and out for a corner, but the visitors did nothing with that chance.

West Ham came inches away from taking the lead when Antonio got on the end of a Masuaku cross but his header hit the bar. Leno tried to roll the ball out, but he collided with a defender and lost it. Bowen tried to drill the ball into the unguarded net but it went off Leno well away from his line. A few minutes later West Ham intercepted yet another pass in the midfield and Bowen broke on the counter. He tried to cut to his left, but his shot was blocked. Arsenal broke on their own counter, and a ball over the top for Saka led to a corner. West Ham cleared, and a second goal by either side looked more and more like it would be a winner.

West Ham looked close to taking the lead in the 84th minute when a cross from Masuaku just missed a leaping Soucek. It bounced to Fredericks, who tried another cross into the box but Arsenal was able to clear. Then West Ham fans experienced what we have watched so many times. A very fine performance against a top side spoiled by a defensive lapse late on. Ceballos came down the left after a great pass from Saka, and Nketiah got away from both Diop and Ogbonna to tap it home.

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Final Score
Arsenal 2
West Ham 1

The odds were against West Ham from the start. Moyes abysmal record at Arsenal was just the start. Our awful performance last week did nothing to help quell the discontent among the natives, and the possibility of zero points by the end of October was, and still is, real. But the formation and starting eleven worked well, and just like the last game at The Emirates before lockdown West Ham have every reason to be disappointed to come away with nothing. While the result was not the desired one, the effort was. And if that currency has any value, we earned some today.


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 0, Newcastle 2. The March Towards The Championship Begins.

I don’t need to start this with a complaint about the incompetence of our owners. Been there, done that. Won’t make any difference anyway. We are stuck with them apparently, so whatever. And despite my snarky title above, I don’t think relegation has been confirmed just yet. Instead I want to lodge an official complaint against my USA broadcaster, NBC, and their new Peacock app. Costs me $5 per month, which is fine. What’s not fine is that it does not permit me to play through my television with an HDMI cable. I tried mirroring with my older Apple TV but that was a bust. I had to settle for watching on my iPad at my desk while typing on the computer. A far cry from a 65 inch flat screen and a comfy couch. Yeah, boo f-ing hoo for me considering the current state of the world. Guess I’m just having a moan. Very West Ham of me.

It was interesting to hear the banter between Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, and Rebecca Lowe on NBC. They collectively said that both West Ham and Newcastle are too big to constantly be near the bottom of the table. “They should be the Leicester and Wolves” said Lowe. Mustoe then wondered aloud if perhaps the ownership for West Ham was the problem.

Ya think?

Callum Wilson is our new Lukaku, in that he seemingly scores every time he plays against us. With his injury record I can’t blame Moyes or anyone else in Stratford for staying away. In the 4th minute, Wilson got on the end of a decent cross from Lewis but his header went wide. Moments later Shelvey started a counter attack that ended in a Newcastle corner when Diop sent a cross out behind the goal. The delivery went into the box, and chaos seemed to ensue. A shot went off Fabianski, but the flag went up so the fear we all felt was unnecessary. For the moment, at least.

West Ham had their first opportunity in the 14th minute after Hayden fouled Antonio, giving the home side a free kick 35 yards from goal. Noble floated a ball in to the box, and Ogbonna ran onto it and headed it off the bar.

For all of the talk about Cresswell needing to be replaced, Bournemouth attacked our right backs last week. And Newcastle did the same again in the 21st minute when Lewis sent a low cross to Wilson who got a toe to it but sent it wide. Two minutes later they won a free kick 25 yards out, but Shelvey’s attempt took a deflection and flew straight into Fabianski’s arms. Moments after that Newcastle attacked again, this time going at Cresswell, and Ogbonna put the delivery out for a corner. The set piece found Man Bun all alone in the box, but his header went over the bar.

The first 25 minutes could be summed up pretty neatly. West Ham were anemic. Slow. Plodding. We made Newcastle look like a top four side. And a draw felt like the best we could possibly hope for.

The Hammers showed a sign of life in the 29th minute when Fredericks put a quick cross into the box. Soucek rose above the crowd, and when he put his forehead through the delivery I thought I’d see the net ripple. Instead it went wide. A minute later Rice lost the ball and launched Newcastle on a counter. The ball went wide to Shelvey, who tried to beat Fabianski at the near post but hit the side netting instead. A moment later Man Bun did well to chest down a pass near the top of the 18 yard box and after one touch tried a volley that took a deflection and went out for a corner.

West Ham thought it had a shout for a penalty in the 34th minute when a poor Fredericks cross somehow found Fornals, whose shot went off the bar after what was thought to be a handball by Lascelles. VAR said no. Seconds later a truly horrific back-pass by the same young Spaniard set Saint Maximin on a run, with Fredericks in pursuit. Amazingly, Fredericks played defense like a defender, forced Saint Maximin off the ball, and eventually West Ham cleared.

Halftime
West Ham 0
Newcastle 0

In the final seconds of the opening forty five minutes, Declan Rice went in for a tackle near midfield. He did not get back up right away, so when he walked out onto the pitch for the second half there was a notable sense of relief.

The inevitable happened in the 56th minute when Manquillo broke down the right and sent a cross into the West Ham box. It took a slight deflection, and guess who was there to tap it in? Could Fabianski have done better? Who the hell knows, but he does look to have lost something since his injury last season.

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West Ham 0
Newcastle 1

Moyes made a double switch in the 67th minute, removing Noble and Fornals while inserting Haller and Yarmolenko. Seconds later, Antonio won a corner and Haller got on the end of it. His attempt on goal was blocked by what looked to be the arm of Hendrick. VAR had a look, and disagreed with Moyes, Haller, and everyone else in Claret & Blue.

West Ham pressed as well as they could for a leveler, but every attempt looked half baked. Rice ran into a crowd, a Cresswell delivery on a corner found nobody in the box, nor did a second corner from Yarmolenko. A header from Haller was weak and no trouble for Darlow. There was virtually no movement from anyone up front for The Hammers, who looked disjointed and out of sync, as if all of the optimism from our decent end to last season was undone. Only one shot on target all game was a testament to that.

Newcastle took full advantage of that, and in the 87th minute Hendrick put the match to bed with a shot from inside the box that Cresswell did absolutely nothing to prevent.

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Full Time
West Ham 0
Newcastle 2

Two teams that historically do very poorly on the opening day of the season got together, and unsurprisingly the team that had been in the papers for absurd levels of drama capitulated. It’s ridiculous to seriously say we will go down after one match. West Ham often pull some surprise wins out of the hat to counteract their more plentiful shock losses. But the West Ham players looked demoralized. Lost.

A lot like us supporters.

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