West Ham United 0 Newcastle United 2
- Stuart Attwell
New boys Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick were both on target as Newcastle got their season up and running with a comfortable win over West Ham.
The Magpies’ two goals didn’t arrive until the second half but they were on top for long spells at the London Stadium, and were thoroughly deserving of a first opening-day victory since their return to the top flight in 2017/18.
Hendrick provided the assist for new frontman Wilson shortly after the break before capping off a fine debut with a rocket of a strike five minutes from time.
The Magpies were the first to settle at the London Stadium and had a couple of sights of goal early on. Wilson – deployed alongside Andy Carroll up top – flicked fellow new recruit Jamal Lewis’ cross into the side-netting with just five minutes on the clock, with Federico Fernández bringing a smart stop out of Lukasz Fabianski after meeting a Jonjo Shelvey corner just moments later. West Ham nearly took the lead themselves after a quarter of an hour, though, as Angelo Ogbonna nodded Mark Noble’s searching free kick onto the crossbar.
David Moyes’ side started to find their feet, with Michail Antonio forcing Karl Darlow into a low save before Tomáš Soucek’s header flashed wide following a fine Ryan Fredericks cross. With the game starting to open up, the Magpies quickly looked to re-assert themselves as an attacking force and a swift counter culminated with Shelvey powering a shot narrowly off-target. Ogbonna then produced a vital intervention to divert Carroll’s goalbound strike wide before Pablo Fornals’ deflected effort clipped the woodwork at the other end.
The two sides traded blows once more before the first half was up, Jarrod Bowen fluffing his lines following another Fredericks delivery, and Wilson unfortunate to see a spectacular strike drop just over after checking inside.
But after a scrappy start to the second period, the deadlock was finally broken. Javier Manquillo delivered a cross from the right and Hendrick was perfectly placed to help the ball into the path of Wilson, who gratefully stabbed home at the near post. It marked the striker’s eighth goal against the Hammers in just nine games.
West Ham’s response was slow, resulting in Moyes making a double switch midway through the half. Two minutes after coming on, substitute Sébastien Haller appealed for a penalty after arguing his right-footed strike hit Hendrick’s hand, but neither referee Stuart Atwell nor video assistant referee Peter Bankes were having any of it.
The hosts offered little after falling behind, though, and United looked to be coasting over the finish line even before Hendrick rubber-stamped their victory late on. The Irishman’s strike was a beauty, a rasping effort into the top left-hand corner after being teed up by Miguel Almirón, who had only just entered the fray.