Newcastle United were unable to regain momentum in their improbable pursuit of Champions League football with a 1-1 draw against West Ham at St. James’ Park this evening.
Eddie Howe’s men, who booked the Magpies’ first domestic cup final appearance since 1999 on Tuesday, couldn’t return to successful ways in the Premier League as they’ve now recorded back-to-back draws. Heading into today’s showdown they were held to a goalless draw with Crystal Palace, a third 0-0 across four previous league outings.
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Any chance of blanking ended inside the opening three minutes, when Callum Wilson converted his effort, mere seconds after Joe Willock’s cancelled opener.
It was his 10th strike against the Hammers in 12 appearances which is four more than he’s netted past any other Premier League side. Wilson’s goal came two minutes earlier than he predicted. In a conversation with Michail Antonio on the BBC Sounds Footballer’s Football podcast they host together he spoke of his confidence in adding to his West Ham total.
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“I’ll let you waffle on and then do my talking on the pitch,” he said. “People come here nowadays and are happy with a draw but it’s going to be 2-0. You know it, four minutes on the clock, Wilson against West Ham. I might do the Macarena. Get your popcorn out – it’s going to be a good watch.”
Half of that pre-match prediction came true as they failed to run out 2-0 winners. Lucas Paquetá’s equaliser after the half-hour mark ended Newcastle’s run of 572 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal. The hosts also conceded a first-half top-flight goal in England’s top division for the first time since August against Wolves subsequently ending a run of 16 first-halves without conceding in the competition.
This also meant Nick Pope failed to keep a seventh consecutive clean sheet something no English keeper has ever accomplished. But one streak they maintained was their unbeaten run. Newcastle have now gone 16 matches (seven draws and nine wins) since last tasting defeat which is currently the longest such run across Europe’s top five leagues.