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West Ham player ratings: Benrahma and Rice run the show at Newcastle


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est Ham began the season with a superb 4-2 victory at Newcastle, scoring four to come from behind and quieten frustration over a lack of signings.

The returning Newcastle fans were given something to celebrate when, after Allan Saint-Maximin had twisted Declan Rice into an almighty knot and crossed from the byline, Callum Wilson slipped between Vladimir Coufal and Craig Dawson to head home his first goal in the No9 shirt.

It took the visitors a while to settle and go about responding. Having picked up the pace, their leveller came after Pablo Fornals slid the ball into the path of Aaron Cresswell who shaped to cross and saw his ball nestle in the far corner. A touch from Jarrod Bowen after the ball had crossed the line saw it initially ruled out before VAR intervened to correct the call.

Those back inside a packed stadium for the first time since March last year were treated to a lively first half and Bowen should have put the Hammers ahead when, after wonderfully jinking his way through the Newcastle defence, the winger fired straight at goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Despite looking dangerous going forward, West Ham were flimsy at the back and were punished just before the break. Failing to clear after a spell of pressure the visitors then allowed Matt Ritchie the freedom to break down the left and cross for Jacob Murphy who, having watch the cross sail unchallenged towards him, headed back across Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham were given a bit of a rocket at the break and came out on the front foot, Declan Rice driving from the heart of midfield. Benrahma had been working hard and looking to make things happen before popping up at the far post to head home the leveller.

From there, West Ham put the foot down. Fornals was tripped in the box to hand Michail Antonio the chance to give the visitors the lead from the spot; Antonio’s effort was saved but Tomas Soucek was quicker than anyone else to fire home. Antonio made amends minutes later as he finished off a fine breakaway goal to put the game beyond Newcastle.

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West Ham player ratings

Kept his place despite the arrival of Alphonse Areola. Not much he could have done about either goal. Will be interesting to see when Moyes gives Areola a go.

Struggled with Newcastle’s left-hand side during the first half, but back to his usual solid self after the break.

Should have done better with Wilson for the first goal but recovered well enough. West Ham still need an upgrade.


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