Muto volleys winner as NUFC end third in Asia Trophy – Newcastle 1 West Ham 0
Newcastle 1 West Ham 0 – Premier League Asia Trophy
A first half that was a significant improvement on Wednesday’s embarrassment against Wolves, Newcastle were 3-0 down inside 40 minutes and ended the game losing 4-0, without a shot of note on target.
On Saturday morning (UK time) it should have been advantage NUFC after only eight minutes.
An excellent long ball from Jonjo Shelvey found Isaac Hayden down the right, his low cross found Elias Sorensen unmarked at the back post but with an open goal gaping, he put it over from six yards out. The only mitigating circumstance was that the 19 year old Dane was stretching for it with his left foot.
The addition of Martin Dubravka and Fabian Schar did no harm and Newcastle were by far the better team.
However, you also had to factor in how poor West Ham were compared to Wolves, maybe the biggest factor being how in that opening 45 minutes they gave Jonjo Shelvey the freedom of the midfield, zero pressure on the ball unlike Wednesday when Wolves were well up for it.
Muto then shot wide and Newcastle to control the game without creating any more chances, that is until the 34th minute. Once again Shelvey set the move in motion, finding Hayden once more and he sent the ball out to Jamie Sterry. He had time and space to send over a superb cross that Muto guided into the far corner with a left foot volley.
After the break we saw the Hammers in the ascendancy, as their substitutions brought improvement along with a half-time wake-up call from Manuel Pellegrini.
Newcastle forced back but defending well with not a great deal of creativity from West Ham, for all their possession.
The closest they came was from an Anderson header which struck the bar from a corner, plus a handful of half-decent situations where the Hammers couldn’t find the right ball.
Newcastle played on the break and Sean Longstaff saw a close range effort rightly ruled out for offside after a sweeping move involving Shelvey and Murphy.
Rolando Aarons also getting into a good position with a solo run late on but his effort tamely going wide.
A worry as Gayle misses again with a calf injury and Paul Dummett not involved in either game due to a reported knee problem.
On the positive side, good to see Dubravka, Schar and Sean Longstaff all back involved again.
A decent performance against very poor to average opposition but Newcastle still very desperate for new signings and only 19 days until the transfer window closes.
This is who Steve Bruce started with:
Dubravka, Sterry, Lascelles, Schar, Clark, Ritchie, Colback, Hayden, Shelvey, Muto, Sorensen
46 minutes – Federico Fernandez, Javier Manquillo, Jacob Murphy and Ki Sung-yueng came on, with Ciaran Clark, Jamie Sterry, Elias Sørensen and Issac Hayden going off.
64 minutes – Sean Longstaff on and Matt Ritchie off.
78 minutes – Matty Longstaff, Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons on, with Jonjo Shelvey, Yoshinori Muto and Jack Colback going off.
Darlow, Woodman, Bailey, Watts, Allan
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