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Newcastle revival continues with draw at West Ham

February 19, 2022 West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen clashes with Newcastle United's Dan Burn Action Images via Reuters

West Ham United's top-four hopes suffered a further blow as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by a resurgent Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Craig Dawson, who snatched a 2-2 draw at Leicester City last week, put West Ham in front in the 32nd minute, heading home a free kick from Aaron Cresswell.

But Newcastle pulled themselves level in added time of the first half with a classy finish from Joe Willock, which flummoxed West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and bobbled over the line, the goal given by goalline technology after the ball was scrambled away.

The draw meant West Ham stayed in fifth place on 42 points, one behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who visit Leeds United on Sunday.

Newcastle meanwhile extended their unbeaten run to six games and although they are still in 17th position they are now five points above the relegation zone.

Eddie Howe's side were missing key players in French forward Allan Saint-Maximin and Kieran Trippier while Ryan Fraser was forced off late in the game.

But Willock filled the creative void with an outstanding performance.

With his instinctive flick to equalise he scored his first goal this season after making a stunning impact last campaign, netting eight times in 11 starts when he joined Newcastle on loan from Arsenal.

"When I saw it go in I was so delighted. It’s been a long time coming," Willock told BT Sport.

"I'm happy to score and help the team. That's how football is – it never goes how you want it to go. I've tried to stick to my task and take on board what the manager wanted me to do."

Newcastle have spent most of the season in the relegation zone and continued to struggle after Howe succeeded Steve Bruce in November but they have turned a corner and travelled to East London on a run of three consecutive victories.

Their revival has been fuelled by serious investment in the transfer window following their takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund although Willock also credited Howe for their transformation.

"He's a brilliant manager and a brilliant person. He’s a manager we all trust and we all buy into what he wants to do. Long may it continue," added Willock.

"I thought we brought our game plan to them. We were very dominant in the first half and had moments in the second half. It shows how far we’ve come and how much the manager has instilled into us."

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