December 7 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Premier League: Newcastle United 0 West Ham United 0
West Ham made it four points from two games as they battled hard against a nervous but determined Newcastle to earn a deserved goalless draw at St James’ Park.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce made just one change from the team that beat Cardiff City on the opening day with Stewart Downing swapping places with Joe Cole to make his first start in claret and blue.
But despite attacking intent it was a cautious start from both teams with Newcastle still reeling from their 4-0 drubbing at Manchester City on Monday night.
Winston Reid had an early effort blocked after Matt Jarvis’ corner fell at his feet at the far post, but he was also in action on 13 minutes at the other end as his back pass evaded keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, but fortunately slipped past the post and wide.
Hatem Ben Arfa blasted two shots well over, while at the other end, Modibo Maiga met a superb cross from Guy Demel only for his glancing header to go wide.
Mark Noble and Mo Diame looked strong in midfield, while Jarvis was causing problems down the left-hand side and it was another cross from the winger that almost led to a goal as his knocked it to the far post where Downing was on hand for a header which went wide as Maiga just failed to pounce on it.
It was a tame first half in truth though, but it was West Ham who had the better chances straight after the break.
On 48 minutes, West Ham carved out their best chance so far when Downing and Nolan swapped passes, but the winger took a touch away from goal when in the clear and his shot was comfortably held by Tim Krul.
On the hour came an equally good chance. Noble’s cross from the right perfectly picked out Nolan, but the West Ham skipper could only head wide from a glorious position as another chance went begging.
The West Ham fans at the top of the stand were in fine voice at that stage, despite being so high in their seats that they surely needed oxygen and as the rain chucked down, Allardyce replaced Downing with last week’s goalscorer Cole.
Ravel Morrison made his first appearance of the season when he replaced Diame on 75 minutes, but it was Newcastle that were beginning to put on some pressure and both James Collins and Joey O’Brien had to be at their best to avert dangerous moments - Collins block from Yoan Gouffran’s shot, illustrating his superb performance.
West Ham almost nicked it with seven minutes left when another Jarvis cross fell to Cole off Morrison, but the midfielder’s curling shot was inches wide, much to the disbelief of Allardyc on the touchline, who thought they had grabbed the first goal.
They did have the ball in the net with a minute to go as Noble’s shot deflected to Maiga who taqpped in, but the linesman’s flag was up to rule it out, while in injury time Sammy Ameobi deceived Jaaskelainen, but his cross cum shot hit the far post and came out.
A draw was the fairest reswult though and West Ham will be happy with their four points from two Premier League games, better than laqst season after two matches.
Team: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, Reid, Collins, Noble, Diame, Jarvis, Downing (Cole 64), Nolan, Maiga.
Subs: Adriand, Tomkins, Rat, Vaz Te, Diarra.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce believes that Arsenal have the ability to win the league this season.