EPL

Harvey Barnes at the double as Newcastle hit back to beat West Ham in a thriller

By Sports Desk March 30, 2024

Harvey Barnes came off the bench to fire Newcastle to a remarkable Premier League victory over West Ham as they fought back from two goals down to snatch the points.

The Magpies, who led through Alexander Isak’s sixth-minute penalty, trailed 3-1 with just 13 minutes remaining after Michail Anthony, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen had struck in an incident-packed contest during which referee Rob Jones was at the centre of the action throughout.

However, a second Isak penalty reduced the deficit before Barnes levelled with seven minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish during which he secured a 4-3 win with a stunning 90th-minute strike, before Anthony Gordon was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Eddie Howe’s men, whose injury problems deepened as they lost skipper Jamaal Lascelles, Tino Livramento and substitute Miguel Almiron, were rewarded for their resilience on a chaotic afternoon, but opposite number David Moyes, who was booked as tempers frayed, was scarcely able to believe what he had seen.

Newcastle could hardly have got off to a better start when they were awarded a penalty for Vladimir Coufal’s clumsy challenge on Gordon after the defender’s pass forward had been picked off by Fabian Schar and the former Everton frontman had carved his way into the area.

Jones pointed to the spot, but Isak had to await the outcome of a VAR check for offside against Gordon before sending keeper Alphonse Areola the wrong way from the spot.

Seconds after Lascelles’ premature departure, Michael Antonio fired a warning shot across Newcastle’s bows when he turned Dan Burn, who had been pushed into central defence as Livramento took over at left-back to accommodate substitute Emil Krafth on the right, but fired over with the Hammers looking the more threatening.

They duly forced their way back into the game with 21 minutes gone when Lucas Paqueta picked out Antonio’s run and he drew keeper Martin Dubravka before finishing emphatically.

Gordon fired straight at Areola after cutting inside from the left and then headed wide from Jacob Murphy’s teasing 36th-minute cross, but it was Bruno Guimaraes who went close deep into first-half stoppage time when his curling attempt came back off the crossbar with Areola beaten.

However, the Hammers went ahead in the 10th minute of added time when, with Schar down, Paqueta was allowed to take a quick free-kick to Bowen, who fed Mohammed Kudus to fire past Dubravka amid furious protests from the home side.

Lukasz Fabianski replaced Areola before the restart and saw his side extend their advantage within three minutes when, after Thomas Soucek had got his head to Murphy’s corner, Kudus evaded Schar’s lunge and squared for Bowen to race from halfway and beat Dubravka despite Gordon’s valiant efforts to get back.

Fabianski easily claimed Guimaraes clipped shot and both Isak and Sean Longstaff stabbed horribly wide as the home side sought a way back into the game before the keeper denied Barnes.

However, Newcastle were awarded a second penalty after a VAR check on substitute Kalvin Phillips’ challenge on Gordon and Isak sent Fabianski the wrong way with an identical spot-kick to give his side hope with 13 minutes remaining.

They were level within six minutes when the Sweden international played Barnes through and he fired between Fabianski’s legs, and there was more to come in the final minute of normal time when Gordon, who was later dismissed after kicking the ball away, fed Barnes and he stepped inside before drilling an unstoppable shot beyond Fabianski’s despairing dive.

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    Daniel Farke admitted the killer instinct of Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics was lacking from his Leeds side after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat dealt a blow to their automatic promotion hopes.

    Leeds dominated the Championship encounter at Elland Road but could not turn possession into goals.

    Farke’s side remain third in the table when a win would have seen them seize the initiative from top two Leicester and Ipswich.

    Farke said: “When you face a side like Blackburn with a player like Szmodics, he showed the quality which we didn’t show today and he needed just one chance to score.

    “So many balls went through the box, but you also need to show the quality to put the ball in the net.

    “If you don’t score you have so much more risk. There is also a danger there will be one moment for your opponent and they can score. It’s pretty disappointing and frustrating for us.

    “We didn’t put the ball into the net. If you don’t score, you can’t win the game.”

    Despite his players missing the chance to steal a march on their rivals, Farke refused to put the blame on them.

    He said: “It’s up to me if we don’t score – to find solutions. I have to work with them so that in the next game we create more chances.

    “It’s up to us in training to work on our efficiency and create more chances. Today we have created more than enough chances to score. I’m not the guy to point the finger at the players when we don’t score.

    “If a team fights to survive and fights against relegation, if they try to annoy us with time wasting and whatever, it’s nothing that I can influence.”

    Szmodics dealt the killer blow with a cool finish eight minutes from time as the visitors went route one.

    Sam Gallagher headed on a long ball from Aynsley Pears before Tyrhys Dolan turned and fed Szmodics and he did the rest with a composed finish past Illan Meslier.

    The Leeds goalkeeper had saved from Szmodics with Blackburn’s only effort of the first period, while Pears had saved from Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts as the home side failed to make their dominance pay.

    Blackburn head coach John Eustace was full of praise for his side.

    He said: “I was very proud of the effort the boys have given me since I came in, it has been outstanding.

    “To come here and play like we did was great. We had a game plan without the ball. I am delighted with the effort and very proud of them.”

    Blackburn bounced back from a 5-0 defeat at Bristol City in midweek and that resilience was what pleased Eustace the most.

    He added: “Wednesday was a bit of a blip. That certainly wasn’t a team that I have been a part of. We have been very difficult to beat.

    “It’s very important that we keep working hard, sticking together. We have three games left and we still need points.”

    Eustace praised Szmodics, adding: “Sammie, without his goals this season, we really would have been in trouble. The rest of the group have created those chances for him.

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    Griezmann then gave Atletico some breathing room in the 50th minute, firing high beyond Gazzaniga after Rodrigo De Paul’s cross had fallen into his path following a deflection from Jhon Solis.

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  • Sammie Szmodics nets late Blackburn winner as Leeds suffer blow in promotion bid Sammie Szmodics nets late Blackburn winner as Leeds suffer blow in promotion bid

    Sammie Szmodics dealt a crushing blow to Leeds’ automatic promotion hopes as Blackburn claimed a late 1-0 Championship win at Elland Road.

    Defeat stopped the home side going top of the table as Rovers defended for long periods of the game.

    Crysencio Summerville, Wilfried Gnonto and Connor Roberts all tested Blackburn goalkeeper Aynsley Pears in a dominant first half for Leeds.

    The home side also had chances after the break but were punished by Szmodics with eight minutes to go.

    Leeds were on the front foot from the off as Joel Piroe’s shot was deflected for a corner.

    Hayden Carter tripped Summerville and his free-kick from a narrow angle was saved by Pears, who also punched away the follow-up shot from Gnonto from the edge of the area.

    The game was being played mostly in Blackburn’s half and Leeds forced two corners in succession with 20 minutes gone – but they were unable to break the deadlock.

    Ethan Ampadu headed a Roberts free-kick off target as Leeds kept up the pressure with nearly half-an-hour on the clock.

    Ilia Gruev missed the best chance so far but his near-post shot from Gnonto’s low ball following a corner did not trouble Pears.

    Roberts was the next to test the Rovers stopper with a curling shot from outside the area which he saved high to his left at the expense of a corner.

    Szmodics forced Illan Meslier into action for the first time from a Blackburn breakaway with the goalkeeper diving low to his left to keep out the shot, five minutes before the break.

    Gruev fired at Pears with the first effort of the second half after Joe Rodon’s vital interception and surging run.

    Gnonto shot wide across the face of goal but with nearly an hour gone, Leeds were still looking for the opening goal.

    Meslier put his side under pressure when his throw went to a Blackburn player but luckily for him when the ball was passed to Joe Rankin-Costello, he fired wide.

    Blackburn sensed a chance and Szmodics crossed low from the right but he could not find a team-mate with the Leeds goal gaping, with Roberts stretching to stop Tyrhys Dolan getting a touch.

    Georginio Rutter’s shot into a crowded area saw Pears dive low to his left then claim the loose ball.

    A cross from Gnonto spun onto the post and then the winger just failed to get a touch to a Dan James cross.

    Substitute Patrick Bamford headed over as Leeds cranked up the pressure and they were made to pay when Szmodics struck the decisive blow, eight minutes from time.

    Sam Gallagher nodded on Pears’ kick, Dolan turned and released his team-mate and Szmodics finished coolly past Meslier.

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