West Ham United manager David Moyes said he was “thrilled with a point” after Mohammed Kudus scored an 89th-minute equaliser to deny Newcastle United victory in a pulsating match at London Stadium.
Newcastle looked to be heading for a fifth straight win when Alexander Isak’s second-half double turned the game around, following Tomas Soucek’s eighth-minute opener for the Hammers.
But Kudus’ first Premier League goal since joining West Ham in the summer, a driven effort into the bottom corner, ensured the points were shared in the capital.
“We were up against a really good team who are probably as good as most teams in Europe at the moment,” Moyes told BBC Match of the Day.
“We nearly won it in the end. Newcastle played well and we didn’t give them too many opportunities. We had a few ourselves.
“For us, I’m pleased that we got a point here.”
West Ham and Newcastle stayed seventh and eighth respectively in the table as both sides returned to action after wins in Europe.
Hammers snatch late leveller
West Ham fans went through a whole range of emotions across the 90 minutes.
At half-time, it looked as if their team would equal their best league start since the 1999-2000 season, putting themselves on track for 16 points after eight games with a win over a leggy Newcastle.
Moyes’ side were boosted by the return of forward Michail Antonio, who was back from a hip injury, and they took the lead from their first attack.
Emerson knocked the ball around Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope, who had raced from his line, and a low cross allowed unmarked midfielder Soucek to tap into an empty net.
When Newcastle responded at the start of an exciting second period, West Ham then appeared to be slipping to a third Premier League defeat in four matches.
That was until Kudus struck brilliantly from the edge of the penalty area.
And in the last few seconds the home team nearly snatched victory when Jarrod Bowen’s shot was saved by Pope, the ball just evading the onrushing Said Benrahma as he looked to knock in the rebound.
Asked whether Kudus, 23, would start more for the Hammers, Moyes added: “He will be in the team for years to come so we are not in a huge hurry.
“The team is getting good results, but he can play a big role in the future.”
After the match Moyes also confirmed England forward Jarrod Bowen had signed a new contract with the club.
Tiredness a factor for Toon
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said his side’s performance was “probably a hangover from midweek”.
Four days ago Newcastle were superb, beating French champions Paris St-Germain in the Champions League.
But in London they looked lethargic and only gave glimpses of their best in short, sharp moments.
After going close to an equaliser through two Dan Burn headers, Isak levelled in the 57th minute, blasting the ball into the net after a free-kick was diverted into his path.
Four minutes and 28 seconds later the Swedish forward added another, tapping in Kieran Trippier’s pass across goal.
Isak almost made it a first Premier League hat-trick but struck the post from a tight angle having dribbled the ball beyond West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola.
That was Newcastle’s best chance for a third, but, with the visitors unable to kill off the game, tiredness came into play.
West Ham’s five changes from their midweek XI compared to Newcastle’s one became evident, with the Hammers far more energetic in the closing stages as they not only levelled but nearly found a very late winner.
“[It was] a really good response in the second half but we’re frustrated not to get over the line,” Howe told BBC Match of the Day.
“I think we did really well in the second half, showed great character to come back. We took control of the game, caused problems, created chances.”
The international break means Eddie Howe’s side next play on Saturday, 21 October, at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
West Ham are away to Aston Villa a day later.