Newcastle United vs. West Ham United: Final score 0-0, Magpies and Hammers fire blanks

David Rogers

Newcastle United and West Ham cancelled each other out in a fairly uneventful game at St. James' Park where defences were on top.

Newcastle United started by looking far more competent than they did last week, but despite enjoying the majority of possession against West Ham, they struggled to create any clear chances in torrential rain, and indeed it was the visitors who perhaps threatened more.

Both sides were showing plenty of endeavour, but struggled to put together any decent passing moves, seeing most of their attacks break down in the final third, with Coloccini in particular putting in a fine shift in defence. Hatem Ben Arfa's long-range shot which was blazed wide was the best Newcastle could offer, but the visitors came close to scoring when Winston Reid was inches away from getting on the end of a free kick before Krul claimed the loose ball.

Stewart Downing did well to break into space down the left-hand side as he and Matt Jarvis looked liveliest for the visitors, but he was well-marshalled by Fabricio Coloccini, who ensured he couldn't get an angle on his shot to beat Tim Krul. Downing then turned provider as he put in a fine cross for the advancing Kevin Nolan, but the midfielder's header was high and wide from an easy distance.

Hatem Ben Arfa had gone missing in the second half, but almost found a way through as he went on a trademark run to maraud into the Hammers' defence, but a last-ditch tackle from Joey O'Brien denied the midfielder as he looked to shoot inside the area. Shortly afterwards, a Newcastle counter promised another possibilty of a winner, but Yoann Gouffran attempted to do too much on his own and saw James Collins deny him a chance on goal.

Joe Cole almost stole a win at the death for West Ham, however, as fine work from Jarvis eventually found him on the edge of the area, but his curling 20-yard shot was just wide of the post, with Krul struggling to cover. West Ham then thought they really had won it at the death after Ravel Morrison charged onto a loose ball outside the area, seeing his shot deflected right into the path of Modibo Maiga who rolled it into the net with ease, but he was judged to be offside.

In a game that seemed to pack all it's excitement into the last few minutes, Gouffran really should have won it with almost the last kick of the game after Ameobi's cross almost drifted in, clattering off the post and landing at his feet with Jaaskelainen out of the picture, three yards from goal and with no defenders present, but the Frenchman could only hook it over the bar, a fitting end to a game where neither team seemed to have enough quality to break the deadlock.

Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Sissoko, Anita, Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Cisse, Shola Ameobi.

West Ham: Jaasekelainen, Reid, O'Brien, Collins, Demel, Nolan, Noble, Diame, Jarvis, Maiga, Downing.

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