All eyes were on Declan Rice and Sean Longstaff as West Ham United faced Newcastle United on Saturday night. Both sides were in strong form going into the game, but West Ham comfortably came out on top.
West Ham, Declan Rice Down Newcastle
West Ham Full of Confidence
With West Ham legend Billy Bonds watching on from the stands, the Hammers inflicted a convincing 2-0 defeat upon Newcastle United.
The London Stadium has been something of a fortress this season and West Ham haven’t lost at home in 2019. This game also marked the return of fan-favourite Manuel Lanzini, which boosted the anticipation for this game.
Confidence was ringing around the stadium and despite Newcastle’s impressive form lately, they couldn’t subdue Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
There was a fantastic atmosphere inside the London Stadium to commemorate the new Billy Bonds stand and it could be sensed that West Ham would emerge victorious.
Not Newcastle’s Day
Newcastle rarely win when in the capital but their fans would have been hoping to break the curse. Declan Rice, however, rose the highest to put his side into the lead after just seven minutes.
The game fell flat after that, with a series of failed Newcastle attempts to break down West Ham’s compact engine room. Newcastle’s entrenched system of five at the back with Hayden and Longstaff protecting it also proved impenetrable.
It wasn’t until Lejeune clumsily brought down Javier Hernandez moments before the half-time whistle that the game came to life. Mark Noble then masterfully converted the spot-kick to double West Ham’s lead going into the break.
Newcastle came out of the traps in the second half but Ayoze Perez wasted a golden opportunity to half the deficit. The rub of the green then switched back to West Ham and Newcastle never really looked like scoring after that.
Rice vs Longstaff
This game was a good opportunity to watch two young English midfielders who are brimming with potential. With the added zest of coming up against each other, naturally, fans will compare and contrast the two.
Rice will grab the headlines for scoring a goal but beyond that, he put in a first-rate performance in defensive midfield. Longstaff failed to make much of an impact and, after being booked, was withdrawn at half-time for Mo Diame.
This wasn’t Sean Longstaff’s day, but there has already been ample indication of his potential. That said, Declan Rice looked like a more polished product and seems more than capable of filling the defensive midfield role that England fans have been crying out for.
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