Emil Krafth was surprisingly among the best players for Newcastle United against West Ham.
Newcastle United were forced to find an equalizer twice against West Ham in an open game at St. James’ Park. The Magpies dominated the game in every category in the first half, but the visitors played with more urgency in the final 45 minutes.
Today’s draw increased Newcastle United’s point total to 43, but a win would have swung open the door to European football. The game was there for the taking, but the performances of these three players helped prevent a loss.
The Swedish international is usually on the bench, but his good shift against Bournemouth was rewarded with another start against West Ham. Krafth did not disappoint, especially in the final third.
The wing-back was heavily involved the action in the first half, timed his runs well, and delivered some quality balls into the box. His best pass was his assist to Miguel Almiron to level the score in the opening 20 minutes.
The Paraguayan was in great form against West Ham as he managed to find the back of the net for the second consecutive game. Almiron put himself in great positions to score more goals as well.
Almiron saw more of the ball today as a result of West Ham sending two defenders to mark Allan Saint-Maximin. He did well to take on defenders, find open players, and earned multiple free kicks for the home side.
Jonjo Shelvey was a true general on the field today as he coordinated the majority of his team’s passes and orchestrated several attacks. Shelvey was all over the pitch equally assisting those behind him and up top.
The key moment for Shelvey was his goal in the 67th minute, just 90 seconds after West Ham took the lead. A quick, soft touch from Dwight Gayle enabled Shelvey to grant his team a point. That goal marks Shelvey’s sixth of the campaign.