Newcastle finish 3rd in Asia Cup
Steve Bruce watched on from the stands as his new side ran out 1-0 winners in the Premier League Asia Cup 3rd place playoff.
A goal from Muto on 34 minutes was enough to separate the sides in a game that United deserved to win, particularly after a strong first half performance.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles, Clark (Fernandez, 45), Sterry (Manquillo, 45), Hayden (Ki, 45), Shelvey (M Longstaff, 78), Colback (Lazaar, 78), Ritchie (S Longstaff, 64), Muto (Aarons, 78), Sorensen (Murphy, 45)
The Magpies started a few more of the big guns for this one. With Dubravka, Schar and Hayden all making the starting XI. But it was young full back Sterry who’s excellent run and cross would open up the West Ham defence allowing Muto to steal in and side foot past Fabianski for the games only goal.
Newcastle had pretty much dominated to that point, with the black and whites looking sharper and more hungry.
The usual raft of changes at half time and during the second half did nothing to help the flow of the game with the Hammers perhaps slightly better in the second period.
Newcastle, playing 5 at the back, always looked dangerous on the break and had the ball in the net again with just 5 minutes left from the returning Sean Longstaff after a Shelvey cross/shot, only to see the effort correctly ruled out for offside.
After the game there were some nice words from the Longstaff brothers about playing together in the first team, whilst Shelvey also took the tactical opportunity to sing the praises of new boss Bruce as he looks to what he hopes will be a regular birth in the starting eleven.