Newcastle United twice came from behind as they secured a 2-2 against a difficult West Ham United at St James’ Park.
The home side made two changes from their 1-4 thumping of Bournemouth midweek, with Isaac Hayden and Miguel Almiron making their return to the starting XI.
It was the visitors who took the lead very early on, Jarrod Bowen’s low cross going past Jamaal Lascelles and finding the feet of Michail Antonio for an easy goal and surprising start to the fixture.
But Newcastle equalised in the 15th minute, as Saint Maximin spearheaded a counterattack, laying it off for Emil Krafth to cross and find Almiron, who netted his 2nd in 2 consecutive games.
Allan Saint Maximin and Miguel Almiron, two of Newcastle’s star talents, have begun to attract the attention of some major European clubs: Atletico Madrid are said to be eyeing up the Paraguayan, with Paris Saint Germain rumoured to be lining up a return to France for Saint Maximin.
Newcastle dominated much of the first half after that, with a good possession game being the surprise revelation of football under Steve Bruce in the last few weeks.
West Ham regained their lead midway through the second half, with a threatening corner eventually finding Soucek to unleash a strike from within the Newcastle penalty box into the bottom left corner: another great performance from the centre defensive midfielder.
But to the agony of David Moyes and co. , Jonjo Shelvey equalised almost immediately to level it back up for the Magpies: a sensationally worked team goal leaving Dwight Gayle in the right place at the right time to tee up Shelvey for his 6th goal of the season.
Martin Dubravka was called into action plenty of times to keep out the Hammers from once again taking the lead, making a vital save late on from Soucek’s strong header, as Newcastle held on for the draw.
The points being shared means Newcastle move up to 12th place in the table, a mere 6 points off Europe with only 5 games left to go. Meanwhile West Ham are no safer in the relegation battle, as they only sit 4 points above the drop in 16th position: they play 3 of their rivals in Norwich, Watford, and Aston Villa in their final 5 games.