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Having endured the final international break of the season, it didn’t take long for the Premier League to enthral upon its return.

With the spring sun shining and club football back in all its glory, the vibes were very much there as Newcastle took on West Ham at St James’ Park in Saturday’s early kick-off.

The Magpies’ defensive woes combined with West Ham’s litany of attacking stars meant there were projections of a goal-fest, but very few could’ve foreshadowed the blockbuster that’d unfold on Tyneside.

The afternoon couldn’t have started better for Newcastle, with Anthony Gordon winning an early penalty that was converted by Alexander Isak in the opening exchanges.

However, it seemed as if Eddie Howe’s side had peaked early. The Newcastle boss was forced into an early change with Jamaal Lascelles succumbing to injury, and his replacement, Emil Krafth, played Michail Antonio onside before the West Ham striker equalised for the visitors. Lucas Paqueta’s assist was divine.

Antonio’s strike took the sting out of the hosts, who started brightly, and David Moyes’ side started to assert themselves in the contest, taking advantage of a makeshift Newcastle backline. The visitors made the most of a lengthy stoppage time period at the end of the first half as Mohammed Kudus handed West Ham their first lead on the stroke of half-time.

Things went from bad to worse for Howe’s men at the start of the second period, as Kudus turned provider for West Ham’s third. Jarrod Bowen finished smartly after a swift Hammers break.

Newcastle’s injury bug continued to rear its ugly head as Howe started to substitute substitutes out of necessity. A comeback seemed improbable, but the Englishman’s changes did alter the dynamic of the bout.

Kalvin Phillips’ wretched West Ham stint persisted as he gave away the spot kick which handed Newcastle a lifeline. Gordon and Isak once again combined.

With St James’ alive and kicking once more, the possibility of something special occurring sprung to mind. West Ham just sat deeper and deeper, inviting Newcastle on, and they were made to pay. Substitute Harvey Barnes exploited a rare aggressive Hammers defensive line to equalise before the former Leicester man sent the Toon into delirium, capping off a remarkable comeback with a sensational strike from distance in stoppage time.

Bonkers. What a sport.

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