Newcastle 1-0 West Ham: Yoshinori Muto hands Steve Bruce's side third at Premier League Asia Trophy
New Newcastle boss Bruce in stands in Shanghai to watch victory after work visa failed to be approved in time
Last Updated: 20/07/19 1:03pm
Newcastle produced a much-improved performance in front of the watching Steve Bruce to secure third place in the Premier League Asia Trophy with a 1-0 victory against West Ham.
New boss Bruce, who was confirmed as Rafael Benitez's successor last Wednesday, could not take his place in the dugout after his work visa failed to be approved in time, but he was in the stands at the Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai as his side bounced back from their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Wolves thanks to Yoshinori Muto's 34th-minute strike.
West Ham's best opportunity of an equaliser fell to Felipe Anderson, who clipped the top of the crossbar with a header in the second half, but Newcastle held on to give Bruce a morale-boosting victory ahead of the new season.
How Newcastle sealed third
Despite being in the stands, Bruce picked the Newcastle team, switching to three at the back and he got an excellent response from his players.
They should have taken the lead in the ninth minute when Jonjo Shelvey's brilliant long pass released Isaac Hayden down the right. The midfielder played a low cross into the penalty area to pick out Sorensen, who blazed the ball over the crossbar at the far post.
Newcastle: Dubravka, Sterry, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Colback, Hayden, Shelvey, Muto, Sorensen.
Subs used: Manquillo, Fernández, Lazaar, Ki, S. Longstaff, M. Longstaff, Murphy, Aarons.
West Ham: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Cullen, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Hernandez.
Subs used: Roberto, Johnson, Sanchez, Wilshere, Snodgrass, Noble, Diangana, Antonio.
Newcastle eventually made the breakthrough in the 34th minute when the lively Muto steered Jamie Sterry's cross past Lukasz Fabianski and into the far corner.
Both sides made a number of changes at the break as they looked to deal with stifling heat in Shanghai and it was West Ham who responded better in the early stages of the second half.
Manuel Pellegrini's side almost grabbed an equaliser in the 63rd minute when Anderson guided Robert Snodgrass' corner towards goal, but the Brazilian could only watch on as the ball clipped the top of the crossbar.
Newcastle brought on Manchester United target Sean Longstaff midway through the second-half and he had the ball in the back of the net after turning home Shelvey's cross, but the goal was correctly disallowed for offside against the young midfielder.
Substitutes Jack Wilshere and Michail Antonio combined late on as West Ham went in search of an equaliser but Antonio failed to keep his header down after being picked out by Wilshere as Newcastle held on.
Shelvey: Bruce has made an impact
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey spoke to Sky Sports' Patrick Davison after the game and he's been impressed with the impact Bruce has made in such a short space of time.
"The other night we weren't good enough," he told Sky Sports. "Steve Bruce has come in and changed the formation and in a couple of days we look far more comfortable with five at the back.
"He's come in and said a few bits about what he wants to do in and out of possession, and in the first half we looked very comfortable. In the second half we knew they'd come out a bit stronger but I think we dealt with well defensively and went on to win.
"At every club if a new manager comes in the training goes up a notch. The players are a bit more busy and everyone gets a clean slate to try and impress and get into his starting XI. That's what everybody has done today.
"Bruce has made a massive impact. He's constantly talking to you and as a player that's what you want. You want to know what a manager is thinking and where you fit into his plans."
'The players have worked hard'
Ben Dawson, who was in the dugout for Newcastle in Bruce's absence, also spoke to Sky Sports and praised the work rate of the players.
"The new gaffer has come in and been able to express to the players what he expects of them, with work rate and intensity obviously being the main things and we've seen that in the performance.
"The players obviously recognise that there are some slots up for grabs. We worked hard in the couple of days building up to the game and that has carried over into the performance tonight.
"Bruce has definitely made an impact. The tactical adjustments have worked a treat tonight. Obviously, he hasn't had long to try and get those points across to us as staff to try to influence the players, but they've worked hard and taken it onto the pitch."
Ameobi: Very positive for Newcastle
"As frustrated as the Newcastle fans would've been with the performance last Wednesday and the way things were going, this performance is a positive," the former Newcastle striker told Sky Sports.
"They've got a new manager in, he's made an instant change in the formation and there's been an injection of intensity and an injection of pace in everything they do. The work rate that Bruce wants from the players is so important for the club.
"It's very positive for me, not just the result but the way we went about it. Newcastle fans can now be a lot happier with the way things are now compared to after the game on Wednesday."
Newcastle's remaining pre-season fixtures:
July 30: Hibernian - Easter Road
August 3: Saint-Etienne
West Ham's remaining pre-season fixtures:
July 27: Fulham - Craven Cottage
July 31: Hertha Berlin - Sonnenseestadion
August 3: Athletic Bilbao