Newcastle United secured third place in this summer's Premier League Asia Trophy thanks to a deserved 1-0 win over West Ham.
The game certainly took its time to get going, but Newcastle found the breakthrough with the first shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, when Yoshinori Muto raced onto the end of a low cross to guide the ball into the far corner of Łukasz Fabiański's goal.
Felipe Anderson was denied an equaliser by the crossbar, while a combination of Jonjo Shelvey and Sean Longstaff saw a goal chalked off due to an offside.
Grady Diangana's introduction was a boost for West Ham, but the Irons just couldn't find a way back into the match and were forced to end the game as the losers of the Asia Trophy third-place play-off.
Key Talking Point
It's been one heck of a turnaround for Newcastle given the club's atrocious defeat to Wolves earlier this week, and even with new manager Steve Bruce barred from the touchline, the Magpies put in a much better display against West Ham.
They were the side in control during the first half and went into the break completely untroubled, but at times Newcastle needed to ride their luck and also needed to rely on some outstanding last-ditch tackles to maintain their clean sheet.
Starting XI: Dubravka (6); Schar (6), Lascelles (6), Clark (6); Sterry (7), Hayden (6), Shelvey (8*), Colback (6), Ritchie (6); Muto (8), Sorensen (6).
Substitutes: Ki (6), Murphy (7), Fernandez (6), Manquillo (6), S. Longstaff (6), M. Longstaff (6), Aarons (6), Lazaar (6).
STAR MAN - Jonjo Shelvey
As a midfielder who's so often criticised for not showing off his bucketloads of talent on a more regular basis, the former England international certainly left his mark on the Asia Trophy's third-place play-off.
Said it time and time again, Shelvey is the don.— Lauren. (@LaurenEWalker_) July 20, 2019
Shelvey, Muto, Hayden and Schar were quality today.— Jack 🇬🇧 (@ftblpowton) July 20, 2019
It was far from Shelvey's best performance for the club, but seeing the 27-year-old showing glimpses of his quality will give fans a sliver of hope ahead of a crunch season in the Premier League.
West Ham United
Key Talking Point
It was a pre-season match to forget for any West Ham fans who watched their Saturday morning run out against Newcastle United, but there's still every reason to be excited about the Hammers next season.
Without a couple of big first-team names, manager Manuel Pellegrini will be happy enough that West Ham can find their feet once the new season gets underway.
Starting XI: Fabianski (6); Zabaleta (6), Reid (5), Ogbonna (5), Cresswell (5); Rice (6), Yarmolenko (5), Cullen (6), Lanzini (5), Anderson (7); Hernandez (5).
Substitutes: Antonio (6), Wilshere (7), Sanchez (6), Snodgrass (7), Diangana (7*), Roberto (6), Noble.
STAR MAN - Grady Diangana
Considering 21-year-old Grady Diangana was given less than 30 minutes to try and make an impact against Premier League opposition, the young forward did more than enough to actually win the game on Saturday.
With a bit more strength I think Diangana is gonna be a good player for us— JimmyTurner⚒ (@JimmmyTurner) July 20, 2019
Diagana needs to learn to pass....— ⚒ ROSIE ⚒ (@RosieJack) July 20, 2019
Diangana is largely still a raw gem, but he's naturally movement and ability gave Newcastle United a big headache is what was otherwise a simple runout for the first-team players.
There's still plenty of pre-season to get through, but Newcastle fans will already be keeping one eye on their Premier League opener against Arsenal next month.
West Ham, meanwhile, will be hoping to pick up some form (and lady luck) as they start to prepare for when they host reigning champions Manchester City on matchday one next season.