WHAT a remarkable game of football.

Trailing 3-1 in the early stages of the first half, and with their injury problems piling up yet again, Newcastle’s hopes of playing in Europe next season looked to be in tatters.

Yet from somewhere, Eddie Howe’s players summoned remarkable levels of spirit and composure to produce a comeback that leaves them with every chance of forcing their way into either the Europa League or Conference League. Who knows? They might even make one of those competitions at the expense of West Ham.

Alexander Isak sparked Newcastle’s revival, scoring his second penalty of the day after having opened the scoring from the spot in just the sixth minute.

Substitute Harvey Barnes then proved the hero of the Magpies’ revival, slotting a superb finish through Lukasz Fabianski’s legs after being sent clear by Isak before drilling home an even better winner after some excellent support play from Anthony Gordon.

Gordon’s late dismissal for two yellow cards was an unwelcome sting in the tail – the winger will now miss a midweek reunion with his former club, Everton – and injuries to Jamaal Lascelles, Tino Livramento and Miguel Almiron are a major concern.

Nevertheless, this was still a hugely uplifting afternoon that has set Newcastle up nicely for the final nine games of the season. After the events of the second half, momentum is certainly on their side.

Having made one change from the side that started the FA Cup defeat at Manchester City that preceded the international break, with Livramento coming in for the injured Sven Botman, Howe could not have hoped for a better start.

Just three minutes had gone when Gordon was caught by a lunging Vladimir Coufal as he twisted and turned on the left-hand side of the box.

A lengthy VAR check held up proceedings, but once the on-field decision of a penalty was upheld, Isak stepped up to fire a clinical spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Isak drilled over from inside the area shortly after, after Bruno Guimaraes’ through ball had deflected into his path off Sean Longstaff, but Newcastle’s afternoon took a marked turn for the worse before the halfway point of the first half.

Lascelles was making his first league start since before Christmas, but the skipper became the latest victim of his side’s seemingly endless injury jinx when he twisted his knee as he fell awkwardly in his own 18-yard box.

Lascelles tried to continue after a lengthy spell of treatment, but was quickly forced to admit defeat as he hobbled off to be replaced by Emil Krafth. The Swede went to right-back, with Dan Burn moving inside to centre-half and Livramento moving from the right of the back four to the left-back slot.

The change was far from ideal, and within four minutes of coming onto the field, Krafth was found wanting as West Ham equalised.

The Swede played Michail Antonio onside as he broke onto Lucas Paqeuta’s through ball, and having galloped clear of both Krafth and Fabian Schar, the striker drilled a low finish past Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle’s response saw Gordon curl in a shot that was saved by Alphonse Areola and head wide from close to the penalty spot after Jacob Murphy crossed from the right, and the Magpies came within inches of reclaiming the lead in first-half stoppage time.

Murphy rolled the ball to Guimaraes on the edge of the box, and the Brazilian’s side-footed strike cannoned off the crossbar.

The number of first-half stoppages meant there were ten minutes of injury-time before the break, and West Ham struck in the ninth to reclaim the lead.

It was a controversial goal, with Schar down injured after being caught in the face as Paqueta took a quick free-kick for West Ham. Jarrod Bowen broke into the right of the box, and pulled the ball back for Mohammed Kudus to fire past Dubravka, who should have made a much better fist of trying to keep the ball out.

Along with Newcastle’s players, Howe was furious that play was allowed to continue with Schar down injured, but the centre-half had clearly not suffered a concussion and referee Rob Jones was right to allow Paqueta’s quick thinking to be rewarded.

Trailing at the break, the hosts needed a strong start to the second half. Instead, they fell further behind just three minutes into the second half.

It was a shambolic goal to concede from a Newcastle perspective, with West Ham breaking from one end of the pitch to the other after a Magpies corner routine broke down.

Kudus kept the ball alive on the left touchline, and with Livramento trying to cover two positions, Bowen was completely unmarked in the middle. After breaking into the box, the England international drilled a composed finish into the bottom corner.

Howe’s response was to make a triple substitution, with Miguel Almiron, Elliot Anderson and Lewis Hall coming on, but the former lasted just 11 minutes before he slumped to the turf with a leg injury and signalled to the bench that he could not continue. Another name added to the injury list.

During his brief spell on the field, Almiron set up Isak with a square ball into the middle, but the Swedish striker completely missed his kick.

That felt like the Magpies’ best chance of a comeback, but the home side were handed a lifeline as they were awarded their second spot-kick of the afternoon with 13 minutes remaining.

Gordon got his foot between Kalvin Phillips and the ball, and the West Ham substitute hacked into him as he attempted to clear.

A pitch-side review resulted in the award of a penalty, and Isak stepped up to casually roll home his second successful spot-kick.

Could Newcastle strike again to equalise? The answer came just six minutes later, with Isak again playing a central role.

The Swede released Barnes through the middle with a brilliant through ball, and the substitute displayed great composure to slot a superb finish through the legs of West Ham’s replacement goalkeeper Fabianski.

Suddenly, Newcastle were rampant, and the comeback was complete when Barnes fired home a remarkable winner in the 90th minute.

Gordon did brilliantly to keep the ball alive despite Kurt Zouma being at his back, and after he rolled a pass into Barnes’ path, the winger did the rest and he broke across the face of the 18-yard box before cracking a superb strike into the bottom corner.

There was still time for Gordon to receive a red card as he picked up a second booking for kicking the ball away, but with Thomas Soucek nodding a stoppage-time header into the side-netting, Newcastle were able to successfully see things out with ten men.