West Ham storm to superb victory at Newcastle
PUBLISHED: 17:07 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:02 01 December 2018
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Chicharito’s deadly double sees off Newcastle in style
Newcastle United 0 West Ham United 3
Javier Hernández turned up the heat for the Hammers to leave the Magpies out in the cold on a dark, damp, December day on Tyneside.
The recalled, red-hot Mexican dished up a deadly double with a goal in each half before fellow South American, Felipe Anderson, netted in stoppage time to earn Manuel Pellegrini’s men only their second victory at St James’s Park in 20 years.
Kicking off in 14th spot, level on a dozen points but one place and three goals worse-off than Newcastle, the Hammers had made a quartet of changes from the team that lost to table-topping Manchester City last Saturday.
Hernández, skipper Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Aaron Cresswell replaced Michail Antonio and Grady Diangana plus substitutes Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku, who joined Jack Wilshere – who would make a late cameo appearance - on the bench.
Indeed, Hernandez took just a dozen minutes to reward Pellegrini for recalling him into that starting line-up, when he got in front of DeAndre Yedlin to sweep home from six yards after Noble and Pablo Zabaleta combined to feed Snodgrass, who delivered a deliciously inviting right-wing cross into the danger-zone.
Having gone into November win-less, rejuvenated Newcastle had made it three wins out of three with victory at Burnley on Monday night and, following that triumphant hat-trick, Rafa Benitez made just one change as Javier Manquillo came in for substitute, Ciaran Clark.
Apart from seeing Manquillo’s tricky early cross palmed away from an in-rushing Matt Ritchie by Lukasz Fabianski, there was little to encourage the Magpies’ boss in the opening stages.
But when Snodgrass was booked for stopping another Manquillo charge down the left flank, Ritchie’s consequent free-kick was met by Ayoze Pérez, who headed straight into Fabianski’s clutches.
Then, after the breaking Marko Arnautović rounded Martin Dúbravka before finding the angle too tight, Salomón Rondón saw the ball punched off his scalp by the Hammers ‘keeper and, shortly afterwards, Pérez headed over the top, too.
Another lightning-quick Hammers raid led to Anderson’s low, left-wing centre agonisingly eluding the stretching studs of Arnautović, who then saw another chance come to nothing after the ball became entangled in his boots.
Curiously, Noble was booked for time-wasting on the half-hour to the dismay of everyone Claret & Blue, before Zabaleta also saw yellow for kicking Kenedy and, with the rain continuing to tumble onto former Real Madrid managers Pellegrini and Benitez, the sunnier climes of the Bernabeu must have seemed a million miles away for both men as both teams departed at half-time.
Zabaleta had brilliantly denied Rondón from point-blank range seconds before the break and, shortly after the restart, Cresswell also charged down another scorching shot from the Venezuelan striker.
At the other end, Arnautović saw his angled shot deflected across the face of goal for a corner but the red-faced Snodgrass slipped on the saturated St James’s surface to the amusement of the Black & White fans in the crowd of 51,853, who saw the ball loop just a few yards into the advertising hoardings.
Christian Atsu replaced Ritchie, while Masuaku came on for the injured Cresswell and, with both fresh-faces still finding their feet, the Hammers squandered two more gilt-edged chances.
Firstly, Noble sent Arnautović galloping clear but when the Austrian unselfishly squared to Hernández, uncharacteristically, the Mexican failed to connect just eight yards out and, moments later, the Little Pea wastefully ripped an effort into the side-netting after Issa Diop threaded an inch-perfect pass into his path.
But on 63 minutes Hernández redeemed himself when he sprinted onto Arnautović’s deft flick and rifled a low 15-yarder past the helplessly exposed Dúbravka, meaning that every single one of the Mexican’s 48 Premier League goals have been scored inside the penalty box.
With the Newcastle defence going AWOL yet again, Anderson should have made it three, just a few minutes later but the Newcastle ‘keeper blocked with his feet and then Diop nodded the consequent corner just past the left post.
Obiang replaced Arnautović for the final 20 minutes, while Jonjo Shelvey came on for Kenedy and, although Rondón and Atsu forced Fabianski into late saves, the winged Magpies never looked like stopping the Hammers from securing that second win on Tyneside in two decades.
Sure enough, in stoppage time, substitute Wilshere invited Anderson ghost to clear of the leggy Newcastle defence and the £43million Brazilian calmly picked his spot to cement victory.
MAGPIES: Dúbravka, Yedlin, Manquillo, Schär, Fernández, Diamé, Ki Sung-Yeung, Kenedy (Shelvey 70), Ritchie (Atsu 53), Pérez (Joselu 78), Rondón. Unused subs: Woodman, Clark, Lascelles, Longstaff.
HAMMERS: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Cresswell (Masuaku 55), Diop, Balbuena, Rice, Noble (Wilshere 85), Snodgrass, Anderson, Arnautović (Obiang 70), Hernández. Unused subs: Adrián, Carroll, Ogbonna, Perez.
Booked: Snodgrass (21), Noble (32), Zabaleta (43), Schär (79), Yedlin (89).
Referee: Paul Tierney.