Newcastle 0-3 West Ham December 1 2018 | Post Match Report, Thoughts and Analysis

West Ham claimed only a second win at St.James Park since 1998 as they produced a quality attacking performance away from home to beat Rafa Benitez’s men 3-0. While the Magpies were on a three game winning streak going into this game, they had lost all four of their previous games under Paul Tierney, and four became five on Saturday afternoon.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini rung in the changes, with four players coming into the XI that had lost to Man City. Arthur Masuaku’s horror show at the London Stadium saw Aaron Cresswell replace him at left back. Skipper Mark Noble, who surprisingly didn’t start against City, came back into the XI and so did Scottish international Robert Snodgrass, who returned from suspension. There was another start for Javier Hernandez, who had been linked with a move away from the London Stadium in the leadup to the game, which meant the like of Michail Antonio, Grady Diangana and Pedro Obiang dropped out of the XI. Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere were both on the bench, with Arnautovic deemed fit enough to start after passing a fitness test. Chicharito played behind Arnautovic in the Hammers’ preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Newcastle made only one change, with Javi Manquillo coming in for Ciaran Clark. The Magpies had employed 5 at the back against Burnley, but switched to a more traditional back four against the Hammers. With Schar and Fernandez in decent form, Clark was the one to be dropped, despite a more than decent performance against the Clarets.

West Ham starting lineup v Newcastle 2018

The Magpie group’s decision to make an appearance in the 11th minute was spoilt by Hernandez, who put West Ham ahead at about the same time. The Mexican made a clever run behind Marko Arnautovic and found himself in acres of space, and a beautiful cross from Snodgrass was converted from point blank range by him.

West Ham’s second came shortly after the hour mark, with Rice volleying it to Arnautovic, who headed it into the path of Hernandez, and the Mexican produced a good finish past Dubravka.

The third and final one came in second half stoppage time, with Jack Wilshere setting Anderson up on the counter, and the Brazilian showed good strength to fend off Schar and send his shot through Dubravka’s legs. No one had expected the Hammers to triumph before the game, and yet here they were, 3 goals to the good, and with a clean sheet to boot.

Was it all one way traffic?

Not at all, Newcastle had plenty of chances- Ayoze Perez himself had around 3-4 of them in the first half. There were two very decent heading opportunities that he should’ve done better. Salomon Rondon had a few himself, but it was always a case of that extra yard here and there, and West Ham clung on to their lead, courtesy of a solid defensive performance from Diop and Balbuena that stopped many a threatening Newcastle attack before it became too dangerous, and keeper Lukasz Fabianski, who was solid as ever in goal.

How was Arthur Masuaku?

Masuaku had to come on around the hour mark after Cresswell pulled up with a hamstring injury. He looked nervous, as a player short on confidence might, but fortunately, West Ham didn’t concede.

Could West Ham have scored more?

Definitely. Hernandez missed a sitter before he scored his second, and there were a couple of glorious opportunities on the counter for Arnautovic, who was a bit off colour on the afternoon. The trio of Anderson, Hernandez and Arnautovic were a constant threat for the Magpies.

Against Man City, West Ham also created their chances, but failed to take them, while City were clinical. Newcastle played the West Ham role today, with the visitors having that extra quality in the final third of the pitch.

It was one of those games, where you’d probably give everyone on the West Ham squad a 7 or more- that was a job very well done against an inform Newcastle side.

Our personal favourites for MOTM would be one of Diop/Balbuena. Hernandez and Anderson played well too, but West Ham hadn’t kept a clean sheet since Chelsea, and managing to do so at St.James Park was due to their back four.

Newcastle United 0-3 West Ham (Hernandez*2, Anderson)

Newcastle will travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton. After a strong November, this performance at St.James Park would’ve again raised questions of relegation among the Magpies faithful- they’re currently only three points off the drop, and will be underdogs against Marco Silva’s Toffees, who will start favourites at home.

West Ham’s next test is back home against Cardiff, a team who have been poor on the road this season, but one who will be brimming with confidence following their win over Wolves on Friday night.

West Ham’s starting eleven: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson, Hernandez, Arnautovic

Subs used: Masuaku, Obiang, Wilshere

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