First League Double over Newcastle in 20 years, Outstanding Rice & More- Five Talking points from West Ham v NUFC

West Ham completed a league double over Newcastle as they beat the Magpies 2-0 at the London Stadium to climb to 9th in the league table. An early Declan Rice header and a penalty from Mark Noble were enough for the Hammers to see off the Magpies as they celebrated the inauguration of the Billy Bonds stand with a win over Rafa Benitez’s men.

Let’s take a look at the major talking points from this game.

League double over Newcastle for the first time in 20 years

This is the first time since the 1998/99 season that the Hammers have completed a Premier League double over the Magpies.

The interesting bit- Harry Redknapp’s men won 3-0 away and 2-0 at home that season, the same scorelines that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have managed this season!

Outstanding Rice

England assistant manager Steve Holland was in the stands for this game, presumably to watch the likes of Rice and rising Newcastle medio Sean Longstaff in action.

Rice put in another assured performance for the Hammers and topped it up with a goal. His defensive work was outstanding as usual, but it’s evident that the coaching staff are helping him with the attacking side of things as well- a couple of his passes around the 45th minute were very nice to watch. We didn’t get to see that side of Rice early in the season, and on this evidence, a England call up may not be too far away! Was also the official Premier League man of the Match for this game.

The London Stadium slowly becoming a fortress

West Ham have always managed to raise their game against the top six, but they’re also making it a habit to beat mid and lower table opposition at home. Since November, only Watford have come to the London Stadium and come away with all three points, a very encouraging fact for the home fans.

Robert Snodgrass

Had a key hand to play in both goals. It was his beautiful corner that was nodded in by Rice, and it was Longstaff’s foul on him that lead to the set piece which eventually saw a penalty being awarded. Is establishing himself as an important squad member under Pellegrini, and might have even had a goal or two towards the end if his teammates had chosen to pass to him when he was unmarked in the box. May not be a starter when everyone returns to full fitness, but there’s no question that he offers a lot of value to this team.

Manuel Lanzini

It’s obvious that West Ham have missed the little Argentine. Got his first start of the season and played the full 90 minutes as well. Obvious that he’s working his way to full strength, but some of his interplay with Anderson was fantastic to watch. Had a key role in the Rice goal as well- watch his subtle movement to stop Dubravka from coming forward!

Few would’ve expected the Hammers to keep a clean sheet against the high flying Magpies (only Fulham have fewer clean sheets than WHUFC). The backline lead by Diop and Ogbonna, had little to worry about it in the first half. They did come under some real pressure after the interval, but kept the visitors at bay to register a fine win.

WHUFC starting lineup vs Newcastle 2019

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