The match was a tale of two attacks – one which made the most of their chances, and the other which was wasteful and short of quality. Javier Hernandez scored twice as West Ham ended Newcastle’s run of three wins with an emphatic victory at St James’ Park.
Hernandez grabbed his first in the 11th minute, just as some Newcastle fans were taking to their seats following a “walk-in protest” against the club owner – had they waited another minute they would not have witnessed the calamitous defending from their side.
Robert Snodgrass was allowed to run down the left and deliver an in-swinging cross for his Mexican team-mate who got himself in front of Federico Fernandez to poke in.
Hernandez then missed a couple of great chances before he fired home the second from Marko Arnautovic‘s flick-on. And with the final kick of the game, Felipe Anderson capped off an exceptional display by slotting in West Ham’s third under the body of keeper Martin Dubravka.
West Ham show they are a class above
West Ham’s heavy home defeat by Manchester City last week was an anomaly because of the stature of their opponents. At St James’ Park, the Hammers found themselves against a team with similar aspirations for the season and on the same number of points – however, by full-time it was quite stark that there was a difference in quality between the two sides.
The Hammers spent close to £100m in the summer, in contrast with the Magpies who made a net profit of about £20m from player transactions.A large chunk of West Ham’s budget went on midfielder Anderson who produced a man-of-the-match performance that showcased his surging runs and great range of passing.
He deservedly got on the scoresheet with seconds remaining when he brushed off a weak challenge from Fabian Schar to slot home. The Brazilian had also provided a brilliant ball for Hernandez, who should have hit the target instead of the side-netting with the score at 1-0.
The Mexican got the ball rolling with a close-range finish in the first-half, and finally scored his second on 63 minutes when he latched on to Arnautovic’s header and fired low past Newcastle’s Czech keeper.
How Magpies manager Rafael Benitez must wish he had the likes of Anderson, Hernandez and Arnautovic at his disposal.
Newcastle back down to earth with a bump
Since he joined the club in 2016, Newcastle’s Spanish boss has repeatedly indicated that his side lack the quality needed to reach the next level – which after Saturday’s display appears to be the level West Ham occupy.
After a run of three wins against mid-table sides which pulled them out of the relegation mire, this defeat suggested that they face another fight to stay in the league.
They created few clear chances. Ayoze Perez headed high over the bar when he should have hit the target, while fellow forward Salomon Rondon had two efforts blocked by Aaron Cresswell.
Newcastle brought on Joselu to try to boost the attack, but instead of lifting the home support he brought out derision with a woeful cross in the area which summed up his side’s day.
Source: BBC News