Premier League
Newcastle United 2-1 West Ham United 

Saturday, 16th January 2016
by Staff Writer

West Ham came crashing back down to earth at St James' Park with a disappointing defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Newcastle United, as Steve McLaren finally got the better of his opposite number.

Goals from Ayoze Perez (after just six minutes) and Georginio Wijnaldum (15) gave the home side and their manager - dubbed 'the wally with the brolly' following England's defeat by Bilic's Croatia in the 2008 European Championship qualifiers - a dream opening that simply left the visitors with too much to do.

And although Nikica Jelavic managed to pull one back for the Hammers at the beginning of the second half, West Ham couldn't produce a second goal to give them the point their performance probably didn't deserve.

Although there had been a modicum of talk - mostly from people outside of the club - regarding West Ham's potential Champions League credentials ahead of the game, there were few signs during it that Bilic's side are ready to threaten the top four.

And it took the hosts - who went into the game without a win in five matches, in stark contrast to West Ham who were hoping to set a Premier League record with a ninth successive game without defeat - just six minutes to break the deadlock.

Mark Noble, not for the first time this season conceded possession in the centre of the park and Newcastle took full advantage by working the ball to Perez, whose curling shot from outside the box left goalkeeper Adrian clutching air.

And the second goal (from a Newcastle perspective, at least) on the quarter-hour mark was even better, with a superb move - started by Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle's ??12million midweek signing - ended by Wijnaldum, converting a pinpoint cross from Daryl Janmaat wide on the right.

Such was their domination in the opening spell, Newcastle could have been four or five ahead before West Ham seriously threatened when a superb through ball by Pedro Obiang was met by Cheik Kouyate who could only fire straight at Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.

But better was to come for the Hammers within minutes of the restart, when Jelavic scored his second goal in three games having taken advantage of a defensive lapse by the hosts. A poor back pass allowed the Croatian striker to nip in and round Elliot before passing the ball into an empty net.

For all their subsequent effort, West Ham were unable to grab a second goal - although Kouyate came within inches of snatching an equaliser when his 90th-minute header was cleared off the line.

However it wasn't to be and the Hammers slipped to a first defeat since the heavy defeat at Tottenham back in November 2015.

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Player Ratings

Darren Randolph
Well I?EUR(TM)ll admit concern when Adrian?EUR(TM)s disgraceful ban was upheld by the money grabbing charlatans at the FA (no offence Greg mate!). My worry was based on what I?EUR(TM)d seen of Randolph in close season. However, when required he has not been found wanting and has proven a worthy replacement even if he?EUR(TM)s not been overly taxed in his last two matches.

James Tomkins
Looked quite comfortable at right back. I was a bit concerned that the enforced move across to the centre might disrupt his concentration. That concern proved to be misplaced.

Aaron Cresswell
Another good runout. The combination with Moses on that side looks interesting as well.

Winston Reid
Just looks better and better to me with each passing match.

Angelo Ogbonna
Was doing ok before his hamstring gave out.

Cheikhou Kouyate
Wile-E is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players in this side. The amount of hard work he gets through is breathtaking.

Mark Noble
Mixed some excellent moments with the odd casual/sloppy pass but overall had a good match.

Victor Moses
A fine debut which only the crossbar prevented him from capping with a goal. His pace and power will cause better teams than Newcastle problems. Tired towards the end but having spent so much time figuring only as an entry on the asset side of Chelsea?EUR(TM)s balance sheet he will only get fitter with more time on the pitch.

Manuel Lanzini

Dimitri Payet
Dear Sky. What is the point in me writing about how rubbish he is every week to keep other clubs off the scent if you go and televise our matches and show how bloody good he is? Apart from the excellent goals, the passing, the link-up play and the unheralded donkey work in tracking back and helping to break down any opposition attacks, the MOTM did nothing worthy of note and I?EUR(TM)d certainly look elsewhere if I were French manager Didier Deschamps.

Diafra Sakho
Another hard-working performance in which he held the ball up superbly and did well bringing others into the game.


Carl Jenkinson
(Replaced Ogbonna) Much better ?EUR" not given much of a test defensively admittedly but wasn?EUR(TM)t afraid to get forward when the occasion demanded.

Pedro Obiang
(Replaced Lanzini) Did that disrupting and laying off role as well as we are beginning to expect from him in his time on the pitch.

Andy Carroll
(Replaced Sakho) Not really on for long enough to register bit it was good to see him back nevertheless.

Raphael Spiegal
Did not play.

James Collins
Did not play.

Michail Antonio
Did not play.

Nikica Jelavic
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Darren Randolph, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho.

Goals: Dimitri Payet 9 Dimitri Payet 48                .

Booked: n/a           .

Sent Off: n/a     .

Newcastle United: Tim Krul, Fabricio Coloccini, Jack Colback, Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Papiss Cisse, Chancel Mbemba, Massadio Haidara, Florian Thauvin, Daryl Janmaat.

Subs not used: Karl Darlow, Yoan Gouffran, Gabriel Obertan, Jamaal Lascelles.

Goals: n/a.

Booked: Jack Colback, Daryl Janmaat.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 50,031.

Man of the Match: Dimitri Payet.