|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
West Ham’s late rally fails to save them from defeat by Newcastle United,
Paul MacInnes at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 2 Nov 2019 17.17 GMT
Joelinton, Miguel Almirón and Allan Saint-Maximin still have only a goal between them, but they put a lackadaisical West Ham to the sword at the London Stadium. The half-time lead stood at two, with headers from the defenders Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernández, before a free-kick from Jonjo Shelvey after the break ended the contest.
West Ham’s two late goals never looked like more than consolations and it is five matches without a win for the hosts. Newcastle, now four points clear of the drop zone, stand just one point behind them.
Manuel Pellegrini has enough experience of looking unflustered in defeat and he calmly observed he would have to “reflect then decide” on his response to this one. The West Ham manager will get that time, but Pellegrini is under pressure, and not just for the run of form. His team came out in front of their own fans and played at the tempo of a training match. They were booed off at half-time and deserved it.
The Newcastle strategy was simple: let West Ham advance to the edge of the attacking third, slow it down, rob the ball, hit it into the space behind and let chaos reign. The pace of the three amigos caused West Ham conniptions and it was the direct running of the Paraguayan Almirón that set up the first two goals.
When Almirón was hauled down by Issa Diop 20 yards out in the 16th minute, a recalled Shelvey stepped up. His free-kick went to the back post and was met by Joelinton, who nodded it back for Clark to bury it past Roberto.
It was well-drilled but caught West Ham by surprise and soon they were undone again by similar means. Almirón’s cross was blocked for a corner. Shelvey took it short this time and the ball went to Jetro Willems. With West Ham’s defence having wasted no time in pushing out, there was lots of space for Willems’s deep cross to hit. Fernández it was who connected at the back post.
The rest of the first half was pure anarchy as West Ham pushed higher to try and force a response and Newcastle simply lofted the ball over them whenever they could.
Twice Saint-Maximin had the run of the entire West Ham half only to fail to score his first goal in Newcastle colours. The second move was particularly crazy: Roberto parried Saint-Maximin’s shot, who then worked the ball to Almirón just six yards out.
He was unable to get his first goal either, however, as his shot was blocked. To cap it off, the ball came out a third time to Shelvey, who hit a curling effort against the crossbar from 25 yards. Shelvey duly got on the scoresheet at the start of the second half, a not entirely overwhelmed Bruce observing Shelvey might have played up because he is a West Ham fan.
At three down West Ham woke up, just a little bit. Fabián Balbuena bundled the ball over the line from a corner. With seconds remaining of the 90, Robert Snodgrass scored the best goal of the game, on the volley from the edge of the box. For the five minutes of added time West Ham ran like the clappers. Too late.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
West Ham XI: Roberto 5, Zabaleta 5 (Fredericks 73' 5), Balbuena 6, Diop 4.5, Cresswell 5, Rice 6, Yarmolenko 4 (Lanzini 46' 5), Noble 5 (Ajeti 46' 5), Snodgrass 6.5, Felipe Anderson 5.5, Haller 5.
Unused Subs: Sanchez, Fornals, Ogbonna, Martin.
Goals: Balbuena 74', Snodgrass 90'.
Newcastle XI: Dubravka 6, Yedlin 6.5, Fernandez 7, Lascelles 6.5, Clark 7, Willems 7 (Dummett 87'), Almiron 7, Hayden 7, Shelvey 8, Saint-Maximin 7.5 (Atsu 77'), Joelinton 7 (Carroll 89').
Unused Subs: Gayle, Krafth, Darlow, Longstaff.
Goals: Clark 15', Fernandez 22', Shelvey 51'.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Man of the match: Jonjo Shelvey