Newcastle piled the pressure on an already under fire Slaven Bilic with an emphatic 3-0 victory at St James’ Park.
The first opportunity for the home side came around 15 minutes when the ball came to Ciaran Clark from a corner but the Irishman couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet. Another chance arose when Isaac Hayden struck a sweet strike from outside the box that just swung over the bar. New summer signing Manquillo tried his luck with a wayward cross that almost got lucky. West Ham got a chance when Cresswell tried a volley from inside the box that just went over. Rightfully, Newcastle opened the scoring when Merino sliced the defence open with a ball that came to Atsu who unselfishly squared it to Joselu. What a way to mark your first start in black and white. Deep into added time, Atsu came driving forward and fired a shot towards goal which Hart thankfully clutched to his chest. Newcastle finished the first half firmly on top of the visitors.
The first chance of the second half came when Perez dribbled into the box with some tricky footwork but his cross was just a little too close to Hart and the move fizzled out. West Ham were searching for a goal and came close when Cresswell’s shot cannoned off Elliot straight into the path of Hernandez which Clark managed to somehow intercept. Putting more and more pressure on, Ritchie nutmegs Noble and fires a shot but Hart gets just enough on it. The home side then double their lead with some great play from Ritchie. He dispossesses Cresswell near the corner flag, plays a one-two to make some pace and whips in a corner that Clark buries. 2-0 to Newcastle. The home side weren’t stopping when Hayden put a low cross into the box that didn’t reach a black and white shirt. To add insult to injury, Newcastle made it 3. Mitrovic is played clean through, he takes round Hart and taps it in. Absolute filth.
An embarrassing performance from West Ham which leaves further question marks over Slaven Bilic but the Magpies were on another level. After two league defeats with no goals, it seems Newcastle are finally starting to find their feet back in the Premier League.
Feature image credit: Steenbergs