Thursday, June 20, 2019

Newcastle United 3 West Ham 0: Joselu, Clark and Mitrovic hand Benitez´s men first win this season

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Aug 2017


Newcastle United got their first win of the season as Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic fired them to a 3-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Rafa Benitez’s men had not won a competitive match since they beat Barnsley on the last day of the 2016-17 Championship season, but they fully deserved to take all three points at St James’ Park.

Joselu scored his first goal for the club nine minutes before half-time and their lead rarely looked in doubt before Clark’s header made it 2-0 on 72 minutes.

West Ham lost their first league games of the season, conceding seven goals in the process, and they looked like a team bereft of confidence as they failed to threaten a comeback from the moment Joselu bundled in the lead.

Javier Hernandez, who scored twice in the 3-2 loss at Southampton, came closest to an equaliser before Clark and Mitrovic made the most of some dreadful defending to put the result beyond doubt.

An end-to-end but scrappy first 15 minutes saw Newcastle have penalty appeals waved away for a high foot from Mark Noble, before Isaac Hayden lashed a half-volley narrowly over Joe Hart’s crossbar.

There was concern for West Ham midway through the half as Andre Ayew received lengthy treatment for an accidental blow to the face, the Ghana international returning to the pitch with protective strapping on his nose after being caught by the studs of Javi Manquillo following a sliding challenge.

The build-up from both teams had been drastically low on quality but Newcastle broke the deadlock with the game’s first truly good passing move. Mikel Merino sent a fine throughball into the path of Christian Atsu down the left, and his cut-back was steered home by Joselu, despite the best efforts of the covering Aaron Cresswell.

Newcastle, buoyed by their breakthrough, started the second half as they finished the first and Hart had to react well to push a low shot from Ayoze Perez away from his bottom-left corner.

Hernandez, who had scored three times in four starts against Newcastle before Saturday’s meeting, thought he had netted again as he turned a rebound goalwards following Rob Elliot’s save from Cresswell, but a combination of the goalkeeper and Clark just kept the ball from crossing the line.

West Ham were slowly beginning to take control of the game but Newcastle almost doubled their lead in brilliant fashion, with Hart making a good stop to deny Matt Ritchie and Pablo Zabaleta making a timely clearance on the rebound.

But with 18 minutes left, the visitors were undone by the sort of poor defending that has been a hallmark of their dismal start to the season. Ritchie found space to the right of the area and his cross was headed into the bottom-left corner by Clark, who appeared unmarked just six yards from goal.

Hart made a good save to deny Mitrovic from close range but the substitute made amends with four minutes to play, rounding the England goalkeeper before slotting home after West Ham’s dreadful attempt at an offside trap backfired.

The goal capped a strong showing from Newcastle in the wake of their humbling EFL Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but the pressure on Slaven Bilic will only increase after another listless Hammers performance.


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