West Ham United 2-0 Newcastle United

A Dimitri Payet brace secured a 2-0 win for the Hammers
West Ham United 2-0 Newcastle United

Following the famous 3-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield, the Hammers had to wait 16 days to make a return to Premier League action and they wasted little time in finding their stride.

In front of a packed Boleyn Ground under the lights, an air of excitement tinged with expectation was rewarded with a 2-0 win thanks to a Dimitri Payet brace.

The Frenchmen put in a sparkling performance to help the Hammers record their first home win under Slaven Bilic.  

While Payet shone, a supporting cast of Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate and Victor Moses supported admirably as the Hammers got off to a brilliant start as the French playmaker demonstrated his class by curling an effort into the top right-hand corner after nine minutes. 

While the hosts were certainly in the ascendency, Newcastle had their fair share of opportunities. Georginio Wijnaldum burst through the midfield before laying fellow countryman Daryl Janmaat who forced a smart save from Darren Randolph with an outstretched leg.

Among the substitutes named was star striker Andy Carroll who received a rousing round of applause when he went to warm up, this was just a taster of things to come when he made his first return since February with five minutes remaining.

Livewire Manuel Lanzini again showed flashed of brilliance; he tried his luck from 25 yards before looked to play in Cheikhou Kouyate with a delightful dink.

The visitors continued to press and this left space behind which Lanzini, Moses and Payet were only too keen to exploit. While the enthusiasm and inventiveness was evident, the final through-ball was lacking.  

The half ended on a disappointing note as Angelo Ogbonna, enjoying a terrific start to life in Claret and Blue, had to be replaced by Carl Jenkinson with what looked to be a hamstring injury.

Just seconds after coming on, Jenkinson made an important clearance which set Moses tearing through the middle, he layed it to tormentor-in-chief Payet who returned the favour with an exquisite threaded-ball. The winger smashed an effort goal-bound, but off balance, it nestled narrowly wide of Tim Krul’s post.

Into added time and Mark Noble, playing his first home game as official Club Captain, attempted his volley on the edge of the box from Payet’s floated delivery, yet couldn’t quite get his angles right.

During the half-time break the Hammers’ faithful were greeted by members of the Boys of ’86 including West Ham legends Tony Cottee and Frank McAvennie.

Upon resumption of play, the Irons were certainly fired up, and inspired by a combination of their forebears and Bilic’s half-time sentiments, raced out of the traps. Yet again, Moses tore down the flank and fired a wicked shot goalward. With Krul beaten all ends up, the crossbar came to the Magpies’ rescue, albeit briefly.

The ball fell to Payet who didn’t need to think twice, as he placed it nonchalantly between goalkeeper and defender. Two-nil, too good.

Moses had his head in his hands, a dream debut goal denied. His teammates rushed to celebrate with the assister while the fans celebrated wildly.

With the Hammers firmly in control, Bilic looked to close the game out with Pedro Obiang replacing Manuel Lanzini. The tactic seemed to work, however the Magpies refused to be cowed.

Their never-say-die attitude almost paid off as Janmaat stung Randolph’s palms again, but the Ireland international was determined to keep a second consecutive clean sheet.

With ten minutes remaining, de Jong fired a fierce effort which deflected wickedly and was diverted only by Randolph’s outstretched fingertips.

There was just enough time for Andy Carroll to make a five minute cameo; his introduction was met with a huge ovation

All in all, a good night for the Hammers who sit fifth in the table.

West Ham United: Randolph, Tomkins, Reid, Ogbonna (Jenkinson 42), Cresswell, Noble ©, Kouyate, Payet, Lanzini (Obiang 59), Moses (Carroll 86), Sakho

Subs: Spiegel (GK), Collins, Jelavic, Antonio

Goals: Payet 9, 48

Newcastle United: Krul, Coloccini, Colback, Wijnaldum (Aarons 79), Sissoko, Anita (de Jong 60), Cisse, Mbemba, Haidara, Thauvin (Perez 60), Janmaat

Subs: Darlow (GK), Gouffran, Obertan, Lascelles

Bookings: Colback, Janmaat

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 34,907